During the two years of my time away from all sewing and quilting, I still loved the idea of quilting. I continued to watch the Missouri Star Quilt Tutorials and we even visited Missouri Star Quilt Company on one of our cross country road trips. I purchased two layer cakes and I was determined to learn-someday. It was the most amazing shop I had ever seen. I was smitten and wished we lived there. I had fallen in love with pre-cuts and wished Joann fabrics carried some. It NEVER occurred to me to look for other quilt shops where I lived except a small one I had seen in our town. They had very few pre-cuts and I was convinced, IF I was going to quilt-I needed pre-cuts. But the love of quilting was always growing and being nourished thanks to Jenny and her happy tutorials.
I didn’t quilt or sew again though until my fourth and youngest child was two and a half years old. I felt like I had more time every day because with each new day-my children were growing more independent. My husband encouraged me to try a hobby. I had finished mostly updating our home with paint, lighting and fixtures but many projects would take more time and money. He suggested quilting because I still loved it so but didn’t really give it a fair go earlier. He said I could have a hobby that required time and learning skills, something I could devote myself to.
So we detoured again, on another road trip to visit family, to Missouri Star Quilt Company. This time I was determined to buy something for to quilt for me. It was August and my beloved fall was coming up so I decided to make a fall quilt. I purchased a Jelly Roll called Oaklane Grove by Kathy Schmitz for Moda Fabrics. I also purchased the Block Magazine with the pattern Surprise Pinwheels.
So in September 2018 I started my fall quilt. It was my first “real” pattern as far as I was concerned. When it was done I squared my blocks to the finished size-not realizing finished meant sewn in. When I went to sew all the blocks together, I realized all my points would be gone. I was devastated. I could not believe how I had messed up my first quilt back. I wanted to throw it all away and start again. My husband, however, encouraged me to sleep on it and then just go with it. Each quilt will be a learning experience. Skill comes with practice. My husband is good like that. I however, expect perfection immediately and show myself no mercy. At least I used to. Quilting has taught me more patience, perseverance and that skills are learned over time.
I did piece this quilt together after all. I had no idea had to do binding and it looks all wrong. It is thick, wide and I folded it over the front. It drives me nuts to this day and I have contemplated cutting it off and rebinding it correctly. My husband says I should look at it as I am moving forward and improving. So far, I have not cut it off but no promises.
I wanted this quilt to be extra special. I had only taken in my boys’ Halloween quilts and this was a treat for me. I took it to my local long-armer to be quilted. I selected a 108″ backing she had in stock and I inquired about beginners quilting classes since, I was still convinced I was NOT a good quilter. She politely asked for whom? I replied for me, of course. She asked me if I had made this quilt top and when she learned I had, she said “honey, you are NOT a beginner. This is a beautiful and skillfully done top.” I pointed out my missing points having squared it incorrectly. She told me something very valuable, “We all do that sometimes, even experienced quilters.”
That bit of advice and encouragement gave me confidence. It gave me courage to keep working together and it gave me more trust of my husband’s intuition. Of all people, he knows how much of a perfectionist I am. This quilt though, brought my love of quilting out. I could not wait to improve and I looked up quilting shops around me. I was very surprised to find FIVE large shops with 20 mins and about THIRTEEN within an 90 mins. I would now be regular at these shops getting to know the owners and employees. I had returned to quilting.
Kelly O. says
I have a quilt with a wonky binding attempt too! I let my kids drag that sucker all over the place in hopes the binding will get damaged enough that I’ll have to replace it. Dang quilt binding has 9 lives! The quilt has seen some wear but that binding takes a licking and keeps on kicking. It will make a great trunk show story quilt when you have dozens of immaculate beautiful quilts to show–you can share where you started.
You are quite right! I really want to remove it but my husband thinks it should be a show of where I have grown in my skill. A trunk show-isnt that a fun thought?!
My first quilt (after a couple of wall hangings) was a snowball quilt for my daughter! I was Self taught, I used Walmart fabrics and Walmart flannel for the back! That quilt (lots of mistakes) is still loved!
It is definitely one of those always treasured items. Most people never get a handmade item so even ones imperfect mean so much. Time is by far the best gift to give and it really show when we gift a quilt-all the time that went into making it.
Precuts for the win!
I started with precuts too…couldn’t imagine buying & cutting up fabric, plus I didn’t yet trust myself to choose prints/colors that went together.
I agree with your hubby; your quilt journey will always move forward but it’s good to look back & see where we came from.
Also, in your bio you mention your faith-I’d love for you to write about that sometime!
Thanks Leslie! I was the same way with precuts because I loved that a line was already designed to go! Perhaps someday I will write about my faith since it is the most important part of me and forms our family direction. Thanks for following!
Linda Pearman says
I loved being able to follow your journey! You should definitely keep your earliest attempts. My very first block finished at around 8 inches instead of 12 inches. I didn’t have a clue what I was supposed to do, so I found a quilt store and took my first class. That was over 30 years ago and I still look at that first block occasionally and think of how much I’ve learned.
Thanks Linda! I know I need to see it all as a progression but I hate not being good at something right away. It is definitely a fault of mine. It is sort of ironic because I teach my children to persevere and practice but I have less grace with myself but I am getting better.