09 May 2013


I took my first quilting class over 30 years ago. I was pregnant with my first child at the time. Hoping for a girl, but not knowing (ultrasounds and amnios were rare in those days), I did not have a single pink thing when the baby was born. Yes, it was a girl.
Two weeks after her birth, I got a phone call from the wonderful elderly woman who had taught me how to quilt: she knew I didn't have anything pink and she'd heard I had a little girl, so she had made a pink baby blocks (or tumbling blocks) quilt for me. By hand. And by this I mean completely by hand. Rotary cutters didn't exist just yet, we marked our pieces with pencil, cut out with scissors and while some of us used the machine, she sewed by hand and quilted by hand.
This is the beautiful quilt she made. And here are some close-ups:

The last picture shows the pattern perfectly.

I had started my own (unisex) quilt a few weeks before, but didn't finish it for a few more years. For one thing, my daughter was a preemie, for another I had bitten off far more than I could handle. She was five when I finally finished her quilt and it is plenty big for a five-year old, she slept under it for a few more years.
I remember quite a bit about how this quilt came together. The pattern came out of a German women's magazine, Brigitte, probably one of the Christmas issues, those always contained crafty things. I am sure there were full-size templates for all the appliques. And the original quilt was in reds, whites and blues. The magazine quilt used a lot of plaid, but there was no plaid to be had where I lived. So, I settled for polka dots and florals, calicos, because that was all there was at the time. I machine appliqued, and I have no idea how I figured that out because that wasn't something covered in our class. Looking at it earlier, I realized that I obviously had a lot to learn back then. I should have made the quilt one row narrower and one row longer because then it would have flowed better (always end with the same kind of block as the first block in a row).

Still, I am kind of proud of my very first quilt. It definitely was a labor of love and even though I didn't really know what I was doing, it turned out quite well. I am getting ready to pass it along to my little grand daughter and figured I'd better take pictures and write about it while I can.

I am linking up with Randi from i have to say for Show 'n Tell Tuesday.


Linda in Calif. said...

Oh yes, I do remember when we didn't have rotary cutters. I tried and failed quilting during that time. But once those cutters came out I could move past the templates and piece a quilt. This is a really cute quilt. How wonderful for your granddaughter to be able to share it also. My first thought was I liked that it didn't match the last image to the first image - so I think you made it better by not knowing that. It's more interesting this way, much more pleasing to the eye. Well, my eye anyway! LOL

Karen said...

I love Tumbling Blocks, they are definitely on my To Do list, your pink quilt is a lovely example, so perfect, my hand sewing would certainly not stand up to any scrutiny! I like your bird and boat blocks too, so cute! :o)

Dee said...

Oh, what beautiful blessings you're sharing with us! I love the delicate pink quilt obviously made with such love...echoed in your quilt with your heart in every stitch! Thank you!

randi--i have to say said...

Thanks for sharing! So much eye-candy here today!