October 27, 2023

My First Quilt with Monika Henry

It's the last Friday of the month, which means I get to bring you another My First Quilt interview! Today's featured quilter is Monika Henry of Penny Spool Quilts. Monika is a fellow Canadian (from Switzerland 😊), and a fellow pattern designer. In fact, she just released a new Christmas pattern!
My First Quilt with Monika Henry | DevotedQuilter.com
You can connect with Monika at her website, on Instagram and on Facebook.

And now, here's Monika's first quilt! Isn't it fantastic? You know I love those blues!
My First Quilt with Monika Henry | DevotedQuilter.com

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

The year I started it, or the year I finished it? ;-) I took a quilting class in 1999 and after a couple of potholders and a pillow, I thought I was ready for a big quilt. I started it that year, but didn’t finish it until we were getting ready to move overseas in 2005 and the quilt top had sat in a bag for a couple of years while I tried to figure out how to back such a large quilt, and quilt it. But I wasn’t going to pack it unfinished, so I finished it as best as I knew how and moved it with us.

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

It was a double nine patch, roughly queen-size (I’m not sure what I measured because it was supposed to fit my twin bed), all cut with scissors and cardboard templates, and traditionally pieced. I had not heard of rulers and rotary cutters, and I think part of the measuring issue was me trying to convert inches and centimeters back and forth.
I quilted it myself on my domestic machine with a large crosshatch. I had aspirations of doing fancy quilting in the large white squares, and the crosshatch was just supposed to hold it all together until I learned to quilt feathers etc… it’s still only a crosshatch.
My First Quilt with Monika Henry | DevotedQuilter.com

Who taught you to make the quilt?

The class I had taken was at my local seniors’ center, and that’s where I learned the basics. After that I was gifted the book Quits! Quilts!! Quilts!!! by Diana McClun and Laura Nownes that had this pattern in it, and I basically taught myself how to make it from that book. Quilting and patchwork was not a big thing in Switzerland, and with no internet, resources were scarce.

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

Yes. It’s blue and white and those are still colours I use a lot, and in combination, too.
My First Quilt with Monika Henry | DevotedQuilter.com

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

I loved it from the start, but there were definitely bigger gaps between quilts then, mainly because of where I lived and the lack of access to quilting fabric and classes.

Where is the quilt now?

In my closet. It still gets used regularly as a bed cover to keep the cat hair off the duvets.
My First Quilt with Monika Henry | DevotedQuilter.com

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

“Make something smaller” lol If I had realized just how much work a quilt that size was going to be, I would never have made it. I didn’t make another large quilt (the next one was twin size) for probably 15 years after that, I stuck to baby quilts and the occasional throw.

Anything else you want to share about your first quilt?

I still love the quilt, despite all the flaws and things I did wrong. And it’s interesting for me to look at it and realize that I really was drawn to modern quilts from the start. This was the most modern-looking quilt pattern in the book, and despite there being no “modern” fabrics at the time, I still managed to make something quite similar to what I would make today.

Thanks for sharing your beautiful first quilt, Monika! I love it, and I loved reading all about it 😊

1 comment:

  1. I agree with Monika; she did a fantastic job creating something more modern with the fabrics available back then. I love how many of us dive in with large and ambitious projects, too. :)


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