My First Quilt, Last Quilt: A Beginning Quilting Story

Baby Quilt, First Quilt

I finished a baby quilt last night for a coworker who will go on maternity leave soon. It was a delightfully simple block arrangement of scrappy four patches and one patches in charming fabrics from Moda. I truly loved sewing it and my mind meandered happily as I worked. I thought of the enumerable baby quilts I’ve made over the years for friends and family, and how touched the recipient always is to receive such a heartfelt gift.

Jocelin, left, and me with her baby quilt.

And I remembered the first quilt I ever made in the late ’80s, when my dearest friend and I were both pregnant with our first children. I thought a quilt would be the perfect gift for her and her baby, even though I’d never made one before. I saw quilting lessons advertised at a local fabric shop promising my quilt would be finished (or well on its way) by the end of the day. And it was! (I think choosing a small quilt was the key because I’m not a particularly speedy sewist!)

The quilt was a Trip Around the World in primary solids plus a print with a white background and happy, childlike designs in the same primary colors. (I was all about everything matching back then.) There were six fabrics in the top and I used a royal blue for a wide border. The quilt was tied with embroidery floss. I used a polyester batting and a solid white fabric for the backing–which I wrapped up and over. (For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s a technique of “binding” with your backing fabric. After the tying is complete, you trim the batting flush with the quilt top but trim the back about 1″ LARGER so you can fold in 1/2″ and then fold the other 1/2″ onto the quilt top and edgestitch it down.) Mercifully, I do not have a photo to share.

Now, in case you missed it, I just told you the backing was solid white so, yes, my first quilt had a white binding! And it was for a baby!! None of this struck me as odd at the time but I wailed with laughter when, about 10 years and many successful quilts later, my friend pulled out the old quilt to show me. It’s encouraging to note your progress by looking back at early work.

As quilters, we all start somewhere and I still have a fondness for simple block designs and arrangements for many of my projects.

Which brings me full circle to my latest quilt. This quilt might not earn any awards in a show, but it received the greatest accolades at the baby shower–a sincere thank you and a big hug.

 So, how did you decide to start quilting? Go back to the time when you made your first quilt, and share your story. And, by sharing your story you have a chance to win big! That’s right. Share, enter and you might win up to $200 worth of products.Get all the contest details, and share your first quilt story


P.S. Whether you’re just beginning quilting or a seasoned pro, we have many resources in the Quilting Daily Shop. Here are some of my favorites:

The Beginner’s Guide to Quilting:  This is a great introduction to how to learn to quilt. Each of the projects focus on a new technique so you build your skill level as you work through the book.

The Alphabet Baby Quilt and The Shake Rattle and Roll Baby Quilt patterns are two of my favorites and they make great beginning quilting projects.

Craft Tree Easy Quilting Projects is perfect for someone who doesn’t necessarily want to make a quilt but still wants to learn quilting tips and techniques.

Quilting Modern features quilts and wall hangings for the intermediate and advanced quilter who loves fabrics and contemporary block quilting–like me!

Other topics you may enjoy:

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