Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Sunbonnet Sue: My First Ever Quilt

 My quilting journey started back in 1997.  I was at my local Joann Fabrics with my mother, a place we often visited together, and I saw this Sunbonnet Sue quilt book.  I'd been wanting to try my hand and quilting and I liked the sound of making one in a day.  I was 14 going on 15 and had sewed many things in my short life.  I'd made many clothing items, including an adorable cheerleader skirt, and several pillows.  The next logical step for me was a quilt.

I really like this book.  It had many ideas on how to embellish and put together the quilt.  It was easy to follow even as a first time quilter.  You can find it on Amazon here.

With book in hand and many many cute fabrics I was ready to begin.  Or so I thought.  My Mom is not a quilter and I know of no one else in our family that attempted quilts before me.  Although I do come from a long line of women who sew they do mainly clothing and I even have an Aunt that makes and alters wedding dresses (she's AMAZING!). 

This lack of quilting background really put me at a loss when quilting.  I had no idea there was such a thing as a rotary cutter or that it could be combined with a ruler and mat to create more accurate cuts.  I had a ruler, a pencil, and a pair of scissors.  My seams really didn't match up very well and the whole thing had a bit of wonkiness to it.  Looking back I did quite well but at the time I was upset at its apparent lack of perfection.  In a fit of angst so common among that age group I threw it on the floor and said I never wanted to see it again.  My sister who happened to be visiting home said she'd love to have it and I let her take it away.  Sadly, true to my wish I've never seen it again.  I don't even have a picture of it.  As a small consolation I do have a pillow I made that matches the quilt so at least I have a sample.  The original quilt had 35 different blocks.  There were 18 Sues and 17 Sams.

Here's the pillow.  It's not perfect but I'm still really happy with my first effort at quilting.  It's had a hard life these last 15 years and I think it's worse for wear but still holding up nicely.
As another interesting side note, being a teenager I really didn't have money of my own to spend on this.  My mother was gracious enough to buy me the fabric and batting I needed but during the process I ran out of white thread.  Having no money and no car to go buy more I used the other random colors my mom had in her stash.  It was quite the eclectic blend of white, black, bright pink, lime green, blue, and I'm sure a variety of other colors.  Most of the time this blend didn't show through but occasionally the fabrics was pulled tight enough to view the thread and it makes me laugh thinking back on it now but back then it's one of the things that drove me crazy.  I have since learned my lesson and always keep at least one extra spool of white on hand.

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