Thursday, March 24, 2011
I wrote three posts about my quilts that I made in the past for Christopher, Michael and Rachel. I used "Down Memory Lane" as the title and as the intention of writing more about my other quilts.
Well, I forgot to do this for such a long time. I am going to write about my very first large quilt I made about 17 years ago, but before that let me tell you how my love for quilts and quilting got started...
Ever since I can remember I had a needle in my hand. I taught myself through lots of trial and errors... I tried to make my first quilt when I was 11, and I failed miserably. I didn't have a grandmother who made quilts, or classes that I could take. The next time I tried was when I was 17 and I had bought my first quilt book. I slowly tried my way up from small projects.
Growing up my sister and I always watched "Little house on the prairie". There were scenes where Mary and Laura were talking before they went to sleep, but my eyes were glued to those quilts on the bed. I really wanted to make one for myself. I know that's how my love for quilts started. I think that is why my early quilts were all very traditional or pioneer style (and there are other movies that had quilts in it, I loved that quilt in You've Got Mail. You know the scene when Meg Ryan was sick in bed and Tom Hanks visited her? The quilt was so pretty. I was paying more attention to the quilts than what they were saying when I first watched the movie).
Also, I thought "doing all by hand" is so fascinating and somewhat romantic. So, the cutting, piecing and quilting I have done ALL BY HAND. Now? Oh no, I still love quilting by hand, but I LOVE machine piecing. Also, I have a special place in my heart for whoever invented the rotary cutting system.
I have a book called "Old Swedish Quilts" by Åsa Wettre. The book contains a rich history of quilting, where it originated, how people lived around that era and such. It is very educational and insightful, I would recommend that you read it someday. There are many interesting things that I want to share with you from the book, but let me share this one part with you. Actually, this one part made me decide to make this Irish chain quilt in the first place.
"A tradition, which had its origin in England, stipulated that a girl must have twelve patchwork quilts in her dowry. The thirteenth was her wedding quilt and would be made only if she married. It was the most beautiful one, often with embroidery and with heart-shaped designs in the stitching."
Wow... girls must have twelve quilts; the thirteenth was her wedding quilt... A couple of things; first of all, I am not English as you all know, but at the time I was engaged to my husband, (Ok, probably my brain was heart shaped and rosy pink from romance at the time) I REALLY wanted to make some special quilts for our wedding. Second, I bet those 12 quilts were done by many people back then, there was no way I could have made all 12 quilts and the "special" 13th quilt all by myself in several months. Not to mention that I did everything by hand at the time.
I designed my very first big quilt project on a piece of paper and started cutting the fabric. It took me more than 6 month to complete this one start to finish, and I made a Double Wedding Ring quilt and Grandma's flower garden quilts afterwards (I promise to share the story in the near future).
Over the years, my taste in quilts changed quite a bit, but I know my roots is in the traditional style. I would LOVE to make a Baltimore quilt someday!
I have favor to ask you all... do you have any movies that you like that had quilts in it that you liked? I know there are lots more I have seen, but I can't remember them all. If you have your favorite, please share it with me. :)