Friday, May 18, 2007

Gotta Start Somewhere

My family didn’t have quilts when we were growing up, so I’m not sure when my fascination with them began. I was probably in high school before I saw a quilt first hand and got to examine it closely. Once it captured my imagination, I couldn't wait to make one myself.

Keep in mind, this was the early 1970’s, before the Bicentennial created a resurgence of interest in the craft. Quilting was still the realm of folklore, an art passed down from one generation to the next. There were few books or other resources available on how to make a quilt.

I decided to figure things out for myself. How hard could it be? After all, I had sewing skills from 8th grade home economics class!

I chose a simple Four Patch block as my pattern, although at the time, I didn't even know it had a name. Fabrics were scavenged from the oddest of sources, because traditionally, quilts were made from "scraps" and I thought it was cheating to buy anything new. I painstakingly marked each square with a pencil and flimsy cardboard template, then cut them out individually with scissors. My seam allowances measured 5/8” and all seams were pressed open, just like I'd been taught in 8th grade home ec.

I felt such pride when my quilt top was finished, but had no idea what to do next. I knew nothing about batting or the running stitch that held the three layers of a quilt together. A friend's mother and grandmother finished it for me, charging only $20 for their hand quilting!

This poor quilt is in tatters now, but imagine it back in 1974, fresh and new. Making it started my love for quilting, so it will always be special to me.

1 comment:

  1. Welcome to Blogland - think you're gonna like it here. I love the vintage pieces that you have shared. They remind of some that are laying around here . . . somewhere *s*