My First Quilt – 1991!

Looks like I’m celebrating 20 years as a Quiltmaker!

When someone asks how long I’ve been quilting, I say “about twenty years” and now it’s official! I was photographing the Hunter’s Star square on this quilt and remembering…

The label on the back says that I took the class in the Summer of 1991, when I found out that Peter had been offered a job in Singapore; a tiny island city close to the Equator. A weaver at the time, I realized that hauling two large-sized looms and putting them in a small apartment on the 21st floor was not going to work. And as  have mentioned several times, I was lucky to have Karen Buckley as my teacher. One thing that I really liked about her is that she would have several patterns for each class, but was very open when I wanted to design something of my own. I had some fabrics that I had bought way before I knew I would take classes; gorgeous (vintage now!) Hoffman prints in blacks and reds and dark blue greens. I added a few Ginny Beyer textures and a plain black and red and I was all set. I loved those colors, but I found out that the quilt store where I took the classes was horrified at the dark values I was using! (The custom back then was to use white in a sampler quilt but I’ve never been much of a fan of white) They too loved it when it was done and asked if I would display it ib the store. I called it Dark Beauty for  that reason.

The heart in hand square was designed to be my signature square, something I encourage students to do in their quilts. I had Peter trace around my right hand on a paper bag and used that as the pattern for the reverse applique. I still have the pattern and have used it on another quilt as the label on the back. I was into cross stitch at the time and so I basted a piece of scrim on the square, stitched the date and then washed it off. I was wondering how on earth I got it hand quilted in such a timely fashion {;-D} and then I remembered – Karen taught us to quilt-as-you-go during the second or third class, so between classes we could sew on squares and/or hand quilt. It’s a great technique for beginners since it moves things along, but I rarely can convince my students to do it. “The back is not very pretty” they say. “It’s a beginning quilt” I reply!

In looking at the whole quilt I am struck by how many squares are hand appliqued….I should have known then what I would love to do!

Here are two more of my favorites from the quilt.

Many quilters are ashamed of their first quilts, but I was lucky to start when the fabric companies were making some great designs and I had such a good teacher. Dark Beauty still sings to me…

4 thoughts on “My First Quilt – 1991!

  1. Beautiful! It is good that you date your work. I have never done so until recently. I like the idea for the hand block because it gives a snapshot of that particular time almost like a self-portrait. Congratulations!


    • Thanks to all wishing me a happy anniversary! ;-D I realized after I sent my post off that I should have a picture of the whole quilt. It is in need of a wash; cat hair, fuzz, not sure when I may have washed it last and everything shows on a dark quilt. I will get it done soon!


  2. Pingback: My First Quilt – 1991! « a daily dose of fiber | She Who Dies With The Most Fabric Wins |

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