Sunday, April 12, 2015

How many first quilts can you actually have?

Today I was looking back through pictures of quilts I have made and I was reminded of a blog post by Pat Sloan about her first first quilt.  If you have never read this, take the time to check it out.  So I started trying to remember what was my first quilt?  More importantly what qualifies something the honor of being your first quilt?

I guess you could say my first quilt was a Turning Twenty.  At that time I had never even considered quilting as a hobby.  I was a dedicated cross stitch-er.  I had completed a series of 10 cross stitch pieces called Wedding Herbs and wanted someone to turn them into a quilt for me.
I wandered into the local quilt shop to ask the lady who owned it if she could help me or at least give me direction.  Somehow I managed to let her talk me into trying quilting with the goal of making them into a quilt myself.  Over the next few days I spent a few hours at the shop in the evening learning how to use a rotary cutter and how to piece and press my pieces together.  The result was a scrappy looking quilt top in red, greens and golds.  She sent it away to a long arm quilter and a few weeks later I was the happy owner of a quilted quilt that I had picked the fabric for and pieced myself.
 Here is the kicker, to this day the quilt is in a Rubbermaid storage bin unfinished.  I have yet to sew the binding on it and it's been at least ten years.  (The cross stitches are stored away somewhere as well)  So if the quilt is unfinished can I really call it my first quilt?

So my next choice for first quilt would have to be the second quilt I pieced.  I decided to make a small wall hanging for one of my best friends.  She lived in an authentic log cabin and LOVED the color red.  So I gave the good ol' Rail Fence a try.  I remember making a ton more blocks than what I needed  so that I could sort through them and pick out the ones with the straightest seam lines (you do what you got to do).  Again I shipped that baby off to a long arm quilter and waited for it's return.  When she came back I headed back to the quilt shop to try to figure out how to put a binding on.  After some instruction I could finally call this quilt finished.  She was wrapped up, put under the tree and delivered right before Christmas.  She also came
with the instructions that should the binding come off just let me know...I'll fix it.  I really felt like I had no idea what I was doing.  But I ask again is it my first quilt?  It's my first completed quilt but I didn't quilt it.  At that point I didn't ever see myself actually quilting a quilt.  I was in love with fabric and piecing.  

The next candidate for first quilt is an even smaller wall hanging I made for my daughter.  It was a pattern I found on Moda Bake Shop with some easy applique so I gave it a try.  
For my first time it's not that bad.  There is not a whole lot going on with the stitching just some simple meandering/stippling for the quilting.  From a distance the texture looks great.  If it was actually being judged for technique, its a hot mess.  It looks like it was stitched by a drunk person with the lines of stitching crossing and many not so round turns.  But it was made with lots of love and it is a completed quilt, pieced and quilted by yours truly.  So does that qualify it as my first quilt?

Maybe the answer is that we can have many firsts.  Or maybe the answer is that it doesn't matter which one is considered first as long as you love them all for what they are.

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