Saturday, December 3, 2011

My 2nd First Quilt

The quilt I made when I was 10 years old is being featured today at Gen X Quilters.  Writing up it's story made me think about the first quilt that I started as an adult and I want to share it's story with you today.

When my oldest was 1 year old, I had just graduated from college, my husband was in graduate school and we were living in the on campus student housing.  It was the greatest place for a young stay at home mom.  I had seen Vanessa, one of the "older moms" (she had a three year old - I know, ancient), around and quite honestly thought she looked kind of mean and grouchy, but it was Vanessa, sweet, wonderful Vanessa, who introduced me to quilting.  It turns out her new baby would only sleep if she held him, so she had spent the first 4 months of his life sleeping on the recliner in the living room - more than enough reason to look frazzled and grumpy in my book.

But he was now sleeping in a crib and she talked a group of us into joining a Block of the Month club at Quilts Etc. in Sandy, UT. We paid $5 for the first block and if we brought the completed block back the next month, we would get the fabric and pattern for the next month's block free.  Sweet!  Perfect for starving students.  The owner of the shop walked us through the basic steps in making the blocks, showed us new products in the store and then we would have a show and tell.  For each quilty item you brought in to show, you would get a ticket and then they would draw tickets for prizes.  Oh, how we cherished each fat quarter or pattern we won.  :)

I finished at least two baby quilts that year, and each month I would make one or two extra blocks.  We moved before the end of the year long club, but it was a wonderful experience.  I became great friends with all of the other girls in the group.  We would swap cutting mats, rulers and rotary cutters, share scraps and piecing advice and make the 40 minute drive to the quilt store each month together -- on top of all of the regular letting the kids play outside together.


A year after we moved I finally put the top together.  I was terrified of the sashing and posts between the blocks.  I was convinced that they would not line up, but it came together wonderfully well.  That was 8 years ago...8 looong years it has sat in a tote waiting to be finished.  Why?  I can't figure out what to do with the border, not to mention I had no idea how I would quilt the thing even if I did finish it.

 I started this on point square thing, but then decided that I didn't like how it looked, plus I was worried the squares wouldn't come out even at the corners of the quilt.  Then I decided that it really needed some floral applique around the edges to soften it up.  Then I decided that applique was too much work.  Now, after pulling it out, I don't think that the diamonds look bad, and I will take care of them not lining up by adding some applique in the corners.  Problem solved.

And quilting?  I am now a long arm pro (snort) so that shouldn't be a problem.  You know how they tell you to trim the threads on the back before you quilt something?  I had always thought that was odd because I pretty much trim as I go - but not on this quilt.  You can't see it well in this picture, but it is a crazy stringy mess - I don't know what I was thinking.

I have come so far in my quilting skills and there is still so much to learn.  It might sound corny, but quilting really has been a blessing in my life.  I am grateful that the Lord put those women in my life at that time.  It meant more than I can say.


  1. It's not corny at all. I feel the same way. My first quilt was 4 years ago, so you've got a couple years on me, but I also love to look back and see the progress and blessings that have come from it.

  2. I loved knowing that was inspired by Laura Ingalls I also was charmed with all the stories of her childhood and the simple miracles of life. Here where I live in Brazil, there is this culture of the quilt, only now beginning to emerge, it amazes me! Thank you for your beautiful story quilts Leila, you are always great.

  3. It was great reading about you here and on Gen X quilters. I am a Grandma and still am a Little House geek....know every episode by heart and have read all of the books including Caroline's set and Almanzo's set of books. I have taught my granddaughter to quilt and I am so proud of her. She started on my lap at age 7 and now at 11 she attempts things on her own. Enjoy the process....I sure do!

  4. What a great story and I really like the quilt too. Great job you did all those years ago. Bet it will be nice to finally finish it up!

  5. I like it! Such a great story. I love all the memories that are in quilts.

  6. You know God created quilting so we would connect with other women. :0).
    Like you, I have met some of the most outstanding ladies through my quilting, in person and in blogland.

    I look forward to seeing this quilt finished. Then you can tell that story to everyone that sees it in your home.

    Happy sewing and Merry Christmas,
    I wish you continued success :0)