February 08, 2017

My First Quilt Link Party

As I said last week, I realized recently that I started my first quilt 20 years ago, which certainly seems like something worth celebrating. That also means I've been quilting more than half my life, since I started at 19 😊 (Yep, I turn 40 this summer, but more on that later in the year!)

To celebrate 2 decades of quilting, I thought it only appropriate to host a link party all about our first quilts. To participate, simply pull out that first quilt, or the pictures of it, and write up a new blog post about why you made it, the experience of making it or whatever else you want to say about it. Then come link that blog post here so we can all go read about the quilt that started you on your quilting journey.
My First Quilt Link Party | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com

Don't have that first quilt, or any pictures of it? No problem, locate one of your early quilts and write about that!

Don't have a blog? No problem there either! Email a picture or two to me at devotedquilter at gmail dot com along with a blurb about the quilt and I'll post it on my blog and link it up so everyone can read it 😊

My first quilt...

...was a wedding gift for my friend Michelle and her new husband, Brian. Michelle was the first of my friends to get married...and the only one to get a quilt, lol. Knowing that I wanted to make them a quilt, Mom gave me a quilting magazine with a pattern in it called "Love and a Little Lunacy," which seemed perfect, except it was only a mini quilt and I wanted something much bigger. I thought I still had that first quilt magazine, but unfortunately I can't seem to find it to tell you who the designer was.

Mom and I came up with a plan to use the blocks from the quilt, but make a lot more of them, add a few of our own design and a fair smattering of personalized embroidery to top it all off. Nothing like keeping it simple for your first quilt, right?

I can remember that we bought the fabrics I used for the backgrounds of all the blocks and the red sashing/borders, but I have no idea where all the fabrics for the blocks came from. Mom's stash of crafting fabrics, probably, but we may have bought some of them specifically for this quilt.

I don't have any pictures of the quilt until the summer, when I was basting it together. Forgive the quality of the pictures...these are actually pictures of pictures.

Here I am at 19, probably contemplating all the hand quilting I'm soon to be doing. All of the white lines in the red sashing and borders were my guidelines for quilting.
My first quilt | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
The blocks on the left (the moon, star, heart, and flower) were the blocks in the original quilt design. They are fusible appliqued, with blanket stitch done by hand in black embroidery floss. The block in the middle has a center panel hand embroidered with the date and location of the wedding and wedding rings. The blocks around it were ones we designed.
My first quilt | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Two of the corner blocks were personalized with the bride and groom's full names, birth dates and hometown (the sunflowers are blocking out Michelle's info). We designed the bear and baby block appliques too. Funny story about those embroidered center panels...Mom bought me an iron transfer thing to get the design onto the fabric, not realizing that the transferred ink would be permanent. I stitched the first of the panels, the wedding one, I think, and then we tried washing out the ink because you could see it all around the edges of the letters. No go. I had to redo the whole thing. I can't remember what we ended up using to transfer all the letters to the fabric, but whatever it was, it washed out when I was done!
My first quilt | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Mom had (probably still has, actually) a bunch of little newspaper clippings with these little Love is... sayings on them. We used two of them for the center panels of the other two corners. The little people look rather odd here because their faces and hair were embroidered but I quilted their bodies, so in this picture they're just faint blue lines.
My first quilt | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
And here I am getting started with the hand quilting. I must have been crazy, hand quilting all through the summer, but I got it done in time for the September wedding!
My first quilt | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Then came the binding. Oh what a mess that ended up being! We bought packages of double-fold bias tape and Mom showed me how to fold it around the raw edges of the quilt so that when I stitched around I'd catch the binding on both sides. When I actually did the stitching, though, I stitched nowhere near straight, so there were plenty of places where I didn't actually catch the binding on the back. No worries! I just stitched those parts again 😊 I didn't bother to rip out that first line of stitching, either, just went right along again. If I remember correctly, there were places where I stitched three lines trying to catch the back of the binding! Thankfully my binding skills have improved since then.

I haven't seen this quilt since I gifted it to Michelle and Brian. I don't even know if they still have it, but I am so happy I made it. The hours I spent working on it were only the first of many, many (many!) hours of quilt making over the past twenty years. I never could have guessed back then what a huge part of my life quilting would become!

Now it's your turn 😊 Link up your post about your first quilt and by sure to visit some of the other links to celebrate the start of their quilting journeys too.


  1. Oh wow - Love and a Little Lunacy. I still have that pattern, haha! I always planned to make it because early in my marriage my husband ran for political office and won. Believe me, Love and a Little Lunacy felt like a very appropriate quilt, at least as far as the title. I still think it would be a fun quilt to do with some of the modern fabrics. Love your version of the quilt; a big task but well done! Wendy at piecefulthoughts@gmail.com

  2. I loved reading the story of your first quilt. It turned out beautifully and got you started on your journey.

  3. I love how ambitious you and your mom were with your first quilt, and I'm so glad you have photographs of working on making your first quilt - those are priceless!

  4. My first quilt was a sad state of affairs since I am self taught. I didn't keep to the 1/4" rule and you can image how that ended up. *grins*
    Thank you for sharing the back story on your first quilt.
    Popped by from Let's Bee Social

  5. I hope it is ok, but I linked up to a post that I wrote in 2014 about my first quilt. This is a sweet theme Leanne! I heard about it from Mari of Academic Quilter. I am enjoying these posts!

  6. What a great story. Piecing, applique, and hand quilting--oh, my! What an ambitious beginning!

  7. What a great first quilt and story! Loved reading about it!

  8. I totally got sidetracked with life and forgot to link up. I only have one photo of my first quilt. I had hoped to track down other photos....and then life got in the way.


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