I promised photos...
This is the first thing I ever quilted. I don't know how I knew to stack the front, back and batting so that I could sew them all together and turn it right side out, and I don't know where I would have gotten the batting. Maybe this was a kit. Anyway, I hand quilted along all the major lines and added some jingle bells and it's hung on the inside of our front door every holiday since.
This was my first quilt. It's supposed to be log cabin blocks, but I lost the instructions and wouldn't let that stop me. I knew I needed to alternate the light and dark strips, but I couldn't remember the order, and the lights aren't really light anyway. Everything was medium or dark in these days because I loved the color saturation. All the prints are little 90's florals. It's hand quilted in the ditch, except for the border, which is a grid and there are little ovals in the sashing that I thought I was so clever to have thought of. Alex Anderson's Simply Quilts was my first and best teacher.
This is my second quilt. It's the first one that Rob and I made together and probably the only one I've credited him on. He's really good with color and we picked the colors for the blocks and he ironed while I sewed. Hand quilted again. The block pattern is Old Maid's puzzle. I love the secondary pattern it creates.
Compare that hand quilting to this hand quilting from many years later. Practice is the best teacher. The plates in this quilt were bought in an antique store, but the only pretty one was the one on the outside. I wasn't smart enough to look at the rest. When I got them home, I took them apart, re-grouped the fabrics into more pleasing combinations and put them back together again. Everything in this quilt is done by hand; the piecing, appliqué, assembly, quilting and binding. And, the name is Every Stitch by Hand. It won a ribbon for hand quilting. It's currently laid out in the spare room floor, blocked and drying. I don't know that it had ever been washed and the blue ink I marked it with was showing up. I think I was afraid the fabrics were too fragile for the washing machine, but I was wrong.
This was another early quilt. Also hand quilted but by this time, I'd ventured out of the ditch and was quilting on the diagonal...ooh, so bold... I'm probably going to make this quilt again, but in half size. This is a huge queen sized quilt, big enough for a bedspread, and we don't really need many more big quilts.
Another early quilt. By this time, I had a mentor and she'd loaned me part of her stash to cut a quilt from. I cut a second quilt from it, too and made two of these Card Trick quilts. I should have kept the one made from her stash and given the one made from mine, but I didn't. I gave her the one from her stash, because I thought it was prettier, but it doesn't matter. This has always been a favorite. This is early, simple machine quilting, before I could make a feather.
After all that difficult piecing, I found Eleanor Burns. Eleanor took hard patterns and made them simple.
Sometimes, quilts look better from the back. At this point, I'm feathering everything and learning about small background fillers. This was just supposed to be practice, four different feather patterns. Looking at my quilts, I could see why I'm tired of feathers...but they're so dang perfect for quilting!
Okay, I could go on and on, but at some point, this post gets too big to open, so I'll share more later and a post for the vintage quilts I inherited or bought. Those quilts teach lessons about color and design when fabric wasn't abundant. I took pictures of 65 quilts on Saturday. And as I sort through them, I'm realizing I didn't get them all. But today, it's all about shirts.
Everybody have a great week! Sew, knit, crochet, garden, find something that makes you happy and spend time practicing it. Most of all, have fun with it. You can always pick it out later and do it again. Lord knows I did plenty of that between the first picture and the last.
What a fun post! I love seeing your fist quilt. And the old maid's puzzle! Could it be that you blogged about the Dresden plate as you took the pieces apart and rematches them? Because that all felt familiar, though from long ago. What wonderful work you do! Thanks for sharing.
What a great trip down memory lane, Lane! I really enjoyed seeing how your hand quilting journey moved along. I’m still grappling with making a start on hand quilting. I’ve watched vids, tutorials and YouTube. Read blogs. Tried the hoop - can’t stand it; tried the quilting frame - can’t handle that either; a blogger I follow just lays the whole quilt out on a big table and uses the table top to drive the needle down and up to create her stitches moving from right to left, starting at the centre and working to the sides. I’ll be trying that next.
I love seeing your earlier quilts and a bit of history or what inspired you. Thanks for sharing. Mary
Thank you for sharing. I enjoyed the history.
Alex Anderson hooked me on quilting and I’m enjoying her on YouTube. She recently announced she has breast cancer! She’s not shy about her journey.
Reading about your yellow quilt as you were working on it was SUCH a pleasure. It's a treat to see it again. And the last feathered quilt, particularly the back, looks so elegant.
You may be tired of quilting feathers, but they are indeed beautiful.
Seeing your timeline of quilts feels like a gift - a hit of creative color on a gray January day. Thank you. :)
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