Tuesday, October 01, 2013

31 Days - Day 1: In the beginning

We learn best what we see modeled. My mom sewed. Not just little matching dresses for my sister and I, but gorgeous toile pinch pleat drapes with matching corded and ruffled bedspreads for our bunk bed, as well as other household sundries.

We were never allowed to sit on our beds after that, but that's another story.

My very first sewing project consisted of a hot pink and lime green plaid elastic waist maxi skirt with a coordinating lime green peasant blouse. It was, after all, 1971 and I was graduating from sixth grade. A hot pink suede belt that tied in front (with the requisite long fringe) completed the outfit.

Sewing became enough of a passion for me that for my college graduation gift, rather than the typical Cross pen set or briefcase, my mom gave me my own sewing machine (up until that time I'd been using an old portable of hers, an all metal behemoth that went forward, backward and made buttonholes via a special presser foot with drop in cams).

Shortly after college graduation, a college friend who lived in the same city as me asked me if I wanted to take a quilting class with her at Montgomery Ward. It was fall, 1982. The four week (six week?) class introduced us to patchwork, applique and hand quilting. None of the now common, more efficient methods were used. We truly learned as the pioneers had done.

Fast forward about six months. Women's World magazine had started publishing sometime the year before, with weekly issues priced at under a dollar. Back then, they included one full blown craft project in each issue. Fate arranged things so that I happened to pick up the issue containing a baby quilt pattern about the same time I found out a friend was pregnant.

And there was born the passion.

Cindy's baby quilt, spring, 1982
Size: Crib (45 x 60)
Pattern: Women's World magazine, four patch with sashing and cornerstones.
Fabric: Poly/cotton gingham and broadcloth.
Quilting: Hand quilted X's through the gingham, hearts in the solid color in each four patch, diamonds in the sashing.
Binding: Commercial purchased double fold quilt binding.

Finding the appropriate fabrics took longer than actually sewing up the top. There are five different color four patches. Each consists of one quarter inch, one eighth inch and one baby gingham square, plus a solid square in the same color. As you can see, I wasn't quite as successful with the yellows as I was with the others.

It's a good thing there are no pictures of the back of the quilt (which I believe was cut down from a sheet), as I'm sure many of the quilting stitches didn't go all the way through. The batting was a high loft polyester - actually easier to needle than most of today's cotton and cotton blend batts.

This one little quilt started the hobby that is thirty-two years old and shows no sign of stopping.

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