Sunday, March 23, 2014

My first Quilt (that wasn't an EB rip and stitch)

I started making things in my teens. I am thankful to my Home Economics sewing class in junior high for giving me a love of sewing and my mom (who didn't sew) for buying me a 1963 Singer portable (which I still use regularly) for encouraging my sewing adventure.  I made most of my clothes in high school and most of the Christmas and birthday presents that I gave.  I remember the first outfit I made in home economics because we had to wear it in a fashion show.  It was well made but the material was big bright flowers which I am glad I don't have a picture of today-the visual memory is bad enough.

Old Faithful-made in England-I love this machine

When I married at 21, I went on to make a lot of my husband's shirts (in calico of course because it was the 70's).  I also started to make applique pillows.  They were my own design and were really "art" pillows.  I also designed a wall hanging done in my rather funky style and gave it as a wedding gift. In the late 70's I took an Eleanor Burns "Quilt in a Day" class and made hand tied quilts for everyone in my family and me too.  I recently saw my son's quilt when I helped him move last year.  We used a lot of sheets for backings at the time-I have not saved any of those treasures (and neither did anyone else except my son and I don't think he saved it on purpose) but I do still have the first pieced quilt I made:

Faded and wear weary but still special to me
Hand quilted hearts

Appliqued hearts
It was made in the late 80's in my first "template" quilt class-I just came across my notes and cardboard templates I used and the name of the teacher (Ann Albertson) who happens to be a fellow guild member all these years later.  I also made another one in that class; an alternating snowball and 9 patch in calicos of course.  I had hand quilted it and was about one quarter finished when I put it away. I spent a couple of nights removing the lovely muslin backing and the polyester batting.  I will practice my quilting skills on that one.  Unfortunately I have packed it so I can't show it. 

I went to college about then and didn't fit quilting in again for almost 20 years.  Two years before I retired from a career in education, I took a class at our high school and made my first granddaughter a pink flannel baby quilt in the Irish Chain pattern and have been quilting ever since.  My favorite quilt so far is this one:

Middle of quilt pattern by Janice Ellertson

I loved the challenge of making this quilt and changing the materials and pattern to make it my own..  I had to completely dismantle the checked border (that I designed) to make it hang right.

I can't wait to see where my quilting journey will take me.  I feel as if I have just begun this experiment in fabric and only wish I were 30 years younger so that the ride would last longer-however, that could be dangerous:)  Quilting has become such a part of my life, I know I could never put it down again-it would be like losing an old friend.

I wrote this story because I love to read stories and I subscribe to Quilting Arts magazine and they are running a contest-you can check it out Here.  if I were fortunate enough to win the contest, I would want the Quilting Arts TV Series Premium Collection Download.


magnoliasntea said...

Loved reading your quilting story, Elaine, and seeing the hand pieced quilt. No telling where your quilting journey will take you. :)

Joyce said...

Elaine, your sewing machine brings back memories. My mother's, which I think was brown, was in a cabinet. I don't think I used it much. She was a wonderful seamstress. I remember the box more than the machine - ha! I'm amazed you still use it.

Fun to see where you started and where you are now. Quite a legacy! So much history in those stitches. Thanks for sharing.

Patty said...

I enjoyed your story so much. Your journey reminds me of mine. My grandmother sewed and knitted but my mother did neither. However we had a Singer in a cabinet, and in junior high school I took my first sewing class at the local Singer store. I made a horrid yellow dress that I never wore, but it taught me enough that I was off sewing everything I could. My parents paid for all my fabric purchases but store bought clothes had to come from my allowance, so I sewed everything I could imagine, made a lot of mistakes and learned a lot. I got into quilting many years later when a patient (I'm a retired dentist) came in wearing a beautiful jumper with an intricately pieced square on the bodice. My assistant and I raved so much about it that she volunteered to teach us to quilt. I have to agree with you. I love quilting and wouldn't want to give it up.

becky said...

What a lovely story! But amazing how styles change over the years and your work it breathtaking! It isn't just a quilt, that is art.