Saturday, November 26, 2011

First Quilts

Bonnie Hunter is talking about first quilts over on her blog.  I made my first quilt when I lived in Australia in the early 90’s.  I didn’t know a lot of people since I was there working mostly with men.  I decided that I wanted to learn to quilt.  I went to the local patchwork shop and signed up for a series of beginner classes.  Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that the teacher was the worst teacher in the history of quilting.  There was only one way of doing things – her way or else.  She wouldn’t allow you to choose your own fabrics since of course, she knew best.  At least that was her story.

We made 12 inch blocks by hand.  Here are a few of them.

Block 1

Block 2

Block 3

Block 4

Block 5

Block 6

Block 7

There is only one thing you can say about these blocks – they are ugly!  I didn’t like them at the time and I don’t like them now.  I think we were supposed to make 12 blocks but I only lasted through 7 of them.  I still have some of them.  I don’t know why I don’t just throw them away.  I will never make more of them or use them for anything.  I have a plastic box with the rest of the fabric still in it.  I need to go upstairs and get rid all of it.

After this miserable experience, I was still interested in learning to quilt so I went to another patchwork shop and found wonderful quilters and teachers.  Here is the first quilt that I actually finished.

First completed quilt

The photo is of the quilt folded up at my son’s house in Sweden.  It is wearing out but has been used and used and loved.  It was a quilt as you go log cabin and I made it in red and blue – can you tell I was somewhat homesick at the time I made it?

After this great experience, I can’t even imagine how many quilts I have made and how much difference it has made in my life.  I teach quilting, I work in a quilt shop, I have a longarm quilting business and most of my friends are quilters.  I belong to three guilds and spend part of every day playing with fabric – what a great life.

To see more stories of first quilts, go to Bonnie’s blog here.



  1. Your log cabin quilt is beautiful! But I do see what you mean about the pink and green (although they all look very well made, you must have been a good student :)

  2. Love your story Melinda. Even the bad teacher gave you the bug.

  3. What a great story! I am a new follower. :o) I can't believe the teacher forced you to use fabrics that you hated! Love the log cabin!

  4. Melinda, remember what Bonnie Hunter said when she spoke to our Guild; "If the fabric is still ugly, you just have not cut it small enough yet". There are some really lovely colors in those greens and pinks so long as you don't have to look at too much of it at one time!

  5. I don't think your blocks were ugly, I was quite impressed.

    Well...a worn out quilt means it received a lot of love..

  6. Anonymous11:37 AM

    Isn't it lovely to think how many students you have taught quilting to the "right way". I too learned 'by hand', but in San Diego 35 years ago. The best thing the teacher taught was to make bias binding. We used paper towels and folded it up and cut it. I still have my sample. I love teaching when you see your students w that 'aha! moment.

  7. Your first blocks are beautifully done. the color, not so much. But these were very fashionable colors at one time. Can't you either make a charity quilt with them, or donate them to someone who will? Not volunteering, by the way. :)

  8. I wonder how the first set would look with some blue- maybe navy. I think you did a nice job.

    Maybe you could give a comfort quilt instead of throwing them away.


I would love to hear from you. Make sure I have a way to contact you if you have a question.

Related Posts with Thumbnails