I love an opportunity to reminisce. I think there is much that can be gained by looking back on a journey and picking out the good bits! Of course, it's always good to look at the not-so-good things to ensure that we have progressed and learned from those too!
When Alyce extended a general invitation to be a guest blogger about the first quilt I made I thought "Why not?". Everyone needs a bit of a chuckle each day. And I know that I am a much better quilter now then when I first began, so it's a win-win! I began thinking back to the very beginning of my quilting journey and then got stuck. I'm not really very old (I have a 3 year old so I can't be very old!), but I struggled to remember exactly which was my first quilt. Perhaps it's because even at the very beginning I had a few on the go. Even though I had to borrow my mum's sewing machine. And I was newly married - to a student - so there was barely enough money for living expenses, never mind such luxuries as fabric.
After teasing out some of my memories I have decided that this quilt is probably my first quilt. I made this...unique item back in the late 1990's.
A friend who was much older than me had moved to South Australia a few years prior and discovered the Sheridan factory. At the time, Sheridan sold their fabric offcuts by the kilo. They mostly comprised of squares that were cut out of each corner of a flat sheet before it was sewn into a fitted sheet. I heard so much about this fabulous boon of fabric that I began asking my friend lots of questions about what she was going to do with the fabric. Thus began my interest in quilting. I couldn't wait for my friend to visit with a bag full of Sheridan sheet offcuts, so I did the next best thing to source fabric. I went to Mum's house.
I had no idea what I was doing when I made this quilt. The applique is not reinforced (and I tried to machine stitch around each of the pieces!), the quilting consists of some straight lines across the quilt at various intervals and the binding is the widest binding I have ever seen (but at least it is pieced!). The backing is a queen sized sheet and all the fabrics used are a mix of cotton and poly cotton.
I love it! This wrinkled up creation (it's big so is very difficult for the children to fold up and tends to get scrunched up instead!) has been used in countless cubby houses and hosted more tea parties and picnics - both indoors and outdoors - then I can remember. I smile when I look at it. Not because it is crudely made, or the fabrics are typical of their time, but because it has been a part of so many wonderful family memories.
So, after all of my chatter, I should say that my 9 year old daughter keeps telling me that this isn't actually a quilt. It doesn't have any batting. Just in case it doesn't qualify as a quilt, then this quilt would move up into first place.
|Rabbits with Ears|
It is slightly better - it has batting! But it is not put together very well! See those puckers and wrinkles? That's what happens when you don't baste your layers together properly (or at all!). The background of the rabbits is calico and all the pieces were cut with scissors (it wouldn't be years until I got a rotary cutting and mat!). Some of the fabrics used in this quilt were also used in the non-batting quilt (my goal for this year - use what you have. Except I'll use what I have, not what my mother has. Because I think I cleaned out her stash years ago!).
When I stitched the face I used the only perle cotton that was at Mum's (must ask her if she'd like me to replace it!) - a pale blue. Not very attractive and too thick, but at the time I thought that it was better than no face at all!
I love the backing fabric - watermelon pips! Both of these quilts are dear to me. I learned so much after I had made them. I am so grateful for the wealth of wisdom, help and creativity that is available so easily via the internet. People sharing their ideas and knowledge is so invigorating!
Come and visit me sometime and share some of your tips and ideas with me! Jeneta x
If you would like to share your first quilt, see this post for more details! A reminder that 100% of all sales from my Tea For Two pattern in February will be donated to my sister and her husband. It is only fitting, given the cover quilt was to be Ariella's.