A Christmas Beginning

We pulled out the Christmas decorations this week and I was reminded of where I started as a quilter and how far I have come.  


  • In the 1970's - I Tied quilts - it was all I knew and it was quick and easy work!  (I was very young)
  • Early 1980's - I learned to hand quilt and hand piece.  I struggled and it took an eternity to finish a project.
  • Late 1980's -  I had moved on to machine piecing and heard about machine quilting. I gave it a try.  No lessons.  I was terrible.  I didn't know to baste A LOT and I used polyester fluffy batting. Yikes.
  • 1990's - I went back to tying or more often than not - no quilting projects at all.  It was a time of tole painting and making clothing for the kid-a-lees.   It was cheap to make clothing then.
  • In the early 2000's I joined a local quilt guild at the urging of my friend, Lorraine.  The ladies were kind and so willing to share their knowledge with poor little me. Little did I realize they would open a whole new world to me!
One of my first projects after I joined the group was one of the Christmas decorations I pulled out this past weekend:

I believe I was still buying fabrics at the big box store at this time.
I'm not sure what fusible I was using but it didn't stick very well and my scissors weren't very sharp either.
My blanket stitch was horrible!  It looks like it was made by a 5 year old. 
I was also still using muslin for the backing of my projects.  I only used pretty fabrics on the back of baby quilts.  I don't know why I didn't carry it over to other projects.
The quilting isn't too bad - fairly even stitches but done with regular sewing thread.  Not sure if I can quilt any better now as I haven't been practicing much since I discovered machine quilting.  
Two of the things I am still doing:
I still leave relatively large areas unquilted, much to the chagrin of the quilt police.
And I still prefer not making a quilt label.
When a project is done, I am so done and don't want to do one more thing to it.  My mind has left the project far behind and is on to the next two projects. . .
. . .so I  just sign the fabric!
I used a Pigma pen to sign my quilts until I discovered the Pentel Fabric Gel Pen.  Best pen in the whole wide world to write on fabric with!  It glides like butter!
You should really try it.
And honestly no one paid me to say that!
I just LOVE the product.

And I almost forgot!  I'm linking this post up to the Christmas Quilt Show.  You should really hop on over through this link to see all the other beautiful Christmas quilts!

Comments

Jane Babcock said…
You make me wonder if I have a quilt future. Probably not. But I am grateful for quilter friends to watch and admire.
LethargicLass said…
A fun little quilt and it's neat to get a historical insight into your quilting
Great post - thank you for sharing your experiences. Cute little piece with lots of memories.
Needled Mom said…
I loved reading the history behind your quilting. I am sure you treasure the first pieces as much as the later ones.
Thanks for sharing your quilt and the tip on the signing pen!
Nanbon44 said…
so very nice... funny how so many quilters have started and stopped and started again. I stopped for years and let my mom do all the quilting, when she passed and I inherited her machines I decided they needed to keep making quilts, so now I quilt for charity and I just love all the new toys for quilters.
Hilachas said…
Thanks for telling us something about your quilting history. So interesting and your entry is so pretty too.
Karen said…
What a lovely quilt. You certainly have some special memories in quilting. Thanks for the info about the pen.
Eileen said…
Lovely! And i like your stitching. Thanks for sharing and have a great day
sew.darn.quilt said…
One of the great things about quilting is that there's always something to try that's new, be it a technique for piecing or quilting, trying new designs that scare the daylights out of you at first only to discover that you CAN do it and absolutely rock it with a bit of patience and practice. I truly believe that the folks that quilt are a special kind of people.
Your piece is lovely, very merry :)
Shannon said…
Your quilt is cute! My mom and I were getting out Christmas decorations over the weekend and found one of her first quilted wall hangings- we had a good laugh about how far we've both come since then and were really happy for the memories it brought out. That's actually one of my favorite things about Christmas decorations, they seem to always have strong memories of a certain era attached to them and it's so fun to go back and think about it!
Shannon said…
Your quilt is cute! My mom and I were getting out Christmas decorations over the weekend and found one of her first quilted wall hangings- we had a good laugh about how far we've both come since then and were really happy for the memories it brought out. That's actually one of my favorite things about Christmas decorations, they seem to always have strong memories of a certain era attached to them and it's so fun to go back and think about it!
LynCC said…
This is so cute! Hey- signing the fabric works just as well as stitching on a label. Still documents it for you. :) And what is with those quilt police, wanting everything quilted always so tight and close that you lose all the nice drape? ;D
Eileen said…
nice hand quilting!
Nina Marie said…
ok - just want to say that although I do a lot of fmq and thread work I still really - really enjoy my hand quilting projects. Plus I'll hq with any thread I feel will look good with a project! Love your project and keep stitchin'!
I enjoyed reading your post... some projects take on a life of their own and I like hearing about it! I think your quilt looks great BTW and thanks for the pen recommendation too.
Christine M said…
Lovely little quilt. I love the reindeer.
Sheila said…
Interesting post and I love your reindeer !
Linda said…
VERY NEAT-LOVE THE LITTLE DEER!

msstitcher1948@yahoo.com
I do the same thing at time and just write on my quilt
Yup - toll painting got me too :) Great decade re-cap!!
Lesley said…
Lovely little quilt!
Judy B said…
Cute little quilt! Thank you for sharing.
jbechosend at sbcglobal dot net
Carolyn said…
Such a great quilt. Beautiful little tiny even hand stitching. I love to see the progress I have made over the years of quilting, too.
shez said…
very cute,well done.xx
Patricia said…
It is always fun to look back at lessons learned. Cute quilt!

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