It’s been my theme lately: fabric discovery! I’ve been weeding through my boxes of fabric, unearthing old UFO/WIP bits and pieces I like to call Forgotten Projects. I’ve found bundles of fabric I completely forgot I had and discovered whole kits of jelly rolls and precut fabrics. It’s been a pretty exciting couple of weeks! Like Christmas or my birthday everyday!
Then I found the ultimate Forgotten Project: my very first attempt at quilting.
Ok now, let me set the stage. My mom bought me my sewing machine (whom I lovingly call Shelby) when I was 9. Sewing was interesting but not a hobby I wanted to take up so young. I’d seen my mom sew and quilt but wasn’t ready to attempt it myself. So that sewing machine sat until I was in college. My sophomore year at SFSU I dug up ol’ Shelby and drove her from my home in southern California to my new apartment in San Francisco. There I helped my roommate cover some ugly ol’ couches we were given to decorate our apartment with.
And then nothing…
Shelby moved with me from apartment to apartment, collecting dust in closets or on shelves. I rarely used her until after we graduated and moved into our own places. My friend was now married and I was ready to live without roommates. It was during this time that my mom gifted me a Pooh Bear fat quarter set and a book about making a simple quilt. Those fat quarters became the baby quilt I made a while ago. That’s when it started. My friend and I both fell deeply in love with fabric and the colors upon colors and patterns to choose from. Our initial attempts at quilting were pretty pathetic. Nothing cut right and everything was crocked!
I remember being SOOOOO frustrated! I would look in these books my mom would send me, drooling over the intricate patterns and beautiful fabrics. Then I would attempt to make my own quilt and it would never turn out right!
When I discovered I was pregnant with my son, I moved home from San Francisco to start our lives with my family. I was taking on the job as a single mom so I would have little time to quilt. Shelby once again found a home on my shelf and there she waited till I was ready again.
Since that time, my original attempt at quilting was stocked away to be forgotten about. I haven’t seen this thing in a decade and then some! But just a few days ago I discovered it in the bottom of a basket. Seeing it for the first time in year, I had a few reactions.
Firstly, I was impressed with my attempt at a smaller more intricate design for my first quilt. Lately I’ve stuck to strips and squares because I know I’ll finish them! I’m not up to the task of cutting smaller bits and making them into bigger bits…yet. I will someday, just not right this moment.
Secondly, the colors! Oh my goodness are they bright on their own but man are they blinding together! I think this was a fat quarter kit I grabbed up and figured they’d look good together because they were the same colorful palette just in different colors. Blimey…
Also, it looks like I made the same mistake in each of the squares. I can’t actually tell what the pattern is supposed to be BUT I think there is a corner on each square that is flubbed. I can’t be sure but something doesn’t look right.
And lastly, it’s a mess. Very all over the place with the cutting and the stitching. I can’t really make heads or tails of it but there it is, in all it’s Technicolor glory.
But I must say, I kinda love it. Maybe it’s like your first child, the one that puts you through your paces and teaches you how to parent. It’s the one that you look back on and see ALL your mistakes but you still adore it to pieces.
This quilt is technically my first although it’s only being completed now. And, although it’s messy and kinda ugly and not nearly big enough to be a full sized quilt, I love it!
I went out last week and picked up some fabrics to complete this little project. I figured with all the color black would be a good backing to it so I picked up a clean Kona black. I couldn’t help but grab up some rainbow polka dots to kinda tie in all the colors.
I also grabbed a couple of yards of this mellow yellow that was on sale for like $2 a yard. When she said that I about had a heart attack and flew at the chance to have more! I could also use a good solid in my stash!
So now to work on putting the colors together and making something out of this ugly yet loveable mess. It’s my new work in progress!