Friday, July 17, 2009

First Quilt

I've been seeing everyone posting their first quilts lately and had hoped I'd find one of my first quilts while I was here in MN...
Well. after a visit to my mother's today. Here it is!

Dull huh? I Don't think when I made this quilt, that I thought about my choice of colors, I used whatever I had. (gee! there's a thought!)
I could stand to try that theory again! It's mint green, peach, cream and GREY! Weird combo. But then again, I don't think that has changed much in my recent quilts!

I made this quilt when i was 19. I can't recall if exactly it was my first quilt but, I do know this was my first machine pieced quilt. The quilting is really bad. and I hand tied it with ribbons most of which are now gone... My mother has over the past 20 years had to repair it, patch it to keep it together, as it was made for one niece, then passed on to the next niece, who is now 15 and still sleeps with it on her bed...
Even though B, designed her this quilt. this one stays folded up on the end of her bed...

As for my latest quilt... well, I haven't finished anything large lately, but have many tops in the works...
this little one, done for a swap with Chen at Mushyhead sweatshop. my influence?
well, read on....

I have mentioned in the past about wishing I had one of my grandmother's crazy quilts. Well, Yippeeee! My mother gave me this quilt top today!
I think I am still VERY influenced by the quilts she made us when i was kid... All crazy quilts, all hand done, and tied... poly & cotton pieces...
I used to love wrapping up in them, and looking at every single piece of fabric sewn into them.... picking a favorite... Well, I am as giddy as a school girl because this one is mine.

And here is the lovely lady who made them, the photo is probably around 1951... By the time she reached 36 years old,arthritis hit her hard, and while I was a kid, I only knew her as my grandma who couldn't bend her knees, elbows or most of her fingers, Yet she sat and cranked out these crazy quilts one after the other...
I would sit at her kitchen table with a 3" x 3" cardboard cut out and ink pen, and trace the squares on fabric and cut them out, when she wasn't making crazy quilts...
Then she would sew all the squares together... And that I how I learned to hand piece...

When I met Amanda the other day I got out of the car and she said, Your so tall! (blogs are so deceiving! ;-)) Well, Amanda, Here is who I get it from! My grandfather was quite tall. My grandmother... not so much!

OOOH! we had some fun yesterday! Antique shops! Fabric shops! oh my! Here's B and my mother at the fabric shop in Rogers, MN. And my little stack of stash right in front. They had that fake fur stuff on sale 50% off, and B begged and pleaded for me to make her a blanket out of it... so home it goes...

I'm also happy to report that my cabin is still intact, and I see no signs that a tornado went through here Tuesday. Other than the 4" of water inside my rinky dink boat, which I bailed out... No trees down, cabin still sitting on it's foundation, all is good. I think only an awning or two and a sweet corn stand got tossed around in town... it sure seemed to make the news though! People on the east coast were calling me after they heard it on the news...

I have so many other goodies... But I'll save them for another day...
This maybe my wordiest post ever! Happy sewing!


  1. Glad to hear your cabin was OK. I had no grandma or mother in my life who sewed but I am so attracted to crazy quilts. My frist quilts were awful. I enjoy your blog, thanks for sharing.
    My blog address is
    Comw and see if you like.

  2. It made me laugh (I'm sorry) but it obviously been loved. I see where you got your sense of color. I too spent wonderful hours with my grandmother. She too was crippled with arthritis but her twisted fingers made us doll clothes and showed me how to embroider. Con't to have a lovely time. Last post and on to moving day.

  3. Too funny about the quilt! It's great the things that kids find special and latch onto.

  4. Your grandma's quilt...WOW!!! Check out that color! What a great influence and what a treasure for you.

    Love that your first quilt is still being loved and used.

    Was thinking with you while I was improvising on my new machine last night. Have a great day!!!

  5. I love my mini quilt!! It's funny, when I saw your first quilt, I thought "But that's just not V!". When I think of your quilts, I think bright, beautiful, vibrant colors. I LOVE your grandmother's crazy quilts. So awesome! Glad you're having such a good time in MN.

  6. Your first quilt was great! Modern to boot! I love the bright mini-quilt you just finished - great color! And you get it from your grams! Her crazy quilts really are CRAZY! Love them!

  7. I luv your Grandmother's quilt! I have one from my Great-grandmother and another from a Great-aunt and I cherish both of them. And I definitely see you in that first quilt. Fun stuff my friend. Enjoy your visit!!

  8. I just got a book from the library on crazy quilts and they seem so much fun. Once I get done with my first and my nieces' I will begin a crazy quilt. Thanks for sharing your first quilt, impressive that you started at 19. I love B design of the xo quilt sweet. Wish I was antiquing with you. So glad your home is OK. Have fun! I am off to Portland tomorrow.

  9. oh that crazy quilt of your grandmother's is a hoot! lots of fun. oh, I feel so sorry for her though with that terrible arthritis. ouch.

  10. Your Grandmother's crazy quilt is beautiful and thank you for sharing your memories. I'm glad your cabin is okay and I'm sorry B made you buy fake fur (better than real fur I guess). xo

  11. Wonderful to have such a great connection with your grandmother and quilting. My first visit to your blog, stop over to mine when you get a chance.

  12. I agree, that crazy quilt is quite something. I've always liked the randomness of them. Just to let you know the fabrics arrived safely yesterday, and I have just posted the finished piece to you today. I wanted to make sure it got to you in time. Thanks for the opportunity to make it, I really enjoyed using those fabrics.

  13. First...I see the influence of the colour of the times in the first quilt...and it's still in use...
    Your grandmother, now there is a woman who was so ahead of her time!
    Fabulous fabulous work and to think that she gave you a top...Girl you are so lucky! and full of joy to boot I'll bet. when you mentioned the cutting out after tracing the blocks with ink and scissors....we have come a long way in quilting.
    Whoever invented the rotary cutter and board are angels.
    Your cabin looks sweet and I'm glad it is still there for you!

  14. Isn't it amazing when we look back at our early projects? I love the fact that your first quilt is being used and appreciated and not packed away in a box somewhere. It made my eyes mist over to read the comments you shared about your grandmother. It is a wonderful legacy to pass on...

  15. Great post and great quilts. I love the skinny churn dash blocks in your first quilt. And the story about your Grandma is beautiful. What lovely crazy quilts, thanks for sharing xo

  16. What a treat to get one of your grandmothers quilts! It's amazing- as are your other quilts. Such a heartwarming legacy :-)

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  18. i LOVE your grandmother's quilt! that is one crazy and FUN quilt!!! I'm glad to know that your cabin is intact and all is well. it's fun to see your first quilt, too.

  19. We had a crazy quilt that my Grandmother made, but we used it up keeping warm when we were children on the farm - there were nine of us.
    You probably drove within 10 miles of my house between your cabin and the Rogers MN quilt shop!

  20. This was a wonderful post. I just love hearing stories of how we made our first quilts and how we were influenced. So neat to see the picture of your grandmother. :-)


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