Yeah, you read that correctly. This is the first quilt I ever started. Eleven years ago. ELEVEN. That’s more years than Alexis has been alive. It’s mind boggling.

So anyway, I got my first sewing machine for Christmas in 1999. That was a really big year. First real job out of college, getting married, buying a first house, and then the sewing machine. I mean, a really great year… but I digress… again.

Honestly, I was really embarrassed when I opened that box and saw the machine. I guess I thought everyone (my family for pete’s sake!) would think I was a great big wanna-be. Which I was. Of course, no one even thought twice about it. I was really excited to get the thing home… A White ‘Jeans Machine’. Not a really high quality machine, but heck… Chris didn’t even know if I would actually use it… Boy did he not have anything to worry about.

I started sewing with a few tiny projects. I think the first thing I ever “made” was a tiny little pincushion using one of these fabrics, but true to my style it wasn’t long before I decided to take on a (much) larger project. This quilt is queen sized! I was trying to knock off a pottery barn quilt, but I’d say I didn’t really succeed this time. Obviously I wasn’t great at putting fabrics together back then and I didn’t have a stash at all. So what’s a girl to do on a whim? Just start cutting apparently.

So it’s not gorgeous. Hell, it’s not even pretty. Pretty ugly maybe.

I started quilting it in straight lines along either side of the seams. I had no idea what I was doing, so I would lay the quilt on the floor and cut these enormous lengths of thread and start stitching from the center out in big fat stitches (I knew enough to start in the center at least!)

Even back then I wasn’t really that fond of this thing… so it would get put away for weeks or months on end because it just seemed like too much trouble to finish. At some point in the last six years it surfaced again… Probably when I redid my sewing room the last time. That’s when I decided I would never finish this thing if I had to continue with that awful quilting. So I started picking. And picking. And picking those stitches out. I’m still not done with the picking… but I started with the quilting again… this time with a much neater, tinier stitch, and in freehand stars that you can see below. (please ignore the orange chalk lines!) It is more interesting, but still a bit overwhelming.

Remember when I said it was queen sized? Well, it was… but it had this awful white border that just looked cheap to me. So I cut it off before I started picking stitches out… Now the quilt is probably the perfect size for a picnic quilt… not that I ever go on picnics.

She lives on the back of my sewing chair in the loft. Every so often I pick her up and add a few more stars… At one point last spring when I was nesting, I probably got another 1/4 quilted. I was so determined to finish all my UFOs before the baby arrived… ha ha.

Ugly as it is, I think I’ll finish it… some day. I’ll probably even love it when it’s done… but only because I’ll know just how much time and effort has been put into it. How many places it’s traveled with me. And how many things we’ve been through together. Yeah… there I go getting all mushy again.

So… does anyone else out there have an ancient UFO that you just can’t seem to part with? Please share!


One Response to “My First Quilt”

  1. Jennifer on May 16th, 2011 10:41 am

    I have a quilt that I started for Lillian before she was born! I can’t sew a straight line for the life of me, so to say it was a lot of work was putting it mildly! When I finally got the pieces put together I was so afraid I would mess it up when I put it together that I never finished. It is still hanging on a hanger in my laundry room. My neighbor has offered to help me – I saw some of her quilts she posted on FB and we got to talking about them. Now I just have to find the time to head over….

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