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Thread: The first quilt you make will be your worst...?

  1. #1
    Super Member LucyInTheSky's Avatar
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    The first quilt you make will be your worst...?

    My SIL is getting into quilting. She's getting ready to do a queen for the guest bedroom and I volunteered to quilt it on the longarm. She said "I've been told that my first quilt will inevitably stick out among the worst quilts I ever make"... got me thinking about my first quilt. It's just the finished top (ugh! I need to quilt it! ), but I am really proud of it. I know I've technically improved since I made it and I'm sure the points won't be matched perfectly, but overall, it was pretty dang good. Same with the first quilt I did on my longarm - definitely has improved but overall pretty dang good.

    Thought I would put that statement out there and see what you all think. Though I'm guessing this is coming from her quilt shop instructors who made her rip out the SAME SEAM 30 TIMES BECAUSE IT WASN'T PERFECT. Took a lot of will power not to drive the 8 hours to that shop and yell at them. But that's another story.

    So what d'ya think?
    Nothing's a mistake. It's a learning experience. Some experiences, you learn more than others.

  2. #2
    Super Member LucyInTheSky's Avatar
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    Follow up: I went into the closet and dug out the first quilt. It was in a class, with a great instructor, and overall it's pretty good from a technical standpoint. As with everything I make, including now, some slightly off seam junctions, but especially as a new quilter, I think it looks really good. So, yes, this statement bugs me a little bit
    Nothing's a mistake. It's a learning experience. Some experiences, you learn more than others.

  3. #3
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    I loved the first quilt I made and was so proud of how good it looked. ( To me anyway. LOL) I almost cried when I had to give it to the person who ask me to make it for them. To this day, I think it is one of the best I've ever made.
    Fabric is like money, no matter how much you have it's never enough.

  4. #4
    Member SoSewSue's Avatar
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    I bet that is NOT true. I bet most people spend an excrutiatingly long time making their first quilt. Ripping and resewing and ripping and resewing and oh a little recutting and uming and ahing and reading oodles about the next step. (Or is that just me ?). As a result I bet first quilts are generally something to be quite proud of. Yes they will serve as a sign post of how much more we have learned in later years but that is to be expected.

    I bet the 'worst' quilt we make is the first one we rush through - letting one to many 'that's good enoughs' go by.

    But I might be influenced by the fact that I just finished my first proper quilt. All washed and resting proudly on the couch. (Yeah me!).

  5. #5
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    I can definitely see improvement. Good thing it doesn't go the other way. Imagine what our quilts would look like. lol.
    katigirl

  6. #6
    QM
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    My first few quilts were less than good, but I learned from them. If my instructor had told me to rip 30 seams, I would have been done with quilting right then.

  7. #7
    Super Member AnnieH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by katigirl View Post
    I can definitely see improvement. Good thing it doesn't go the other way. Imagine what our quilts would look like. lol.
    True!
    Annie

  8. #8
    Super Member sewbeadit's Avatar
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    I can't even remember my first quilt. Although I know that most of mine are not perfect. I am doing my first long arm quilt and am having a problem on one side being crooked. So I know it isn't going to be perfect either.
    Sewbeadit
    W. Washington

  9. #9
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    When I made my first (about 2 weeks ago) I seam ripped and restitched in places a few times, but never more then 2 times in one place. I figured if someone wants a perfectly straight quilt then they can buy it from the store and it can be made without love!!

  10. #10
    Senior Member pinkberrykay's Avatar
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    My first was better then my second. I did a 9 patch and instead of strip piecing (didn't know about it then) I cut out 2.5 in squares and sew them all together. This created a huge problem when I went to match the seams and they didn't match up. I would have never ripped out the same seam 30 times to resew, I would have packed up and left the class.

  11. #11
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    I like my first quilt better then any I've made. It was made in a quilt class and I hand quilted it. I was amazed how well it turned out.

  12. #12
    Senior Member lfletcher's Avatar
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    I love my first quilt. I have definitely improved, but I was really proud of that quilt at the time. It was fun and started me on this journey.

  13. #13
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    Nope. My third quilt has been my worst.

