April 20, 2009

In Honor of the First Online Quilt Festival...

I'm revisiting my first quilting adventure due to the first ever online quilt festival, hosted by Park City Girl (which is a fabulous idea, btw!).

My dad's sister started quilting about a decade ago (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong!) and her creations are breathtaking. Filled with vibrant colors, innumerable swirls and pinwheels and colors for every season, she has handquilted (almost) all of her quilts and is just now learning how to machine quilt, which, I might add, she is equally talented at. I've always loved looking at her quilts and visiting quilts shops with her.



With this inspiration under my belt, I decided in late high school that I too would make a quilt. Starting with a huge pile of scraps from my mom's fabric bag, I measured & cut 5"x5" blocks with a paper pattern (which led to a few 4.5" blocks as well as other wonky shapes & sizes). I then laid out all the blocks on my parent's living room floor, which was quickly covered... and then proceeded to arrange them... and rearrange them... and arrange them yet again, until I was told that the living room floor must be returned to normal. Needless to say, it was a sad day. ;)



The stacks of blocks sat for quite some time after that, until during a Christmas break two years later I decided it had to be either a) finished or b) ditched. I came up with a pattern I liked... found the perfect backing (a "flower power" sheet that my mom no longer wanted or needed)... and figured out the best alternative to quilting (sewing vintage buttons on all of the navy blue corduroy squares that alternated with prints across the quilt).



Even though the patched strips aren't exactly straight and the blocks don't line up due to the different types of fabric (note to self: knits, denim, and old sheets don't stretch the same way...), it was a HUGE accomplishment for me. I found a way to cram it into my already-full suitcase, and dragged it across the country back to school, sleeping under it most nights in the dorm.

Now, it's losing buttons periodically, but it's still on the back of the couch in our small apartment, ready for cuddling on cold nights.

8 comments:

Zonnah said...

What a great memory :)

Sarcastic Quilter said...

I love stories like this and the pattern you ended up with looked a lot like a variation on a trip around the world to me. Seems fitting since this had been around a while in progress. :D

melissa s. said...

great colors and i love the embellishments!

Miri said...

Great story! Great first quilt!

Amy @ Park City Girl said...

All those memories in there - make it so special!! Thanks for sharing :)

Serena said...

I love that this holds so much history...and you were ahead of your time with the embellishments..very nice...

sewcalgal said...

I love your quilt and your story. Your quilt has great color! And nice embellishment work! Thank you for sharing!

SewCalGal
www.sewcalgal.blogspot.com

Sequana said...

I love that you're still using it. *S*

What a great memory to have around all the time.