Sunday, July 31, 2011

My first quilt project, and a more recent one..

Okay!  When did the quilting bug bite you.. or has it yet?

When did it bite me?  Hmm.  Hard question.  Your guess is as good as mine.  I think I've always been fascinated with patchwork, b/c I grew up around a lot of "sewers".  BUT, I don't think I was infected with the quilting virus at first bite.  I think I just became a latent carrier--who dabbled a little bit, but never developed a full blown case until after my son was born almost five years ago.  Prior to that, I had only made two quilts. 

The first quilt I ever made was about 10 years ago (maybe longer-I'm kind of in denial about how fast time flies). I had a bag of clothes that I didn't wear anymore.. of the late 80's-early 90's variety.. painfully, hideously out of style.  BUT, in their hey-day, I LOVED them.  So I saved them and finally one day decided to cut them up and make a quilt.  Not out of a love of quilting so much, but more out of a need to get rid of the bag of really old clothes that I kept hidden away.. That took up my closet space.  A girl needs her closet space!  I NEEDED to part with these clothes.  But the little corner of my brain that inherited the pack rat trait from my mother, just COULDN'T.  

(Side note about my mom:  She comes by the pack rat trait honestly.  From her parents.  Both avid yard-salers back in the day.. seriously, my grandpa never met a yard sale he didn't like.  Their garage looked like a junk shop/antique store sometimes.  Anyway, I digress.  I think I warned about that in a previous post. :)

So anyway, what's a girl to do?  COMPROMISE.  I found a way to keep the clothes, but turn them into something useful.  I "repurposed" them before "repurposing" was cool.  Or maybe it has always been cool.  Who knows.  It ended up being a zigzag quilt.  Not sure if that's the official term for it or not. I pieced the top, choosing a lightweight denim for the background and used some yardage that I had for the backing.  Polka dots.  LOVE polka dots.  LOVE.  As in drool.  The binding is the same as the backing.  It won't win any awards but it is warm and nostalgic, and that started my interest in quilting... :)

(btw: I'm new to blogger, and don't quite understand why my picture is sideways when I loaded it. Hmm.  Hints appreciated.)

My grandmother, and her mother and aunts had always hand quilted, so that's the only thing I knew. I took it to my grandmother's house, she and my mom stretched it out in a frame in the family room, and they did most of the hand quilting.  Although, I tried to chip in, even though I didn't know how.  One hand above, one hand below, and passing the needle back and forth through the quilt from hand to hand is not really the ideal way to hand quilt.  But, at the time, it's all I could do. My poor black and blue pin cushion fingers. However, I finally got the hang of it, and today I love to hand quilt.... when I have the time for it. It's very relaxing. My stitches aren't always even, or super small, but I'm just happy that I figured out how to do it the "right" way and there aren't little blood stains all over the fabric anymore!

Here is a teaser for a future post:  This is a project that I am hand quilting that I've had in the frame since last summer.  Boo on me. Just haven't been focused on it.  A few things going on, but hopefully I can return to it soon!  It's just hard to spend a lot of time sitting at the frame with a four year old running around the house.  It doesn't take too long, actually, it's just the sitting down and doing it part. I am freehand drawing the flowers on the semicircles.

I will blog about that one another time.  I LOVE it.  It has a history, and a story to tell that I wish I knew more of.

Ciao for now! :)


sunny said...

Welcome to blogland! I enjoy hearing the history of your quilts, and I'm looking forward to the next story. Blogger can be very persnickety about photos. In general, it seems that if I take a photo with a vertical allignment, it's best not to rotate it with your software, because blogger will rotate it again. But that's only true sometimes. Not sure about the other times. Sometimes you just can't win with blogger, and you must ask your readers to stand on their heads to see the photos. Good Luck!

wonderful quilt and so fabulous that it has a sweet story to go with it.

Jocelyn said...

I actually started quilting 25 years ago, when I took a quilting class at a craft store. But my Love for quilting really took off when my sister in law shared with me the Quilt in a Day method by Eleanor Burns. My quilting has been on and off through the years as I home schooled all three of my children. But my youngest graduated last year and I am finally able to devote a little more time to quilting. Glad to meet you and thanks so much for commenting on my blog :-)

Hey...I NEVER know why blogger does what it does!!

This is a great quilt...what a great idea to be able to savor some of those favorite garments a w-h-i-l-e

bunbear said...

been blogging for years and haven't figured out half of what or why blogger does some things! cool quilt pics. if you really want to get addicted to 'repurposing' start getting mens cotton shirts at the thrift shops to cut up. that's really addicting!

Janet O. said...

That is a great first quilt, Kelli!
I love that you "saved" some of your favorite clothes in it. And hand quilted, too. Wonderful!

Angela said...

I love your first quilt! I like how you set the fabrics off with the black. I cannot bear to throw out all my long linen dresses and am thinking of ways to repurpose them even now.

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