My very first quilt was started the summer I was 8 years old. We had just moved from the family farm into town, and I didn't have any friends or any way to make friends with school out for the summer. So my mother set me to cutting out squares of calico fabric to piece a 9-patch quilt. Each square was the width of the cardboard that held bias tape -- about 3" square. She patiently taught me to use her Singer 401 Slant Needle machine (which I inherited when she died). After a few days of having to change the thread back to the color she wanted following my use of the machine, we went downtown to Hendrickson's Sewing Shop. She bought me an old Singer portable that only did straight stitch, but a beautiful straight stitch! I finished piecing that quilt only a few years ago, but I don't know what I've done with it -- I don't think I gave it away, but I can't find it!
My next foray into quilting was in January of 1976. I had graduated High School in December, and was waiting for my fiance' to return from Air Force technical training school so we could get married. Mother helped me tear strips and piece a log cabin quilt a la "the Eleanor Burns method." It was blue and mauve, very popular colors in the 70s! I gave that quilt to the Goodwill when we moved to Virginia in the 90s. It never occurred to me I would want a photo of "my first quilt!"
The earliest quilts I still have were made for my two boys when we lived in Virginia from 1992-1996. The patterns were in a book by Sharon Hultgren, the inventor of the EZ Angle. I have to admit, her directions were a little "spare" for a beginner!
Here is the "Jacob's Ladder" I pieced for My Little Sailor, Jacob:
The dark blue is faded, and the single-fold binding is worn through. But I still love this quilt!
I (foolishly) allowed Elder Brother to choose his own fabrics for his quilt. This is what you get when a 4-year old chooses fabrics:
For several years when I substitute taught Art classes in Hampton, I used this quilt as an example of "Complementary Colors." Complementary Colors are opposite each other on the color wheel, and when placed next to each other, appear to vibrate. I'll say!
When we evacuated for Hurricane Emily, I took this quilt and my sewing machine. It was half-pieced. I knew from meeting people who had evacuated for Hurricane Andrew the year before that there might be nothing left when we returned to Langley AFB. And I wasn't going to piece those spinning spools again! Luckily, Emily dodged the Tidewater Region and we had an enjoyable evacuation at a "hotel with an indoor pool!"
You've seen my most recent finish, "Main Street." I still like bright colors and precision piecing! And I still use the EZ Angle to make half-square triangles.
From 9-patch calicos to batik flying geese -- I'd say my journey of nearly 50 years' quilting has been a good one!
I hope you've started your "Block a Day." Go here to see the turorial on the Bethlehem Star block we're making for the Spring challenge.
From the desk of your