Learning How to Quilt: My First Quilt and Most Recent Quilt

how to quilt my first quilt for mom
My beautiful mom with my very first quilt.

My mother taught me many things. An excellent seamstress, she made most of my clothes (and those of my three sisters) when I was young, and then taught me to make my own. It was also under her guidance that all of us learned to knit-and crochet, and needlepoint, and embroider, and even for a brief spell in the sixties, macramé.

But quilt? No. We were not a quilting family. We pored over pattern catalogs, treasured looking at the fabric in Marshall Field's, and smoothed out the garment tissues on the living room floor. We did not quilt.

So what came over me 20 years ago when I decided learn to quilt and make my mom a small quilt for Christmas? I have no idea. But I remember having a lovely time choosing the reds and greens and stitching the simple quilt pattern together.

Not content to pull it out only during the holiday season, my mom has had this little quilt draped over a chair in the living room every day since I made it.

how to quilt the back of my first quilt
I had no idea mitered corners existed.

When Vivika asked the quilt team to write about their beginning quilting experiences, I knew exactly where my first quilt was. And my sister was kind enough to drive over to mom's to take a snapshot and email it. (Thanks, Ruth!)

When I'm back home, I marvel at how much I've learned since I made that quilt. And although my technique (mitered corners!) has certainly improved, I do like that this early attempt has been continuously loved and treasured. We all start somewhere.

how to quilt my latest quilt
My hand-painted fabrics are the
focus of my latest quilt.

My last quilt is just as easy to locate. I have it hanging in my office. Obviously a bit different in style, this quilt is the first in a series that I'm working on with the encouragement of my quilt group.

My hope is that I continue to cut, piece, and sew that I will treasure each step of my quilting journey as much as my mom has treasured my earliest attempt.  

P.S. As I continue on my quilting journey, I consider myself lucky to have some of the best quilting resources available from the Quilting Daily Shop. Here are some of my favorites:

If you're new to quiltingInternational Quilt Festival/Quilt Scene magazine offers a virtual tour of the biggest quilt show on the planet, with galleries of award-winning quilts, plus projects and perspective from every area of quilting.

Modern Patchwork magazine is perfect for people with some sewing experience who want to learn how to quilt. The projects range from simple accessories and home decor (like place mats and table runners) to full-sized quilts.

Scrap Box Table Topper: With this pattern, you can learn basic quilting techniques like piecing and binding.

Fabulous Finishes DVD: When you're learning how to quilt, it's important to learn about the different ways to finish your quilt. In this video, Susan Brubaker Knapp shows you how with clear, easy-to-follow instructions.

Art Cloth eBook: If, like me, you decide to look into surface design and art quilting, this book, by surface design legend Jane Dunnewold, is the best place to start.


Other topics you may enjoy:


Binding & Finishing, How to Quilt, Quilting Daily Blog