I had been sewing for over twenty years when I had my first baby in 1981. I had this vague idea that I wanted a quilty type covering for her crib. (Back in the 80's we put things in baby's cribs and had them sleep on their tummies. We didn't know. I am so glad SIDS deaths have been cut dramatically by having babies sleep on their backs. When you know better, you do better.)
We had the crib up and my Mom and I wallpapered the room in a yellow and white Williamsburg inspired covering and I purchased Waverly fabric to match. I had these kinds of wallpapers and fabrics all over the house, I really liked it then. I had some scraps of the fabric left over and made squares from it. I bought fabrics I thought went with it and tried to work in brown. Wasn't there brown somewhere in every room in the early 80's? I had a twin bed in the nursery with a brown faux quilt bedspread on it (do not judge me!) and I wanted the baby quilt to tie in with it. Here is what I made. Yeah, it is pretty pathetic but Emily slept on it and under it quite happily. I saved it for Shelby and guess what, I still have it! I do! And I use it as a soft spot to put Zara when I am changing her diaper. I just took the picture today. Maybe it looked way better back in 1981.
My point in publishing this goofy picture is that you have to start somewhere. I started with a hope, an idea and I made something that lasted. But I knew I could do better so two years later, I asked my Mother for quilting lessons for my 30th birthday present. It was the last present she ever gave me, I turned 30 on June 16 and she died on July 5 of 1983. Her last gift to me was the gift of a lifetime of pleasure as it turned out. I started those lessons in June and quilting just lit up my brain from the start. The class was total old school - we pieced by hand, cut out every piece individually, marked every single quarter inch seam and made samplers. I decided to make two. (Why not?) I was piecing those blocks while I sat by my mother's hospital bed. Quilting helped me then as it has helped me for the past 29 years. Here is my first quilt I made in my lessons, I pieced and quilted two sampler quilts by hand and completed them in 12 months. I can't believe it either. I no longer sew this way, I piece by machine, heck I even quilt by machine. I used rotary cutters and strip piece. When you know better, you do better. You evolve but you never forget when and where you started.
If you have a yearning to make quilt, do it! You can just try and figure it out on your own like I did. Then, later on if the fire continues to burn, you can take lessons. Or read a book or follow my blog. But just start, you have to start somewhere and sometime. It might as well be today. Whatever goal it is you want to accomplish, do it and start today. Hey, your first effort can't look worse than my first quilt.
Emily didn't mind, she slept just fine.
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