May 26, 2023

My First Quilt with Sandra Walker

It's the last Friday of the month, which means it's time for another My First Quilt interview!
My First Quilt with Sandra Walker |
Today's interview is with Sandra Walker of MMMQuilts. Sandra is a quilt pattern designer, and she's currently running her annual QAL, this time making her Rainbow Neighbourhood pattern. The little houses are so much fun! There's still time to join in and catch up, so check out her blog if you're interested in that.

You can connect with Sandra on her blog and on IG.

And now, here's Sandra's first quilt!
My First Quilt with Sandra Walker |
Sandra actually told me the stories of her first two quilts, calling this next one "the actual first quilt," so I'll share both pictures and both stories, too 😊
My First Quilt with Sandra Walker |

What year did you make your first quilt? What prompted you to make it?

Maybe 1970/71? I wanted a quilt for my Barbies.

What techniques were used in that first quilt? Did you quilt it yourself?

I used scraps from clothes my mum had made us kids as well as upholstery scraps she had from getting one of those discarded sample books. I just cut out squares, made little pillows, stuffing them with bits of my mum's pantyhose cut up, and then sewing the little pillows together into rows, mostly by hand, because I wasn’t allowed to use my mum’s sewing machine. The top and bottom as well as one side have rows added that are machine-stitched. I was allowed to use my mum’s machine in grade 7 when we got Home Ex classes! The squares are about 1.5" finished. I had no clue what I was doing. My mum was not a quilter, though she did sew clothes for us four kids and a few for herself, mainly as it was a lot cheaper, and they didn't have much money. She didn't like sewing at all, though her mum in England made a living as a seamstress and knitter.

The second life-sized quilt happened as a result of entering (reluctantly, pushed by my eldest daughter, Brianne) a quilt block draw at the little fabric shop in the town in which we lived. I cut that block out with scissors, didn't own a rotary cutter or mat, but they were only just then coming on the scene. I won all the blocks, and so I had to go to the shop, which had started getting away from dressmaking and into quilting, to take classes to learn what to do. Of course the quilt went to Brianne, and then I had to make another for her sister, and the dressmaking and home décor fell to the wayside as quilting took over my life!

Are the colours you chose for your first quilt ones you would still choose today?

The first quilt was a mish-mash of pretty cheerful colours and floral prints, and I still do love scrap quilts, though with controlled scrappiness, and I still love floral fabrics. The second quilt was in soft pinks and blues, another combination I still quite like! The pattern for that one was Bear Paw. I've since designed two Bear Paw quilts, both available in my Etsy shop.

Did you fall in love with quilting right away? Or was there a gap between making the first quilt and the next one?

There was a very long gap of about 20 years between that Barbies quilt and the actual first quilt. I remember being shocked in making both quilts at the amount of labour and time involved. During that gap I never stopped sewing. I LOVED making clothes for myself, my girls, as well as home décor.

Where is the quilt now?

The Barbies quilt is in my quilting room in a drawer. The life-sized quilt is still with Brianne, though she keeps it in a closet and doesn't use it.

Is there anything you wish you could go back and tell yourself as you made that first quilt?

There will be a much better way! 

Thanks for sharing your first two quilts with us, Sandra! They're both fabulous! I really love that you still have the Barbies quilt 😊


  1. I love that Sandra still has the first Barbie quilt, too. It's inspiring to see that when we want to do something, the fear of perfection and the "right" way tend to get out of the way.

  2. Sweet memories!!! Sandra's Barbie quilt is adorable and I'm amazed she still has it! The bear paw quilt is a classic!!!

  3. Thanks again for the feature, Leanne. It really was a good 'exercise' to look back, and remember - gosh, holding that Barbies quilt today gives me SUCH a rush of memories, rainy days and cold winter days, playing Barbies with my sister in the basement, and how they were alive in my 8/9-year-old (and beyond) imagination... :-)

  4. I loved reading about the actual first quilt & then seeing what she produced as her second. Ah, the memories they must hold. Thanks for hosting this. Take care & hugs.

  5. Great to see Sandra's first two first quilts! I started sewing for my Barbie's too but have nothing from that time.

  6. What a fun story, Leanne. Thanks for sharing Sandra's quilt journey!

  7. This was such an enjoyable post to read. Even when she was young, Sandra was a creative mind, puzzling and figuring it out as she went along. It's very cool that she still has the Barbie quilt. I love that!


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