Everyone has a story about creating their first quilt. Sometimes the first quilt was made with someone special teaching you the basics.  Other times you decided to try it on your own through trial-and-error or with an instruction book. 


How did you learn to quilt? We want to hear the story of your first quilt.

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Comment by Meegan Carr on February 22, 2013 at 7:50pm

Hi Dee,  Thanks for sharing! I love the satin ribbon disguise. What a great idea.  I think many quilters are like good carpenters... mistakes may be made, but a way is always found to disguise the "oops".

Comment by Dee Shreffler on February 22, 2013 at 6:22pm

Great stories, It was fun reading them.  I tried to make my first quilt just doing what I thought would work. I took sewing classes is school,  but that is so different than quilting. I thought that I would just cut blocks of material, sew an antique hankerchief on each.I machine stitched them on the block.  Simple right. I hand quilted the handkies using a big hoop for the frame.  Unfortunately I didn't think about how important that all the squares were the same size. So when I tried to put the top together, I had a real serious problem. :(    I finally added a 3" satin ribbon between each block to disquise differences in sizes. It has problems but it is pretty.

Comment by Meegan Carr on February 20, 2013 at 4:09pm

Hi Carla,  That's a great story! I would love to have one of the quilt frames that hangs from the ceiling.  What a space saver that would be.  Thank you for sharing. I think this is turning into a great thread... everyone remembering where they started on their quilting journey.

Comment by carla j walton on February 20, 2013 at 1:02pm

hummmm. good idea telling our first quilt stories. well I learned to quilt by watching my grandmother. she did not actually set down and teach me but I watched her closely. she did everything by hand, cardboard templates and scissors were all she had. the quilt frame was hung from the ceiling and drawn down to whatever level was needed to quilt comfortably. my grandfather had to watch t.v. while looking across the quilts. he never- ever complained.  when she was finished she would simply pull them up to the ceiling again. I also had one of those ceiling frames that my grandfather made me when I started quilting. my grandmother also has a treadle machine that she made dresses on, but the quilting was done by hand. this all interested me greatly. I loved the whole process and so started my quilting. I watched this happen all the way through my childhood, took homemaking in high school which I failed miserably because I did not follow directions, I did things on my own, and I was probably 18 when I actually started quilting. by early 20's I was heavily into it. my first quilt was a simple 5 inch square scrappy made with clothes. I also made some with knit. after all it was the 70's. LOL  I have no clue how many I have made to date but I do know it numbers well over 50 for sure. I enjoy it now more than I ever have. I keep a picture of my grandmother over my cutting table for inspiration and I talk to her sometimes and ask her opinion. she always approves. :)

Comment by Meegan Carr on February 20, 2013 at 11:13am

Hi Kathy,  Thank you so much!  It was a pleasure to meet you too.  The Museum is such a wonderful place and I hope that everyone is able to visit us.  I love your story and I'm so happy that the quilt was passed on to the next generation.  A quilt that is given has immense sentimental value and in some cases, tells the story of a family's heritage.

Comment by Kathleen Ackerson on February 20, 2013 at 7:42am

My first quilt was a rail fence I started for my son, Patrick, in 1984 (he was ten).  It was made with Peter Pan and VIP calicos....rust, red, brown and yellow; cut with scissors from a cardboard template, and pieced (rather inadequately) on my  Singer.  I started quilting it with "invisible polyester" thread, and soon ended up with a great big mess!  Needless to say, that quilt didn't make it on his bed.  Twelve years later, in 1998, I picked it up, picked out ALL the polyester quilting stitches, and re-quilted it for his beautiful little daughter, Brianna, who was 2 1/2.  I do a little better job with these things today........thanks for the "share" invite, Meegan.  It was great to meet you at the Museum last week; good luck with all things VQM......Kathy

Comment by Meegan Carr on February 20, 2013 at 7:25am

Hi Sherri, and thank you for your story. I love how some people learn things as children and then find a passion for it as adults.

 If you ever get to Harrisonburg, Virginia, you should really stop by "my" museum (The Virginia Quilt Museum).  We have a small gallery dedicated all types of antique sewing machines from around the world. 

Comment by Meegan Carr on February 20, 2013 at 7:19am

Thanks, Viki. I am hoping that someone in the guild I just joined will help me learn to do some curves.

Comment by Sherri Denney R.T. (R) on February 20, 2013 at 6:56am
I just completed my first quilt six months ago. I learned to sew in Home Ec class in high school. When my kids were young, a friend gave me her mothers old machine and I fell in love! I tried to make a quilt, but had no idea what I was doing. Now, many years later, my husband and I are working different shifts. He helped me to set up a nice sewing area (I am surrounded by my antique sewing collection!)I was determined to learn how to quilt! My first quilt was a log cabin style kit I had purchased from Nancy's Notions a few years ago. It took about a month to finish the top and a cousin of my mother-in-law does long arm quilting and finished it for me. I have been hooked every since!!
Comment by viki hagan on February 19, 2013 at 12:36pm

Meegan, you're welcome..and I hope you try curves soon..if you sew clothing just think of them as set in sleeves. I was wary of doing them for a long time, but I really was worrying myself for nothing.

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