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Thread: When you were Beginners -

  1. #1
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    When you were Beginners -

    How many of you - when you were beginners - jumped off the really deep end - with your first project?

    If you were one of them - what did you see that you liked? did you finish the project? what did you learn along the way?

    I think many of us have seen something like "New York Beauty" or a Judy Niemeyer pattern and think that is so cool - and then try to make it without having much of a clue on how to put it together.

  2. #2
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    Mine was the GFG - I bought a plastic template and drew them on to the fabric to cut out, then I drew on the 1/4 inch line - never gave a thought about bias edges. It was so wonderful when they came out with the rotary cutters.

  3. #3
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    Me. When I had my first home-ec class for sewing, I chose to make a wool plaid jumper with a full bias skirt. Hadn't ever made anything but doll clothes before that. In spite of the steep learning curve for that project, matching plaid at the seams, hemming a full bias skirt, etc, I managed a 'C' for it. And I wore it proudly for a couple winters. Figuring out quilt patterns was never a problem.
    Last edited by popover; 05-20-2017 at 09:37 AM.

  4. #4
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    When I asked my neighbor to teach me how to sew, she thought we'd start with something simple - I picked a dress. I actually finished and wore it but half of the skirt never flowed right. Now I know that I didn't cut the fabric on the bias.

    As for quilting, I thought I could tackle a Lone Star - how hard can it be, right? Well, all my angles are off and it is still in a box. I've been thinking of trying to resurrect it. That is how many years experience later...?

  5. #5
    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    My first quilt was an Anita Murphy pattern. It was so easy to follow and I never felt frustrated or at a loss. It is still one my favorite patterns. And when your done you are done, it's quilted as you go. I learned everything I needed to know to jump right in quilting any pattern. Reversible Quilts: An Easy New Technique by Anita Murphy. Really cheap on Amazon now.
    I believe giving what I can will never cause me to be in need.
    Being cheap is not a badge of honor.
    My heroes are working people, paying their own way, taking care of their children and being decent human beings.

  6. #6
    Super Member Krisb's Avatar
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    My first quilt was a sampler for our bed. I thought it would be good to have a variety of techniques--geometric piecing, appliqué, curved piecing, paper piecing, embellished blocks. And a block that was our house. Stood in the driveway about 50 feet away and sketched it. Well, some turned out better than others, but I learned something with every block. Thirty some years later, we still have the quilt.
    I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it difficult to plan the day.

    Kris

  7. #7
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    My first attempt was a king-size Texas Star. A professional finished and quilted it for me - I'd had enough of it 2/3 of the way through!
    Margaret F

  8. #8
    mim
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    mine was a pine tree state -- tree of life for my son. As I recall it was 50 pieces to a 12 inch block. And I hand quilted it. I "learned" from a library book.

    Back then (50+ years ago) there weren't quilt or fabric shops -- Ben Franklin and Sears were where I got fabric.

    Sometimes I look back and wonder at the stuff I did. I had fun doing it all

    Mim

  9. #9
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    i decided on a baby blocks... what was i thinking??? i did get it finished and my grandson loved it.
    Nancy in western NY
    before you speak T.H.I.N.K.
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    Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance.

  10. #10
    Senior Member K-Roll's Avatar
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    I did, bear, and I'm still new and still working on my first quilt. Tumbling blocks the Y-seam way. I've made a lot of progress and now have a beautiful medallion that needs to be set into fabric to make the rest of the rectangle for a queen-sized covering. "Without a clue as to how" to proceed is right. I didn't want to set them in rows --- I didn't have a final plan --- my seams are coming out really good --- and the 1st backing bought online is not right. Now I have the proper backing though still working on the top. At this point I am not too fond of hexagons. I started EPP without a plan after seeing pictures of La Pass quilts...then stopped those bits to take a class and start my TBlks quilt.
    No plan - no clue - YOLO haha. It gets wearisome to be so scattershot and unskilled: I won't give up. This is my creative life continuing.
    "The only war that matters is the war against the imagination." - D. DiPrima

  11. #11
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    What gets to me - is when I mess up something that is on the "very very very easy" end of the scale!

    and I have - wrong cuts, assembling out of order - whatever - BAH!!

