This past month I gathered the quilts that I had made over my lifetime. There’s only one other quilt that I can think of that I didn’t think of asking for so that I could photograph it, and that was a baby quilt that I had made for one of our godson’s when he was born. My sister-in-law told me a few years ago that she had kept it, it’s 31 years old.
After going to Quilts in the Garden back in June I was inspired to see what I had also made a few years ago.
My very first quilt was this one above. I had to do the math on this one and almost can’t believe that it was made 44 years ago. I made it when I had just started high school, or about to start, it was probably the summer before. An elderly neighbour wanted to teach me how to quilt. When I thought about how old I was then I thought that she was elderly, but realize that she was probably around my age today. So she wasn’t that old. lol
She had invited Mom and I over to explain what fabrics that I would need to buy for my project. There was a lot of measuring and cutting to be done by hand. There was no such thing as rotary cutters back then.
I’m very grateful that my parents put the money towards purchasing the fabrics and threads for me, so that I could be introduced to quilting. What a gift!!
When I asked Mom for the quilt back last month so that I could photograph it, I couldn’t believe the sharpness of the colours after so many years remembered. Mom told me to keep the quilt this time. I was so happy. I feel that I have a better appreciation for it today then I did back then. This will be a quilt to keep me warm on cold winter evenings. It’s still in quite decent shape with just the odd square where the fabric ripped, but it can be fixed.
This quilt was hand quilted on an old wooden frame that filled a part of our dining room that winter. The neighbour would come quilting with me. I remember her telling me to try to keep my stitches small and as even as possible. Thimble on one finger needle going up and down through the fabric, and I can’t begin to tell you the amount of times that I poked the quilting needle right into my fingers underneath the top layer of the quilt. Ouch!! It was a painful learning experience to quilt. But what joy I felt especially when it was time to roll up the section that had been quilted, just to start-up another new section. It was very rewarding. I remember feeling so proud of myself when this project was completed. I’ve always been very grateful that someone took me under her wings to teach me this skill.
The quilt on the left, Dresden Plate (it’s show here on the reverse side), it’s one that I quilted for my parents for Christmas many years ago. I believe it was when we were first married or even before, so that’s over 30 years old. Mom has had the binding redone by someone else and it was redone in green with a sturdier fabric. So when I got that quilt back to photograph I wondered why it was green when I remembered the trim in blue. The quality of the fabric wasn’t great for this quilt from what I can see today. Much of it has come undone and several parts have ripped apart. Again my parents used this quilt on their bed for a long time and they want it back so they can use it underneath their much nicer bedding today. I love how much they appreciate having it. When I had it hanging on the clothesline to photograph I noticed that most of the hand quilted stitches were no longer there. It got used and washed often, so lots of wear and tear on this one. The outer binding is what holds it together, and it’s in need of repairs.
You won’t find a lot of perfection in any of my quilts. They are far from the workmanship that I saw in the quilts like at the Quilts in the Garden show that I attended several months ago with my sister. But what I do know is that when I made each of these quilts that I share here, they were huge labours of Love for me. Each one hand-stitched with lots of love for loved ones that I was making them for. All the years that I did a lot of hand stitching, whether quilting, knitting, crochet, embroidery or any other stitching work, I have always felt so much Love pouring through me into the projects. And that’s what mattered most to me. I miss not being as creative with stitching work, using my hands these days. It’s certainly something to think about picking up again hopefully one day soon.
Our hands truly are an extension of our hearts.
… and the ripped imperfections, the wear and tear parts.
Then I made a pin wheel pattern quillow probably 20 some years ago. I also made another one that my daughter has now but I can’t remember the pattern on it. She uses it for her cat to lay on. A quillow is a small lap quilt that can be folded as a pillow. It’s kind of neat and very compact little project. It was fun to do.
The next quilt, I took a class when my daughter was 2 years old. I wanted to make her a quilt for her bed. This quilt is already 26 years old. It got used but not extensively. Today she has it with her at her new apartment and that makes me happy that she can use it again anytime she wishes to do so.
This is a Sampler Quilt with each block a different pattern. I had really enjoyed the process of making this one and the challenge of making each block/pattern.
… it was all hand-quilted as well.
these next photos you see the quilt on the reverse side…
And there you have it, the 3 big quilts that I have made. I hope to do more quilts in the future, as I hope to get more freedom in my life.
I’d love to see your quilting photos, or quilting stories. Please do share below with us. It’s always so inspiring to see what others have created. So don’t be shy, please share!! 🙂