Friday, February 26, 2016

My First Quilt

Lately I have been doing a lot of sewing. I think after years of working with materials that are clunky, don't travel well, and fragile, working with soft fabrics is very liberating. Learning basic sewing skills was one of my resolutions when I turned 23 (see the post) and I've been sharing little accomplishments about my sewing journey along the way on this blog. While the idea of being able to sew my clothes or make household items has always been appealing, the true reason I've been wanting to learn more is to learn how to quilt.


I can think of only 2 handmade quilts that our family has ever had and 1 of them was my baby quilt and the other was a farewell gift to my mom from one of her friends that has hung in her hallway ever since. I remember when she first hung up I was really confused. It's....a blanket? But it's specialness eventually permeated and it clicked. It really was something to admire. My baby quilt was made for me by Great Aunt Theta. She had health issues later in life so I never had the fortune to really know her as an adult. When she passed last May, I got to hear those who knew her best talk about her creativity and her drive. Family members laughing about the outfits she had sewn for them or projects she got herself wrapped up in. My baby quilt which was always been precious to me became even more significant.

In my mind, a quilt is one of the most special gifts you can give to someone. The time that they take to make, the work that goes into them, and also because it was one of the most simple necessities in a home. I certainly don't want to force false meaning into objects or make family members feel sentiment for things that may not be as important to them, but I have been wanting to make quilts for members of my family for so long!


After quite a few classes making bags or dresses, I finally started my quilting adventure in the beginning of February. I was actually really nervous about it because I didn't want my first quilt to be something too serious because I figured there is a chance I could really ruin it. I almost just made something random with scrap fabrics, but that would be such a waste so I decided to make my first quilt for my niece's 5th birthday which is next month. It's a crib size quilt, but at 34 pounds she's a little thing who doesn't need a big giant blanket. Trying to pick out colors I thought she would like or fabrics of her favorite characters or animals was way more fun that picking out pottery glaze colors. I was really apprehensive about it in the beginning, but as I finished each row I began to love it more and more.  Before I was even finished with it, I already started planning out one for her big brother and I'm even more excited about that one!

For some reason I was really dreading doing the binding, but it ended up being my favorite part! I think I was worried about the whole hand sewing aspect or maybe I was just worried I wouldn't do it right. Hand sewing is surprisingly relaxing. Being able to work on something in bed while watching cartoons and sipping on a cocktail is a lot better than hunched over my dining room table at my sewing machine.


I've definitely started on the Pinterest/Instagram spiral of looking at quilts and quilters, figuring out what different styles are called, what techniques to learn next, quilt swaps, etc. I've been wanting to learn how to do this for so long that now I feel like I'm in newbie hyperdrive. LEARN ALL THE THINGS! I can't wait to keep sewing and I'll definitely be sharing more here!

Apologies for the terrible photo quality. We have the absolute worst lighting in our apartment!

1 comment:

  1. Emily, I think your quilt is beautiful! Uou did a grea job! And this was a very ambitious undertaking for your first quilt! I hope your niece loved it! I started quilting when I was in my early 20's when I started quilting. And my love for quilting has only continued,growing more every year! I'm leaving in 5 days to fly to Utah for a quilting retreat with "Lori Holt" who is one of my favorite quilters! I love her fabrics, patterns and heard she's a fantastic teachrr! I'm so excited because this is like a dream come true! It's surely the greatest thing I've ever experienced in my 45 years of quilting! So just keep quilting if you enjoy it because there are such great opportunities in the field, and maybe one day you will get such an opportunity and meet one of your mentors! Enjoy your quilts! Pat Spera

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