So. I stumbled across this, thought it was an awesome idea, saw lots of blogs participating, and decided to join in the fun!! For the details to the Blogger's Quilt Festival 2010, head on over to Amy's Creative Side!
I chose this quilt, aptly named My 2006 Starter Quilt, because this was the quilt that started my interest in quilting! I learned lots . . . and boy I do mean LOTS . . . about quilting with this project. In fact, it is the quilt that almost never happened. (And I am the quilter that almost never was!)
I did great for the first four months, considering I'd never quilted before in my life -- I even had those first four blocks quilted. Each block was different, so I was learning new skills each month. I asked questions and referred to a LOT of books! Mostly I was self-taught, and I made loads of mistakes!
But block five included flying geese. The instructions were for machine sewing; but I had resolved to hand piece the whole quilt. And I screwed up those flying geese BUT GOOD!!So I used the seam ripper, pulled out all my stitches, and placed it back in the baggie it came in. And then I set it aside, completely discouraged. Oh don't worry -- each month I faithfully went to the shop and handed over $5 to pick up the month's block, but I didn't sew another STITCH.
That is, until December of that year. Midway through the month, I met with another first-time quilter, who was trying to figure out how she should place her blocks. Two other long-time quilters (one of whom was the quilter who started the whole mess) were also there, and I was struck again by the beauty of quilting. I wanted to be laying out my quilt squares and figuring out how they looked best! I didn't want quilting to beat me!
(It took me days to figure out why this block looked funny!)
I also decided at that point that I didn't really need to be a purist, and that I *could* use a machine to sew my squares together and even to quilt -- although I admit to preferring hand quilting. And I did it. I pieced and quilted the remaining 8 blocks, attached them, and then bound the thing in two weeks. Luckily for me, it was over the Christmas holiday, and I had a lot of time off!
I'm not a *great* quilter, by any means, but I do love the whole process -- from design to binding -- of quilting. And I absolutely love my first quilt, with all its [many] faults, dearly. In fact, it holds a place of honor on my bed (and I made a matching throw pillow from my favorite block to go with it). I cherish the lessons I learned from that quilt; not just about the mechanics of quilting, but in persevering, learning from my mistakes, and in finishing a job started.
And because it was my first.