Wednesday, January 18, 2012

First Quilts....

Brianna with Daddy's Rail Fence (2006)
I'm actually lucky that I had the foresight to get my granddaughters to come visit one weekend several years ago with some of the quilts I had made for them, so I could photograph them.  This rail fence quilt is the very first quilt I ever finished.  I started it for my son, Patrick, in 1982, when he was eight.  I'm sure you recognize the calicos; the pattern was from a soft cover pamphlet I picked up at the Singer store.  I cut out all the rectangles by hand (pre-rotary cutter), and stitched those blocks a few at a time.  I then tried to quilt it on my Singer with invisible polyester thread (why, I have no idea--I think I thought you didn't want the quilting to show).  It was a total disaster.  I had no idea about basting, stretching the back, or pinning.  You can probably imagine that it went in a box for a LONG, long time.  I graduated to a Bernina in 1997 and decided that  it was definitely time to finish this quilt.  By now, I knew a little more.  I removed all of the "plastic" stitching (not an easy task, since my Singer did not have a stitch length option, but it's amazing what you can do with a seam ripper).  Then I pin-basted it, and finished it with in-the-ditch quilting.  I gave it to Brianna (Patrick's daughter) in 1998 or so, when she was about three...and it only took me 16 years to finish it.
Maya with "Birds in the Air" (2006)
I have a little faster track record with the pretty blue, white and yellow "Birds in the Air" quilt I made for Maya when she was born in September 1998.  By then I had a pretty good idea how to piece, block, baste, and quilt.  I loved this pattern and it was such a sweet little baby quilt.  I still have some of the pale yellow fabric with bluebirds on it....I can't bear to get rid of it.  It just occurred to me that this was the very first of the 4 yellow and blue quilts I have made to date, and I've got my eye on the new Moda Summerbreeze II collection.  Dare I buy anymore blue and yellow fabric? My granddaughters will probably hate how they look in these pictures, but I don't; they are my little they are lovely teenagers 16 and 13....
Brianna and Maya, December 2011
I just thought it would be fun to show how far I have come....and how long ago I was "thinking" about quilting, even though it took me a while to really get around to it.  The quilt below is one I made this summer for my best friend, Tracey.  I made the pillowcases, too. 
Tracey's "Fall  Into Color" Quilt - 2011

Did you ever take a picture of your first quilt?  It's always interesting to see where people start from.  Have a happy quilting weekend; we're headed for the Gulf...Florida and Alabama, for some seafood and spring inspirations.....Kathy

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