Sunday, August 12, 2007

Six Years Ago This Month




Six years ago this month I started quilting. Well, technically I guess I wasn't quilting, but I took the required rotary cutting class before I could take the beginners class the following month. I got real confused about using the rotary cutter - some blog readers may remember why - so thank goodness I had a month to practice before I had to cut the good fabric!
I had enough brain cells left to know that I needed to go to Joann's and buy cheap fabric to practice on. Of course, the fact that I had two yards of every single piece in the Robyn Pandolph line "Morning Glory" waiting for me really spurred me on to figure out the rotary cutter/ruler thing.
I saw the Scrappy Flag episode on Alex Anderson's quilt show. I can do that! Now remember that I had not taken my first quilting class yet, only the rotary cutter class, and that the old brain still wasn't firing on all cylinders.
I figure I bought probably 20 yards of patriotic fabrics at JoAnn's, so I started cutting those up into half square triangles, and started sewing them together -- with a 5/8" seam!! When those were all sewn together, I cut out the blue and the stars and managed to figure out enough of the instructions and sewed those together - with a 5/8" seam!! I sewed the whole thing together and it was awful but I was real proud of it. But I couldn't figure out why I lost all those points on the stars, and why it didn't look like the picture on the pattern.
Well, I took my first quilting class in Sept. and learned that I had to use 1/4" seams. Yikes! So not one to give in readily, I spent that whole next weekend taking off that first blue block and making another one using 1/4" seams and sewing the flag back together. You guessed it, I didn't fit. So I just put a strip of red across the top. Now my flag was done, and I was ready to figure out the quilting part of it. But it still looked horrible.
And to add insult to injury, my maid, Lupe, who was studying for her citizenship test, informed me that I didn't have enough stripes on the flag, so I made another row or two. Now the flag was square! Who has ever heard of a square flag? It had a blue square with 1/4" seams, sewn to red and tan blocks with 5/8" seams, a strip across the top to make it all fit - and it was square! I was ready to throw the whole thing away and give up quilting.
Confession is good for the soul. I didn't throw it away. I wadded it up and stuffed it in the bottom of wire basket holding all those patriotic fabrics from Joann's. I found it this morning, and decided to share it with the world! Aw, sheesh, I really am going to do this! I just threw the wadded up mess over Daisy curled in her quilt on the floor, and snapped it. I'm going to post this before I change my mind.
I guess the reason I was thinking about this today -- JUDY'S BOOK CAME IN THE MAIL!! I'm so excited! The book is just gorgeous, and the quilt I made for her is on Page 33. I won't post a picture of it here. This is Judy's book and her moment to shine! I fixed a cup of coffee and sat down to read it. I was reduced to tears to see that she mentioned my name in the Acknowledgements. She didn't have to do that. I love you, Judy! Thank you for turning me into a quilter. Perhaps if you had seen my first attempt, you would have thrown up your hands and given up on me completely!

13 comments:

Yvonne said...

I got my book also and I saw your quilt...I'm really glad you didn't give up on your quilting. I can see this book certainly becoming one of my favorites. So special for you to be a part of it :)

Dottie said...

I love your flag quilt even if is square.

JudyL said...

It doesn't matter about your first attempt - it's your second and third and 150th and so on that matters. I doubt many of us made masterpieces with our first project -- especially if we jumped in and started sewing before we took our first class. Your work is fantastic! I've used your piecing to get quilts judged into Road to CA, AQS Expo in Nashville and one will be published in a future issue of American Quilter. I'm very proud of your work, I never question if a quilt you send me will be "good enough" to enter in a show or submit for publication. I couldn't have done what I did last year without your help and I appreciate that and you more than you'll ever know!

Gail said...

5/8" seams......I resemble that remark! The difference is that I was trying to do the dresden plate placemats with those large seams. Never did finish and since it was years til I even heard of quilt shops and quilt classes, it was years until I learned of 1/4" seams. (and I still haven't started my pumpkins)

Mary said...

Well, I like the flag! My 7th year quilt anniversary is coming up this fall also. Hard to believe I've been at it this long.

I can't wait to see Judy's book - mine's probably already waiting for me at home but I don't get there until Wed.

Kim said...

So you weren't ALWAYS perfect, Vicky? Sheesh, who knew? Guess I can't talk to you anymore! LOL! Thanks for sharing!

Laurie Ann said...

You've come a long way baby. Good job! :) I was wondering what that lump was under the quilt. :) That is so great you have a quilt in Judy's book. Can't wait to see the picture!

Nan said...

What a great story - your quilting is so beautiful, who knew you had such a rocky start! You must've gotten it all out of your system with the first project. The best part of the entire story - you didn't give up! And, baby, look what you're doing now! Congratulations on having your quilt published!!!

Evelyn aka Starfishy said...

A first quilt always has a special place in your heart. My first quilt had very large seams in places too and narrow seams in others. It is a bit wonky, certainly not straight - the batting was an old orange blanket my Mom gave to me! I am glad that I didn't know better and kept at quilting, learning as I went. You were lucky to have classes right off - and look at all the great quilts you have made (including your star quilt - love the bit about how you had to add more to it)! Happy Anniversary!!!

Cheers!

Evelyn

Marcie said...

Yet another reason to buy Judy's book! Can't wait to see it! And it is lucky you pointed out all your flag flaws because I didn't catch them. It looks darling!

Jeanne said...

The flag quilt looks very charming to me. I'm glad you didn't toss it.

sharon said...

Your maid who was getting her citizenship told you that you didn't have enough stars on your quilt??? LOL!!!!!!!!!!

Patti said...

I think there are many of us who have horror stories about their first quilt - I know I do. I'm with Dottie - I love your flag quilt. I was admiring it in the picture before I started reading your post, and I kept going back to the picture trying to see the mistakes. Still looks wonderful to me!