Early Love Affair!

first quilt
The first quilt I ever made. It came out pretty good considering I had never sown anything up until this point.

If you can’t tell by now I love things that are made by hand.  It can be homemade breads to mugs.  I just love the imperfections that come with items made with a personal touch.  It also helps that in most cases homemade ideas taste better in the form of food but they are also customized to your person style/taste. You can tell a lot about a person by looking at their assortment of hobbies or in this case a quilt.  My love affair with quilts began at a very early age. I estimate somewhere around first of second grade. Those early quilts are still around, but are kept packed away in storage. In my opinion the worse collection to have is one you can’t play with in some sorta way. In this case my mom insist that we keep them in storage away from light since my grandmother made them so many years ago. At this point some are about 25 years old.

My Love Affair with Quilts!

My grandmother was a big time quilter. Not only did she quilt but she hand quilted.  If anyone has ever tried this then you know good and well that it take forever to make any progress.  She loved it thought so the amount of time she spent working on them wasn’t important. Each year she made seven quilts, one for each of her kids, and gave them as Christmas presents.

Fabric Cutting
I’m finishing up some fabric that needed to be cut. I learned while making my first quilt it was easier to make half triangles larger then you wanted them and then cut them to size after sown together.

My parents would always allow me to have the newest quit for my bed but that came at a price. My grandmother as much as she tried could not find all the pins she used when binding the quilt.  My job as the “quilt tester” was to find these needles before my parents put it in their water bed. I’m not sure I could come up with a good estimate of how many time I woke up because I had “found” a missing pin. Looking back on it, it would have been in my best interest to have invest in a lot of safety pins as a Christmas gift to her/me.

Despite being the official “quilt testers” my love of quilts stayed with me.  I mean how could you not love something that is basically art, handmade, and keeps you warm on a cold day. I think that’s why I love soup as well, but quilts don’t get spilled on the floor when you move your leg in the wrong direction.

My Quilting Journey

Strips before sewing
Strips ready to be sown together. I think there was 36 of these in all for the finished quilt.

So a few years ago I started wanting a homemade quilt that I could actually sleep under and didn’t have to worry about light hitting.  I explored a few options including hiring someone to make one for me, but its a pretty expensive project to get started.  I soon figured out why my old quilts are on the “do not touch” list at my parents place. I continued to explore options until I finally came to the assumption I was going to have to make one for myself or get adopted by someone who loved to sew.  Making one myself seemed a lot easier then getting adopted.

My journey into making my first quilt started by a trip to Barnes and Noble.  In most cases when I’m learning something  new it always starts at Barnes and Noble.  I found a book that seemed to fit my skill level which at that point was somewhere between knowing you needed a needle and laying under a finished quilt.  I had honestly never sown anything in my life up until this point.  I figured I’d learn as I went and hopefully I didn’t hurt myself along the way.

Skull Quilt Top
Finished top of the Skull Quilt. This was a request from my best friend who lives in Massachusetts. I’m actually surprised it came out as clean of an image as it did.

I picked a pattern that seem like something I could handle and set out to pick the colors that would become the pattern.  The book I purchased recommended at least 3 colors in every quilt with as much contrast as possible.  I took the easy road with this quilt and went with white, black, and grey.  I didn’t want an ugly quilt because I choose the wrong color assortment.

Skull Quilt Backing
The back of the Skull Quilt. This is one solid piece of fabric, but looks so much like a quilting project in itself that it confuses people when I should them pictures.

A year and a half later a finished the quilt.  Along the way I learned that I am not a hand quilter.  I went out about 4 months into the project and bought a sewing machine. It speeds up the process a lot, but they still take forever.  I also learned that I actually kinda like quilting.  Its a good break from everything else and it makes me appreciate what my grandmother did for the family for so many years. I’ve now made 2 quilts and still don’t have one for myself. I’m working on the plans for my third quilt. At the moment I’m leaning in the direction of a red and black combo or blue and white.  I’ll let you know when I figure it out.

3 thoughts on “Early Love Affair!

  1. Where did you get the awesome skull pattern from? And the wicked cool fabric for the backing? It looks beautiful! I would love to make one for my boyfriend who loves halloween!

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    1. Hi Keri,
      Sorry for the delay in responding to you. It’s actually a custom pattern built off a photo I found on the internet. There are free websites that will build the basic pattern for you and then you pick the colors you want to use. It mainly comes down to matching the shades and not so much the colors they recommend. If you want to email me at roger@apthomesteading.com I’ll try and track down the pattern I used for this quilt.

      Roger

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  2. I would love to make this skull quilt for myself. Can you tell me where you found the pattern for it?
    It turned out so good – I hope your friend loves it.
    -Susie Q

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