Monday, September 9, 2013

My First Quilt

When I was in the 8th grade we were assigned to write a journal as a character on the Oregon Trail. I was also part of a mentoring program at the time, and my mentor happened to be a quilter. She and I made a small quilt to cover the composition book that I was using for the journal. I still fondly remember sitting in the dining room of her 1940’s era home, carefully guiding pieces of fabric through the sewing machine. I remember my mentor’s sewing room with a sewing table in front of a wall of windows looking out on their beautiful backyard, the opposite wall held a shelving unit with bins and bins of fabric. I remember wondering at the time why she had all of that fabric. With her careful guidance and instruction, quilting soon became a great love for me.

The quilt we made that day was a log cabin pattern in finished two inch squares. I didn’t know at the time how insanely small those blocks are for the amount of work that goes into them. When I endeavored to make my own quilts, they were much simpler and my amount of knowledge still relatively small. And now, nearly eighteen years later, I have made a wide variety of quilts (finishing at least three a year) and have my own closet full of fabric and oddly enough still consider myself a beginner when it comes to quilting. There are so many patterns that I fear to attempt because I don’t think that my skill level is on par with it. I still look for “Quick and Easy” patterns. I tell myself it’s because I don’t want to spend too much time on one project before it’s finished, but I think in reality it’s more because I don’t want to disappoint myself if I’m unable to complete it.

So, I’m starting this blog as a way to grow as a quilter, as a way for me to be accountable to someone other than myself for growing and evolving. I want to stretch my patchwork wings. I want to use this blog as a way to connect with other quilters, and learn that it’s okay to mess up and that it’s all part of learning and growing.


My Dad was kind enough to send me this picture of my first quilt which now resides as a throw pillow on their bed. He also corrected that each of the log cabin squares is 3” finished. I honestly shrink back in horror at this quilt, but I remind myself that a first try is never perfect.

1 comment:

  1. Aren't our first sewing memories fun to think back on? Mine was almost 60 years ago, learning to hem cup towels on the sewing machine. Now more than 60 years later, I am so thankful my mom taught me how to sew. I have enjoyed it tremendously and have used this skill in so many ways. I'm teaching each of my 5 grandchildren how to use a sewing machine and the 3 oldest (10, 8, and 6) have already made their first quilt. And they started sewing with me at about age 3.