All of us who call ourselves quilters had to start with that first quilt. Whether we started with a quilted pillow, a wallhanging, a crib quilt, a miniature quilt or we went straight to that most intimidating sort of the quilt....the BIG bed quilt, there was always the one we remember as our first quilt.
First quilts are rarely masterpieces. Quilters who start their first to be a masterpiece rarely finish. Or if we do, a few years later we realize that our concept of a quilted masterpiece has evolved into something quilte different. Usually our first quilts are homely little projects with strange combinations of colors and fabrics that do not play nicely together.
My first was no different. I wish I could show it to you!
But that brings me to a dilemma. I can write about my first quilt (circa 1969), but it bit the dust long ago, a victim of being loved to death. No pictures exist, and if they did, they certainly would not be digital. And yet....and yet, I believe that pictures make to blog come alive. We quilters are such visual creatures. So hang in there, I do have pictures of my oldest surviving quilt!
Anyway, when I was 20 years old, about to be married and having never made a quilt before, I started a king size quilt for me and about-to-be DH. I bought (from the La Mirada swapmeet, no less) some factory cutaways (remnants) that were a little heavier than broadcloth. I cut the fabric into random rectangles, all 6" by whatever I could get.
These rectangles were joined into horizontal rows, and the rows were stitched together. This sort of reminds me of what I make for pieced backings nowadays! It was a brick quilt, but with REALLY big bricks. It was layered with a polyester batting and a big flat sheet. I tied the quilt with yarn and turned under both back and front edges and whipstitched. We used it for a bedspread for years.
Aw, isn't that cute? That's what I thought in 1975 when this picture with the accompanying pattern appeared in Woman's Day magazine. It only took me three years to make, but I did finish my third quilt. (Number 2 also wore out eventually). This is my son Jeff's quilt.
How about those 70's colors? Looks a little dated maybe? Oh, can you see that stripey fabric in green, gold and brown?..... that is leftover from the *actual* first quilt. And the hand quilting is so far apart as to be ridiculous. Okay, but the puppies are still cute as ever. And this quilt still exists.
I even documented the quilt with my embroidered signature and the year. Because I I loved making this quilt, I still love it, and I love the little boy (who is now a man) that I made it for.