Sunday, November 27, 2011

My first quilt

I'm joining in with Bonnie's "my first quilt" event - although I should put a warning up that mine is at the severely bodgy end of the first quilt spectrum. None of this classes/kits/instructions/patterns nonsense for me!!! The sensitive should look away now ...

Let me set the scene. My first quilt was made in the summer of 1988/89. I was eighteen, and had just finished my first year away from home at university, in a hostel (dorm equivalent I think). I was back home for the summer to save money, work on my tan, and slowly destroy my soul for $4.60 an hour at Cherrywood Gifts and Video. I was also my missing my boyfriend, appalled by the narrow provincialism of my home town and disturbed by the eight kilos I'd put on after a year of cafeteria food. This all adds up to bored and needing a hobby.

The boyfriend was actually the reason I thought of doing a quilt - his mother made beautiful quilts, and I'd never seen anything like them before. They were lovely, traditional and hand quilted, in the calico and country style popular at the time. I thought - that's only squares and triangles! I can do that! - so just started into it with a pencil, a ruler, a pair of blunt scissors and a sewing machine.

It took absolutely forever, and nothing came out straight, and nothing ended up the same size, and the colour scheme was truly appalling!!! Such 80s pastels. After I finally put the top together I couldn't believe that I still had to do more work - the quilting - so I didn't. This little number is completely unquilted (so I suppose technically, not my first quilt at all).

Like most first-timers I found the fluffiest polyester batting in the shop and bound it by bringing the backing round to the front. I had no idea how to do corners, so just muddled it through. It is so difficult to imagine how we did anything without the internet! Every technique or tip that you can think of is reachable in 0.27 seconds of google time.

This quilt has not really been used - it's too small for a bed. A fair number of the seams have split, and I think with any real use it would fall to bits completely. But I've kept it, all these years ...


  1. i think your first quilt was quite an accomplishment! you definitely tried some difficult things for a novice quilter!

    wasn't online much the last couple days so i didn't know you had surgery again. sure hope you are feeling okay an that the area is healing properly. God bless!

  2. Did the boyfriends mother ever see it? It's amazing all the help you can get on the internet now, so much easier.

  3. Soooo funny. That's exactly hoe I did the binding on my first quilt, although looks like you did a better job there than I did!

  4. So hilarious, we all start somewhere. I made my first one, straight out of Uni, a hobby to fill in time with 2 degrees on the wall, a baby in my belly & so morning sick i couldn't work, also in a new city, 4500km from home. The things you do for your husband!! So at 23 i taught myself to sew & bought a Janome (still have her, i defend her furiously, even though i've had 5 machines since) & copied a design from a quilt magazine. I used my maths & spatial abilities & did really well, quilted by hand & da dah, a quilt. Then i looked at the one in the magazine again, i had made mine about 5 times the size. I thought mine was detailed, a version 1/5th the size would have been blinding to create. That was 13 years ago now & we still have it, it's been washed to death & works it way around all the children, their toys & has moved into 6 houses since!! Love Posie

  5. Lynley can you send me a link to Bonnie's blog, i think i might just be brave enough to join in with this My First Quilt game, thanks, love Posie