Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Small beginnings

I've been following Kristy's blog for a while (she of the amazing David Tennant pixellated masterpiece), and have really enjoyed reading about her early quilts. So in the spirit of shameless copying, I present several of mine:

1. First ever quilt. This teeny thing (i.e. too small to be of any use at all) was made in 2001, back when the only teach-yourself-to-quilt resources were depressingly old-fashioned books from the library. On the plus side, the piecing is pretty good (those logs finish at 3/4") and it's hand quilted. On the negative side, the polyester batting makes me want to cry. The kids love it though (in a that-was-the-first-blanket-you-made-me kind of way), so it can't be all bad.

2. First applique quilt, 2002. God help me. This is the only photo I have - the actual quilt went to charity a long time ago. Again with the super puffy polyester batting. One positive thing - this was the first quilt I made to my own design (even if that design turned out to be, ahem, less than what I had envisaged).

3. Ugliest quilt in the world, 2002 - never (no longer in my possession). OhmygodIcan'teven. Thinking about it, this might be where my dislike of scrappy comes from. I didn't take a photo of it before I chucked it, which is kind of a shame but believe me you should be grateful. It was a crazy patchwork nightmare made in all sorts of alarming pastels (left over from the applique quilt above). The one thing it had going for it was that I didn't use polyester batting. Unfortunately I used a nasty blanket instead. Sigh.

4. 2003 - 2005: an assortment of forgotten things.

5. The first quilt I was actually quite pleased with, 2006 (just don't look too closely at the badly matched seams). A strippy snowball with actual cotton batting. It's sized for a toddler bed, but never really got used because said toddler went straight into a big-boy bed. Pity.

6. A series of single bed quilts (one for each child), 2007. Daniel's (the starry one) is still in use, but the others have been replaced with slightly more grown-up alternatives. I love these quilts. They bring back so many memories of when the girls were little. They mean cosiness and love and comfort to me.


It's hard to see how making these quilts has led me to where I am now, aesthetically. I no longer (except occasionally) make quilts for beds. I make them for walls, for display. Sometimes one will happen to be big enough that it gets a bit of couch use (like the scrappy tripalong, and Sunrise), but that is definitely the exception not the rule. I think my early quilts helped me to overcome my fear of "getting it wrong" - after all, quilting is just cutting bits of fabric up and sewing them back together. I rarely follow a pattern now (unless I'm making a monster). These quilts gave me a knowledge of boring but essential stuff like construction and quilt maths, with the added bonus of fulfilling their traditional purpose - keeping people warm.

Now I've moved on to less traditional purposes. I like it here.

12 comments:

  1. YAY for shameless copying!!! Seriously, what was it with polyester batting...who in the world told us to use that stuff. I really like how you talk about these early quilts helping you to overcome your fear of "getting it wrong". That's priceless.

    ReplyDelete
  2. A nice visual of your route to where you are now Charlotte - a varied 'path' for sure!

    ReplyDelete
  3. That's fun, to see the various things that led you along :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Love seeing the evolution, though somewhere along the line you did a huge leap forward in style. My quilts for the girls are the same. They are full of love, and cuddles, and all that is good. You've got lots of memories in those quilts.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love seeing first quilts, even more so now you've found your own 'voice'. Love Daniel's quilt.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Love where you've got to now, although the old ones hold (mostly) nice memories :o)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank you for sharing your quilts, and any quilt that belonged to your children is always special.

    ReplyDelete
  8. It's always interesting to see the starting point of someone's patchwork and quilting journey. Thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh yeah I was a polyester batting person too. I've found 80/20 cheap enough now that I don't even keep some of that to hand any more. I still have my first for-me quilt- it's only from about 3 years ago and the batting doesn't even go all the way up to one of the edges :D oh and the binding is coming off! It's still my sofa nap quilt though and I will not hear a bad word said about it.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I loved this post - what a great idea!

    ReplyDelete

thanks for making my day!