  12. #12
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    One of my beginner quilts was a feathered star. Not one but nine for a bed quilt. I didn't know how to handle those biased pieces but it turned out pretty good. I also decided to hand quilt it. Did you know you have to stitch thru a lot of fabric when sewing closer than 1/4 from the seams? I finally finished it and am quite proud of the way it is. Not perfect but done.

  13. #13
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    Me! When I decided that I would make a king sized quilt for our bed last fall. I'm doing Marti Mitchell's Quilting in Sections technique and hope to get it finished in the next few months.
    Patrice S

    Bernina Artista 180, Singer 301a, Featherweight Centennial, Rocketeer, Juki 2200 QVP Mini, White 1964 Featherweight

  14. #14
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    Me. 1976 and since the dress disaster in 8th grade Home Ec I had never sewn anything. I wasn't artistic, confident, or particularly ambitious. I knew nothing about fabric, color choices, quilts, needles. I pulled it out of the hope chest recently to add to the record of all the quilts I've made.

    I did hand quilt it but only in one direction.Name:  My First Quilt  1976.JPG
Views: 710
Size:  1.82 MB I am proud of how far I've come!
    Last edited by marge954; 05-20-2017 at 01:04 PM.

  15. #15
    Power Poster Boston1954's Avatar
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    I have my hand up. It was an eight pointed star. That means eight pieces of fabric meeting up in the middle. Yikes! What was I thinking? (actually I was not thinking) The project never got finished and I can barely remember what fabrics I was using. I have learned to go to the library (had no computer in 1992)to check for projects that would be equal to my skill level.
    Life is not a movie. No one is going to yell "CUT" when you make a mistake. - Anne L. Fulton

    I am from the South....39 miles south of Boston.

  16. #16
    Power Poster RedGarnet222's Avatar
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    I began quilting before the cutting mats and rulers. It was templets and eyeball the 1/4" cutting it out with scissors. I also hand pieced. Boy, am I ever glad for those clever ladies who developed those! My first one was a old fashioned hand pieced, cathedral window quilt and I had it about half finished when where I had it stored flooded and ruined them all. :~(

    Later down the road, I did manage to make two twin sized strip machine made denim quilts for my boys beds that they took with them when they moved out. They had those quilts until they shredded they loved them so much.

    I guess the next one was a blue and pink log cabin I made as a christmas gift for my best friend. It was a elemore burns Quilt in a Day , you tear strips pattern and I loved how fast it went. Next was a sun bonnet sue, all hand done. That was fun but slow going. A lady talked me into selling it to her. But, when the rulers and mat came out, look out! I was in total love with quilting as a pastime hobby, all the time.
    Last edited by RedGarnet222; 05-20-2017 at 01:47 PM.
    RedGarnet222

    "Take your needle, my child, and work at your pattern ... It will come out a rose by and by. Life is like that ...one stitch at a time, taken patiently."
    *Oliver Wendell Holms

  17. #17
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    Not me! I decided to start simple, with a modern, all squares and rectangles quilt by Blue Underground. I still haven't done anything tremendously difficult five years in.
    Lisa

  18. #18
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Not my first, but maybe my third or fourth quilt. It was a log cabin variation from one of Judy Martin's books. Each block had 76 pieces in it, and it was a king size, so 121 blocks. That's 9,196 pieces. It was a Christmas gift for my MIL. My dear sweet husband didn't think she showed enough appreciation for it, so he told her to insure it for $7000, and he explained to her how much time went into that quilt. She was a lot more appreciative after that.

