My First Quilt
We all start somewhere right?
Now this is a story all about how
My life got flipped-turned upside down
And I’d like to take a minute
Just sit right there
I’ll tell you how I became the prince of a town called Bel-Air…
Wait let me start again.
While pregnant with my first child in late 2000 early 2001 I got the idea that every new baby deserves a handmade quilt and bedding in their nursery. I had never quilted before and it seemed perfectly logical to teach myself a brand new skill while working 50 hours a week and nesting. I had been sewing since I was very young but other than the occasional flannel yarn tied quilt I had never quilted before. Somehow I decided on a pattern from a library book or magazine since the internet was still very new. Yes I am THAT old. I got to work selecting fabric and cutting tiny squares. If I remember correctly I didn’t even have a rotary cutter just yet. As you can see from the photos I went all in. No baby steps here!
Each one of those squares was cut out and sewn individually. No strip or chain piecing here. Remember I was teaching myself how to do this and was using old books from the library or magazines they had archived. No worries I had a plan…
Like all good plans do, this one fell apart. My daughter made her debut several weeks early and of course her 100% handmade nursery was not complete (insert sad emoji here). After I recovered from an emergency C-section and figured out how to shower and get dressed while soothing a very vocal 4lb little one I got back to work. In VERY short spurts mind you. 4lb babies need to eat ALL THE TIME. I finished up the quilt and made bumper pads, curtains, 5 or 6 sheets, a dust ruffle, diaper stacker, wall organizer and a bunch of other unnecessary “stuff”. Considering this was my first foray into quilting I was pretty proud of myself.
Why am I telling you all of this? Well friends, because we all start somewhere. There are a lot of “famous” quilters out there who make it look like they just wave their magic wands and stunning, intricately pieced quilts appear out of thin air. I’m a truth teller and my truth is that is not how it works for me. This lovely little faded beauty took me months of work and hours and hours of planning. I was sewing on a machine I inherited from my Grandmother that gave me nothing but problems. I did not have fancy tools or even modern piecing techniques but I was determined to make something beautiful. During the process my seam ripper and I became quite close. Something clicked with me during the process and I was hooked.
Fast forward to the modern era of quilting and I’m still at it. I would like to think my quilts look better and take less time but not always. Now I use a better sewing machine, although it’s more than a decade old and most certainly not the top of the line. I have rotary cutters and fancy rulers and the internet. Game changer!! I am blessed with the opportunity to make custom heirloom memory quilts through my Etsy Shop and I try to sew for my family and friends whenever I get the chance. The point of all of this warm fuzziness is just to say start! Our first attempt at something new is rarely perfect but most definitely a learning experience. I could insert a cheesy quote about the journey of a thousand miles here but you get the idea.
When I pulled out my daughter’s baby quilt to photograph it she grabbed it and took a big sniff. We’re smellers in our family. What that translates to is she still loves it. It’s soft and worn and very well loved. As any quilt should be!! The recipient of your first quilt will love it, and maybe even sniff it too.
In case you’d like to see some of my favorite quilt and pattern designers first quilts you can check them out below.
I’d love to hear about your first experience quilting! I’m proud of my first quilt and so happy my
daughter still loves it.