Monday, September 24, 2012

A Mystery, My First Quilt, 1996

First Quilt, 1996, by Swedish Scrapper | Liz Tillstrom
First Quilt, 1996,, a photo by Swedish Scrapper | Liz Tillstrom on Flickr.

This summer I took this quilt out of the trunk to take a good look at it.  I started making it a few months before I was pregnant for the first time.  As the pregnancy wore on, and a beautiful boy came into our lives, I shelved it for other duties.  Now I'd like to finish it.
First Quilt, 1996, hexie fabric

I sewed all of it by hand back then, and my cutting left something to be desired.  No matter, I just cut out a new piece to fit in next to the too-short one.  It's upside down, but the flowers almost line up!  I'm pretty sure I started it with no iron, and I know I had no sewing machine.

First Quilt, 1996, Detail

Another no-no, Ink directly on the fabric!  But look at the nice and careful seam lines I drew in.  I guess those stitches from a younger me weren't too bad either....

First Quilt, 1996, Scrappy

I'm trying to figure out where I was back then, with this first quilt.  What was I thinking?  I'm sure I started with a loose medallion styled design, as I was working from the center.  I used fabrics that I schlepped (släppte, in Swedish!) to Sweden in my suitcase, my only prized possessions besides some books and photos I crushed in with my clothing.  It was a new life, a new country, and I was newly married.  Some of the fabric was from clothing I had made, and some was from pillows I made as gifts.  The other was given me from my mother's stash, which she always generously has shared.

I can see where I was going with all the flashes of red and raspberry, the path-like design of the sashing, the fabric variety, the scrappiness overall.  I think of myself now as a new quilter, but I had it started way back then.

How to continue with a piece like this?  Shall I finish it by hand too?  Shall I try to find older fabrics for those last 4 corner blocks and the binding?  Match as best I can with newer fabrics and sew it strong by machine?

I know one thing.  It has sat inside my trunk for Far too long, and although I don't want to rush its finishing, I want to make and use it, and bring it out into the family where it belongs.  So I started it as a bed quilt.... now I am willing to make it into a lap  quilt, and reinforce it enough that it will withstand a family full of love and tumble, like good quilts should!



  1. It will make such a lovely finish no matter what size it is.

  2. I love the definitely need to finish it.


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