Oh those first efforts. The very first effort was a biscuit quilt. You know, the kind where you stuff each little pillow like biscuit and sew them together. Well, the first one must have weighed 80 lbs. The recipient in fear of being crushed under it, gave it to her dog as a bed. Alas, although disappointed in her actions, I stitched on.
Then I was going to have a baby and wanted a special quilt. I purchased a kit and embroidered the center. Even I must say the embroidery was and still is beautiful. Then time was getting short and I NEEDED to finish the project. Well, those pieces did not fit together like they did in the picture so I just stitched them down. Better done than perfect. YIKES! But wait there is more. I put a 100% cotton batting in the piece and instead of actually quilting it, I tied it. Need I explain what happened when I initially washed the quilt. Heavy sigh.
As my son got to be a big boy of 5 I gave him quilt blocks as a gift for Christmas one year. Yeah, I was “that mom”. And then a top the next year. Well, that was over 30 years ago. I used the best fabric I could afford at the time and chose those fabrics for their color. My son, who is in the navy now, and in his mid-30’s will be getting his quilt this week. It is finally finished. One of my oldest UFO’s is finally done.
My sister Terry of Terry Burris Quilting, quilted this quilt with the same attention to detail as she would have quilted a showstopper quilt. She chose the quilting patterns to reflect the subject matter, and did a beautiful job, elevating this humble effort to something special. In doing so she elevated my confidence to continue trying and making my best efforts with every block I construct.
At the same time I created a quilt for my daughter. I would watch Georgia Bonesteel and Eleanor Burns on PBS and was so inspired by how simple they make it look. My daughters quilt is a sampler. Again, this is not constructed using high-end quilt fabrics, but there are a couple of local quilt shop fabrics in there mixed with some broadcloth and sheeting, as it was what I could afford as a stay at home mom at the time. Terry Burris quilted this piece also. I didn’t even notice my errors, as I was just so enamored by the finished product. Each block was treated as a treasure.
So, stick with your journey. We all start as beginners. No one is perfect at the start. It takes practice. Enjoy each and every accomplishment, and even learn something from the failures. But above all…stitch on.
As usual, you educate and more importantly inspire with your honesty and humble yet artful craft! Thank you from the bottom of my heart and my blood tinged fingers.
Never underestimate your talent. Treasure it and cultivate it. The number of people that try something and excel in their first efforts is not very high. Those that eventually do good work, have failed, and tried again. Kisses to the boo-boos on those fingers.
You would have liked my first quilt. It was a rail fence with 3″ blocks. I used left over scraps from clothes, denim, faux velvet, ( wale less corduroy, that my bridesmaid dresses had been made of) and instead of batting I used an old blanket in it and a sheet on the back. It was pretty with all it’s various colors and HEAVY!!! I can’t say that enough. It was heavy. We slept under it in the back of a van when we drove back to the “States” after living in Fairbanks Alaska for two years. Then we moved to Cocoa Beach Florida from Alaska and didn’t need such a warm quilt. It got packed away there. After Florida we moved to Virginia and the old quilt got to be the cover on the back seat of the van. Several slits were cut into it so seat belts would hold the kids in place when driving. It was getting raggedy by now and all the van abuse. Then it was cut into pieces and found its way wrapping items for another move and after that it disappeared. It got trashed. It had served us well and now we had a new van with a real seat in the back and it was tossed. ~sigh~
Wow. That was a well used quilt. As they should be. I must say though…3″ blocks – wow, that is a bunch of blocks, and it must have taken a chunk of time to get it finished, especially with a little one.