  19. #19
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    My first quilt was from a bag of striped squares I picked up at a garage sale..one evening, totally bored went up to "my little attic" sewing room and sewed them into rows, alternating the stripe directions-using 5/8" seam allowance- had only sewn clothing prior to this, but the rows matched and ended up with enough to cover a dbl bed...found some cotton in my fab stash and cut out a border....that fit too! I was so proud of myself, I went to my next door neighbor, who was a prolific quilter, and she explained...she would get me a batt and she had a sheet that would work as the back....and I could tie each corner with yarn....had lots of that as crocheting was my thing then too. So I finished it, even put on binding, with neighbors instructions...btw, still have it and use occasionally. That was well over 20 yrs ago. Then the fun began...shooting for "tools,fabric, books and gadgets". I was a "regular" at JAF.

    my next was a QAYG of Roman stripes of scrapes and natural muslin...saw in a good housekeeping mag, that was fun, I had learned from reading that one used a 1/4" seam allowances! Gave that to gd, then a drunkards path- to another gd. Then lady of the lake which I handquilted(was my relaxation therapy after office all day)...took me over a year, but then entered into local county fair and rec'd a blue ribbon......I was shocked and totally hooked! ........and the saga continues...I like to challenge myself to trying different techniques, but some things I completely steer clear of, I want to enjoy, not get frustrated with....that's my story and I'm sticking to it!

  20. #20
    Super Member Gannyrosie's Avatar
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    My first was a log cabin. I cut so many strips that I didn't realize how large it would be. It is put together, uneven and all, and you know it is one of those ufo's. Lord that must be about 25 years ago. I didn't make another quilt until I retired, which was 10 years ago. Actually I forgot about it. Will have to dig t up and quilt it.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Daffy Daphne's Avatar
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    My mother sent me a thin McCall's quilting magazine in about 1975, and I picked the Whig Rose pattern as my first ever quilt to make, all hand pieced and quilted. The fabrics cost about $26, and the templates were all cardboard. The pattern didn't suggest cutting away the extra layers under the applique, so hand quilting the "roses" was daunting. I remember finally finishing the border while watching the 1980 Olympics.
    Name:  whigrose2.jpg
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    Daffy

  22. #22
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    My first quilt I made my mother cut a cardboard square for me to use as a template for my blocks that I traced and cut out with scissors. I still have it.

    I had a few friends ask me to teach a beginners class, I was thinking of doing the same thing. very minimal investment. Learn to line up a 1/4 seam from the markings on the needle-plate. I figure if someone is hooked they will want to learn more and be willing to invest some more.

  23. #23
    Super Member audsgirl's Avatar
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    I had been watching "Simply Quilts" with Alex Anderson, never intending to actually make a quilt. I had never been good with machinery, and sewing was not my strong suit, but I found this pattern that had a Southwestern focus. My husband loves that area of the country, so I thought I would give it a try. The pattern included appliqué and a pieced border. I did some hand quilting on it. It wasn't the first quilt I finished, but I did complete it. Luckily it was a wall quilt size. My husband was very pleased with it.

    Leslie

  24. #24
    Super Member jmoore's Avatar
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    This has been a great thread...my first was a tumbling block quilt which I just finished this year as it had been in my pile of UFO's since 2012.
    attitude is everything...the rest will fall into place.

  25. #25
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    my first quilt was a cathedral window. My neighbor taught me to make a block. Then proceeded to gift me 4 paper grocery bags full of white HEAVY duck fabric to use to make it. I added white heavy cotton eyelet fabric for the centers. Needless to say, I didnt get far. The cotton was too heavy to fold and stitch thru, I gave up after about 9 blocks.
    About 10 years later I started watching Alex Andersons Quilt show and wanted to make a quilt. I went shopping at a LQS and got so lost in the fabric, the owner suggested I join their "Dear Jane" quilt club. I did, my first quilt was a Dear Jane where I learned all different techniques on a small scale. The members thought I was weird for changing the Dear Jane pattern. The rest is history. Here is my first quilt: (it was a QAYG before there was such a thing)


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