Friday, October 29, 2010

blogger's quilt festival . . .


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!)

It was a block of the month, quilt-as-you-go quilt, where you had to show your pieced block from the month prior, to get the new block (without having to pay a fee). A woman at church had been doing the year prior's BOM and got a lot of us gals enthusiastic about quilting. She let us know when it was time to sign up for the 2006 BOM and I dutifully headed to the shop for my kit and whatever supplies I needed (which was *everything*).

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!

So, after a trip to the quilt store, I went home and determined that I would not only FINISH this block of the month quilt, I'd finish it by January 2nd, and be able to claim the $5 off coupon the store handed out to anyone who finished the prior year's BOM by January 2nd!

(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.

:)

10 noted . . .:

badlandsquilts said...

What a very nice quilt to start with!

Linda said...

This is a very pretty quilt! You did a great job!

CHRIS said...

Hi Denise Thanks for taking a look at my quilt. You sure have a great quilt for your first. My first remains still part quilted. Happy Stitching chrisb

AnnieO said...

Terrific recounting of a first quilt! Glad you perservered and became a quilter with this quilt. Each one teaches you something new, so I have learned. Thanks for sharing your quilt's story :)

Liz in Ypsilanti said...

I LOVE this story. You set a challenge and stuck to it. Good for you! The quilt is pretty, too.

Cecily said...

It's beautiful - love it! And your leaf table topper is awesome too!

quilthexle said...

First quilts are so special - thanks for sharing it! I'm a bit impressed you finished it so fast ;-))

Michele Pacey said...

Such a pretty first quilt and a great story of perseverance! Good for you, so glad you didn't let quilting beat you! Ha ha!

Mary said...

Way to go for the Goal, My first real quilt was a sampler too back in 1994 at the Hancock Fabrics Block of the Month. I finished mine for a show and tell the next January. I did the $5 Saturday BOM there too. Those blocks are still in a box.

Carol said...

Great way to learn how to quilt and overcome challenges.