Sunday, December 16, 2012

my very first quilt-the story...

I was over at Alice's weeks  months ago and noticed all the quilts were strewn about in use as forts, .including her daddy's baby quilt.  I picked it up and noticed the edges were fraying out.  I decided to bring it home and repair it.  Alice's mom is a wonderful hand sewist...but I felt this was a big job and needed my machine skills in addition to my quilting knowledge/fabric stash.

I just completed a secret challenge project and while I wait to hear back about it, I am tackling my mending stack, with this quilt repair being top priority.

I had pulled and made binding for it a while back-all I had to do was press it, and sew it on..but , as you can see...I had made this quilt with a knife edge..and turned the top over double and stitched it down.

After studying the edges, I decided to trim them off -not trying to square it but just to make sure I had intact fabric as some of the fraying was beyond the normal binding width I favor and would not cover the damage.  Also,  my intent is not to remake it, just to repair the edges so it can continue to be used and loved.
After I trimmed the edges and was putting it on the sewing table to start putting on the binding..I went into my usual process of deciding where I want the label to be and it finally dawned on me ...this was actually the first quilt I ever made!

 I made this quilt when my first son was about a year old-we were living in southern Oregon and winter was coming on bitter cold.  The only fabric store available was JC Penneys and I picked fabric (including pre-quilted fabric because the blue birds were so cute for the backing , plus batting so it would be really warm) out to turn the decorated blocks a co-worker had given me into a quilt.
I had no clue about quilting - nor knew anyone who quilted but...I had sewing garment experience and a strong desire to make a quilt and this is what I came up with.  It was bright, cheerful, and warm...I made it with all that first baby mom love energy and here it is...still being used and loved. I never felt it was a "real" quilt as it was not hand quilted. It was 1976 when I made this "quilt"  and today I realize...yes..this quilt needs a document not only it being my first quilt but the wonderful story that inspired it.

And..yes, it actually does qualify as being a "real" quilt...I know that now too.


At 10:49 PM, Blogger Silverthimble said...

I love this story, Cher! It is wonderful that your first quilt is still being loved--even if it is the essential ingredient in a fort. I say that is the measure of a successful quilter--a quilt that is still being loved and used after all these years. Well done!

At 5:21 AM, Blogger CheleLew said...

What a wonderful story about your first quilt. It's fun to look at our first quilts and to remember why we made it, etc. Again, thank you for sharing your story. A family treasure - both the quilt and the story behind it for your son, daughter in law and granddaughter. Merry Christmas!

At 6:59 PM, Blogger Linda C said...

What a wonderful story! Apparently it still has a lot of love left in it that Alice can play with her daddy's quilt.

Of course it is a real quilt. Only the snobby quilt police would say it wasn't one. You did the best you could with what you had and it has stood the test of time fairly well.

Hooray for that!

At 10:30 AM, Blogger Michele Bilyeu said...

Cher, this is the kind of story that runs deep in all of us who quilt from the heart. You started pretty much the way that I did. We just did it, and got better at it as we went along. Now, you are a wonderful quilter, but to me..this little quilt is extra dear just because of the lovely first time mom super love that you put into. How dear that Alice has that and her own g'ma love, from it, now as well! All reborn from her daddy's love and now her own! That is the real 'herstory' in a quilt!!!


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