August 23, 2009

firsts and lasts

So Guild night was this past Thursday. Usually in August we have a Chinese Auction. Members would donate gently used sewing items they didn't want/need anymore and raffle tickets were sold for something like 25 cents/ ticket - Money raised went into Programs. Over the past few years this became like a flea market-junk fest......this year (not sadly) we didn't do it.

Our program was First quilt/ Last quilt and Committee Chairs were asked to bring quilts. It was interesting. Lots of tying and big puffy quilts with fat bindings. It was fun to see how members have developed different styles over the years. The evolution and talent is remarkable.

My first quilts are long gone. Log cabins made in college, pillow cased and tied with yarn and the other quilted with a waxed twine, or maybe it was jute. At the time, I thought I hand quilted it.... but later learned- sewing something together using 2" long stitches was really basting.

I humbly brought my first machine quilted piece. It wasn't hard to find - it still hangs on the back of our bedroom chair. And honestly, I'm as prideful of my first machine quilting job as I am of my last. Everyone has a start.

The front is made of upholstery fabrics and lace doilies. I saw it on Simply Quilts and was determined to match that chair and ottoman I was recovering..... Having never machine quilted and not knowing what a walking or darning foot was, I removed the foot all together and 'free motion' quilted. I straight lined some of the ditches, stippled and I was even ambitious enough to draw out a cable. It's lovely, using grey thread on the back and clear on the front (I left {all of} the thread tails dangling). The clear thread on the front is similar to what fisherman use in their rods to catch fish. I'm sure I took it from the garage shelf knowing it had to be the same stuff. Clear is clear. And upon closer examination it is not completely quilted, but my friends noted the innovative binding job that was completely machine done. They wondered if I planned the arcs and waves.

I was never compelled to go back and fix my first quilting job. It's my first, it shows my development, my evolution. I will always keep it.

Thankfully, my friend Sharon helped me buy my first Bernina and taught me how to machine quilt and bind the right way.

I've been thinking a lot about firsts and lasts recently.

What was your first quilt?


Kay said...

How funny, Kathy! Thanks for sharing this. That's a great idea for a guild program too.

Beena said...

I don't know if I still have my first quilt, or not. In the last few apartment moves I made, I may have decided to sever my ties with it. A humble nine patch wall hanging.
It's interesting hearing about your first quilt, and early quilting experiences!

Debra said...

I like the naivete of first quilts much more sometimes than the more developed styles. I have one of my first quilts on the couch and snuggle under it almost every evening. Lots of wonderful history in those first quilts!