Wednesday, August 6, 2014

First and Most Recent Quilts

My friend Laura West Kong has started Quilt Bloggers Collective on Facebook, and today she decided to offer a "seed" for August. I just had to give this one a try. She says, "August Blog Seed: write a post featuring your first quilt and your last quilt. Its quick, fun, and interesting. Takes two photos and a paragraph or two about how your quilt making has evolved over the years."

This faded and out-of-focus photo is of the very first quilt  I ever made. It's from 2009.
I was a cross-stitcher who decided to learn to sew and make quilts. I took a class at JoAnn on how to use a sewing machine, and then got some books from Barnes & Noble to teach myself about quilting. I was afraid of triangles at first, so my first few quilts are squares and rectangles.  But here's the thing - I didn't know about pinning to match seams!  So my quilts from back then are wonky, with mismatched seams. I have 4 like that.  Also, I didn't know how to quilt, so this first one is tied. The next couple quilts I tried quilting in the ditch, and wasn't really satisfied with that.

I spent the next couple of years making miniature quilts and paper-piecing. I participated in online mini-quilt swaps, and grew tired of that because I really had no use for them.  I have a couple of drawers full of mini-quilts and don't know what to do with them.  I tired of paper-piecing, as well - but will paper-piece occasionally if I have to.

My passion now is piecing and using up scraps. I'm in two guilds, and both of them have community service programs which take donated quilts and give them to shelters, veterans, sick children, etc.  I have a few friends in the guilds, Laura included, who take my tops and do the quilting - most of them also provide the batting and sometimes even the backing - then I put bindings on them and turn them in.  I've made quite a few personal quilts - for family - and have several places and friends who will quilt them for a fee.  But my community service quilts are all "scrappy."  I use EVERYTHING - pieces even as small as 1" x 1.5".  I'm known as the "scrappy lady" at my guild, and at every meeting, someone will hand me a bag of scraps. I cut them into strips and squares, and use a variety of patterns to turn all those scraps into tops. Sometimes I'll use Kim Brackett's Scrap-Basket books, sometimes I'll use a Bonnie Hunter (Quiltville) pattern.  But there are times I'll design my own.   This one below is the most recent quilt I've finished.  I took a regular Ohio Star and elongated it - I did this on graph paper.  Then I used a concept from a designer/author named Karen Combs, called split 9-patches. 

This quilt is made up of 2.5" squares and HSTs that are first sewed into 9-patches.  Some are all neutral or all scrappy, and some are split like a giant HST between neutral and scrappy.  If you look at the quilt, you can see that the top row is made up of two all-neutral 9-patches and six split 9-patches. The sandwiching and quilting was done by Cathy Kreter, and I will be donating this one to community service at our guild. All of the squares and HSTs are from donated fabric, and I got the border fabric on sale for $5 a yard at a shop in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida.

1 comment:

laura west kong said...

Love them both! There's nothing wring with wonky, especially for first quilts.My first quilt is tied and a little wonky too. Its always fun to see your scrappy quilts. they're always so lively!