One of my friends was expecting a baby so I decided to make her my first quilt. I found the Monkey Wrench pattern in Ruby Mc Kim's book and made a sketch of my plan:
|36 by 48 inches|
Here's how it turned out:
The picture's pretty poor in quality. This was from the days when you took one or two shots (because film and developing were expensive) and hoped the picture would turn out as you waited several days to get it back from the developer. Anyway, the yellow's about right; the green was a little brighter (YIKES). These were calicoes.The green had little starburst yellow flowers and the yellow had red, blue and green flowers. I might even have some leftover bits in my stash, but I can't get to it right now. I did find a cute coordinating stripe for the back. My piecing was pretty precise, but in my lack of knowledge about quilting, I quilted this in a big grid pattern on my Singer Featherweight without any kind of special foot. Oh, the tension issues!!! Pulled fabric, skipped stitches, thread nests. Not to mention the wrestling of the quilt in the tiny space under the arm. It wasn't pretty. But I was so proud of myself! And the binding--I didn't know anything about mitering, but I did do a pretty good job of a two-color binding. I don't even know where I got that idea. I proudly gave that quilt to my friend and knew I would be making quilts for a very long time.
I don't have a picture of my next attempt, a quilt for my brother and sister-in law's first baby. (She's going to be 35 in a few weeks). I used this 6-inch block pattern for a 36- by 48-inch quilt:
This time, I did a better job with the colors: a pretty burgundy with tiny blue flowers and a coordinating cream with burgundy and blue flowers. (Yup, still have scraps.) I did the double binding again and the same disastrous quilting.
And finally, my third quilt. This one was very special because it was a baby quilt for my own daughter. Here's my quilt plan:
|36 by 48 inches|
I decided to branch out and use several fabrics for this one (I even used flannel for the beige fabric and back), but knew nothing about contrast or value, so it didn't turn out quite the way I envisioned it.
I used the same binding technique:
and had the same tension issues:
But here's the thing: This quilt has been used and loved until it is just the softest thing. In fact, I wrap it around some foam for an impromptu changing pad (so soft!) when the grandkids come. No one cares that the colors lack contrast and the quilting stitches are wonky. It's just a quilt full of memories--and making more. (No, my daughter doesn't have it at her house. She has lots of my other quilts.)
I knew my quilting was a problem, so after these three quilts, I learned how to quilt by hand. I'll share those first quilts another time.
Thanks for listening to me reminisce. (I can't believe I still have those scraps of paper with the plans.)
If you'd like to see some other quilts from my pre-blogging days, click on "throwback thursday" under "labels" at the end of this post.