I first got into quilting in my early 30's. Quilts weren't a part of my life up to that point. In fact, I had never sewn anything up to that point! Not even a button. So when my co-worker told me "you should learn to quilt" I laughed at the idea.
But when this co-worker, who had been quilting for 20 plus years, brought her quilts into to work one day...I was blown away! They were stunning. And not at all what I had always thoughts quilts were. These were works of art. It changed my world view of quilts which ultimately has changed my life.
With her recommendation I bought a $100 sewing machine on Amazon and took a beginning sewing class at the local Sewing and Vacuum shop just to learn the basics. Once that was done I signed up for a beginning quilting class at the local fabric store.
I learned pretty quickly with this first quilting class the importance of quality fabrics. I had bought fabric at the large big-box commercial store, whom shall remain nameless to protect the innocent, and didn't pay attention to the fact that it wasn't 100% cotton. Having never purchased quilting fabric before I just bought what I thought was cotton that ended up being a cotton-polyester blend.
In case you didn't already know this, polyester doesn't like super hot irons; it can melt or warp. I learned this when I was trying to press up my strips for the 4 patch and it kept getting warped. My teacher noticed my frustration and that's when we discovered what my fabric really was. The next day I went the quilt fabric shop and bought quality quilt cotton. Below is the result of switching to this better fabric. This is my first quilt I ever made.
I was so proud of myself for making this quilt and I was instantly hooked. I knew at that point, quilting would always be a part of my life.
I gave this quilt to my grandmother. She has always been my biggest fan and support system.
I recently got this quilt back from her when she passed away on July 6th, 2019. She was 99 years old. Even though at that point in someone's life you know the inevitable is coming, it still never prepares you for the actual moment. I miss her terribly.
She always displayed this quilt proudly in her apartment and cherished it. I'm glad I was able to give her something that was meaningful. And now that the quilt is back in my arms I will cherish it even more. It now has more meaning for me than when I first made it.
I love to hear stories of everyone's first quilt experience. What was yours like? Do you still have your first quilt or did you give it away? Let me know in the comments below.