Me & My Stitches

Me & My Stitches
Click on the picture to go to my website. These are 1' x 1 1/2" pendants.

Monday, November 28, 2011

My first quilt

For those of you who read Bonnie Hunter's blog, you know that she always has lots going on - one thing right now is for people to share their very first quilts with the world.  I have to give you a little background first so you can appreciate this quilt a little more.  My husband and I had been married only a year or so when he asked me if I wanted a sewing machine for Christmas.  My response was..."no".  Well, knowing how he is, I knew that I would be getting a sewing machine.  I had no interest whatsoever.  The only sewing I had done was while I was in 4-H and that was under the very direct supervision of my mother, who is an amazing seamstress.  I just never had the desire to sew at all.  Christmas morning came and sure enough...there was a Brother sewing machine that he had bought at Wal-Mart.  Surprise, surprise!  He messed around with it and made socks for the dog (now that was funny!) and some hood/scarf things that were actually kinda cool.  I didn't touch it.  That machine sat in the closet for a couple of years.  One day at church a couple of the ladies asked me to come to their monthly quilting get together.  I told them that I had no idea how to quilt, sew, or even use the machine that I had.  They kept hounding me and promised to teach me how to use my machine and everything else that I would need to know.  Well, for whatever reason (I really don't know why), I decided to go.  I remember that they were doing a couple different things.  One was a block of the month, which I failed miserably.  I remember finishing one block and it had a big hole in it.  I was quite frustrated!  They also were working on a log cabin quilt - actually I think they had just finished it, but someone must have decided that it would be a good thing for me to try.  It never occurred to me to make it small - they gave me the pattern and I went to Wal-Mart and bought the fabric.  Thankfully there was a very sweet, older lady who helped me pick everything out.  I actually did make the quilt - and we used it on our bed for a long time.  It is in the barn raising layout - which is still my favorite log cabin layout.  And, the log cabin block is still one of my very favorite blocks.  The quilt ended up being 90" x 93" - holy cow!!  Here is a picture of a picture - not the best, but it gives you the idea.
I only went to the church group quilting a couple of times because I was working full-time, attending college classes at night, raising 2 kids, coaching softball, etc.  I did manage to finish that quilt somehow and had it machine quilted by LaDonna Cole - she did an all-over heart pattern on it.  I remember sewing those blocks together and pulling and stretching them to make the rows fit together.  I had no idea that you shouldn't have to do that!  After this big quilt I did make several baby quilts, then found some quilting friends, and learned lots along the way!  And, what's really ironic?  I have not been to the quilting get togethers at church since I started this quilt in 1999.  But guess what?  Tomorrow, I am going back!  They now get together every Tuesday during the day, and yesterday I was talking to one of the girls and she invited me to come. I decided that I'm going to do it!  At home, I never get anything finished except jewelry, so I've decided to go and work on other projects that need to be finished.  First up are some Christmas gifts!  I'm sure that I have way too many things packed to work on, but a girl can dream, right?

It's so funny to think back on how I got started quilting.  I have often wondered what I would be doing today if my husband had actually listened to me when I said that I did not want a sewing machine for Christmas!  Probably still working a job that I had come to hate and be full of stress.  Funny how things work out, isn't it? This year for Thanksgiving, not only am I thankful for friends and family and a great life, I also give thanks to my husband for NOT listening (lol), and to the ladies at church who twisted my arm into sewing with them, and to Bonnie Hunter for inviting us all to share our first quilts. 
Funny how things work out, isn't it?

15 comments:

  1. How interesting that you've come full circle... and all because of Bonnie and her "post your first quilt" thing!

    Love your log cabin quilt... it's gorgeous!

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  2. Great story, Julie! Your quilt is gorgeous - I would have never attempted that with my first quilt! Hooray for you! You have definitely come a long way and I just know you'll enjoy going back to the guild meeting!
    Cheers!

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  3. Thanks for being inspired to share the story of your quilt, Julie. :) I haven't had my first one quilted yet. Not sure if I need more of a boarder yet. Since entering a quilting skills challenge recently, I laugh at what I went through to make those seams line up in my first quilt. And I am a little proud of what I accomplished with absolutely no idea of how to sew blocks! LOL

    I think it is wonderful that you are going back to the church to quilt. I look forward to seeing all the work you will get finished! Makes me wish that our local church would do something like that. But like you, it is so hard to find the time for everything! I know you are going to have loads of fun!! :)

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  4. Loved reading this story Julie ~I'll toot my horn when I go by you ladies quilting at the church in the morning!! I always enjoy imagining all the beautiful projects going on there every Tuesday when I go by! ~I hear the food you all bring & share is really good too! :)

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  5. Great story and a lovely quilt. Have a great time tomorrow.

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  6. Oh. My. Goodness. That is a great first quilt. Sometimes it is a good thing we don't know what we are getting ourselves into. Log Cabin was one of my mother's early quilts, before rotary cutters! I remember watching her cut all of those strips with scissors and cardboard templates. I vowed I'd never be a quilter!
    Have fun at your church quilting group. I think they are a great idea--less structured than a guild. Our group disbanded almost three years ago when the woman who was the "wind beneath our wings" had her umpteenth surgery and has never quite regained her strength. I have really missed it.

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  7. What an ambitious first quilt! I am impressed:)

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  8. What a great story, Julie! I wish I had taken a picture of my first quilt. It went to some high school boyfriend. I haven't seen the boyfriend or the quilt since, 35 years ago! Sometimes it's good the hubby's don't listen!!

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  9. Awesome story and what a gorgeous quilt!!! I can't believe it was your first quilt. You were a born quilter!!

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  10. What an amazing story....I guess I just always think that "people like you" are "born to it" - and never contemplate that you "started" somewhere too. It's refreshing to hear that you had to stretch and pull to get things to line up - makes me believe there might be hope for folks like me! Beautiful quilt too....Enjoy your quilt group - how fun to go back (as a celebrity!!) ;o) Hope your week is off to a great start! Smiles & Hugs ~ Robin

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  11. Wow. What a story!! Huge quilt too!

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  12. Wow, what a great first quilt and a lovely story, too.

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  13. That is one big quilt for a first quilt!! Nice job.

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  14. Welcome to the crazy crew of quilting. This was my before I am 40 desire.
    Now I sew more than anything else.
    Remember for awhile keep the projects small, that way you will achieve the projects and learn as each project is completed.
    Go slow then you will learn the process and your finished project will lay out/down nicely.
    Best of quilt luck to you...Karencg

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