  14. #14
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    I don't think anyone's first quilt is destined to be their worst, any more than their first pot roast will be their worst. I DO think your SIL needs to find someone besides those quilt shop instructors to learn from or she's apt to wind up never finding the joy in quilting. Sounds like they've gone way beyond being 'quilt police' right into being 'quilt gestapo'...ripping one seam 30 times, really??! That's SO wrong.
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  15. #15
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    My first quilt is not as technically good as later quilts but it is still my favourite. It started me off on my incredible quilting journey and will be treasured for that alone!

  16. #16
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    Oh.. my first quilts ( pre - rotary cutter) , I wish I could reclaim from those I gave them to. Not that I want to keep them and treasure them... I wish now.. no one to have any evidence that I made them. .. One hangs at my Moms house and everytime I see it I want to take it down. I have even made replacements.. but she won't take it down. last time I was there I even offered cash! then fabric.. and still it hangs there.

  17. #17
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    Each new technique seems to be a first for me! I get better the next time. Sewing straight is always a challenge.
    Linda

  18. #18
    Power Poster joyce888's Avatar
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    I have to say mine wasn't too bad. But I did use inexpensive fabric that now I would never buy in a million years. Also my first is still just a top that I felt guilty for not quilting until I found out most people don't quilt their first. I like to look at it from time to time and see how far I've come in skills, fabric quality, and pattern choice.
    Joyce

    Four things you can't recover: The stone.....after the throw. The word......after its said. The occasion.....after its missed. The time......after its gone

  19. #19
    Junior Member Joy.lynn's Avatar
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    My DIL is sewing her first quilt. Some she does at home and some she does here. She sews and I get time with my 2 grand daughters. Her quilt top is wonderful. Beautiful colors, great stitching, and borders. Like the saying goes, quilting is a journey, not about absolute perfection. When I sew clothing, no one looks for errors, but on quilts so many people will check. When I check a quilt I look at a new technique, pattern, or something I want to learn. Some people only want to look to be critical, none of them in my life. I look at a quilt and say "WOW" that is great. Time and love, that is what is important.

  20. #20
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    My first was and is my best. I did not know all the techniques and rules so I just did it. Then spent ten years trying to do things other peoples' way. Now am going back to my own way and getting happier!

  21. #21
    Super Member Annie68's Avatar
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    My first quilt was definitely my worst. It was a ninepatch made from a booklet, teaching myself as I went along. The fabrics were cotton/poly even some 100% poly fabrics as that was all I could get back in the early 80s. Colors were red and orange, hand quilted. I loved it at the time, but looking at it today, complete horror show. It's full of pills where the poly batt came through.

    I certainly enjoyed making it and continue to enjoy every minute all these 31 years later.

  22. #22
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    My first quilt was a turning twenty, it has a lot of sentimental value for me :-)

  23. #23
    Super Member Mad Mimm's Avatar
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    I would not say my first quilt was my worst (though technically it is still unfinished and will not be winning any best in show prizes!) But I think the message is that each quilt is a learning process and you can expect as a new quilter that your subsequent quilts show improvement over your first. As long as your sister gets that point, and doesn't go crazy ripping and re-stitching, she will find the joy and keep on quilting!

    I agree 30 times is a little much - is that a literal number or an exaggerated figure? I can't imagine a seam not fraying like mad after about 15! LOL! Just make sure she takes a class from another shop and can see for herself that there are as many kinds of quilters out there as there are quilts. She will be fine!
    Sheila N.

    When Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, he tried over 2000 experiments before he got it to work. A young reporter asked him how it felt to fail so many times. He said, "I never failed once. I invented the light bulb. It just happened to be a 2000 step process."

  24. #24
    Senior Member cmw0829's Avatar
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    The workwomanship of my first quilt was just fine but I hate the fabric choices I made. I'm getting more and more comfortable all the time choosing fabrics but that first time was a bear.

  25. #25
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    my first bed sized quilt is a fabulous quilt! of course i have learned tons since that first one- but i think the first one was probably one of the best- and would take alot to top. so i whole heartedly disagree with that statement- the first ones may show (room for improvement) but i think that first one is normally one of the best you will ever make
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

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