Friday, June 17, 2011

Lessons Learned

 Here's a walk down memory lane that's full of all kinds of early quilting memories -- and many of them not too good!

This is the first quilt I ever tried to make my own.  I was completely self taught (via books and magazines) and did not know one single quilter I could ask for advice or guidance. 

My lessons learned:
1.  I used cheap fabrics
2.  I used cheap muslin for the neutral (like cheesecloth!)
3.  I didn't understand 1/4" seam allowance and didn't even try to achieve it
4.  I didn't have any idea how to do the setting squares
5.  I started hand quilting and over quilted it -- thinking that I would do cross hatching 1" apart.  That never happend -- I lost my mojo after completing one direction.
6.  I had gaps where the squares were so poorly constructed that there was batting showing.
7.  I didn't understand color layout and placement and should have made some different decisions in order to have a secondary pattern.
8.  All I had to go by was a black and white picture in a magazine with no cutting instructions.

It was a mess!  I worked on this forever and became very disheartened because I had taken on so much with so little knowledge and certainly no standards on construction.

I pretty much did everything wrong that could be done wrong.  I've kept it for years as a reminder and finally donated it, as is.  I was ready to move on and I certainly remember all my mistakes. 

In some ways, I think I'm a better quilter as a result of so many mistakes in one quilt. My second and third quilts weren't even close to good -- but I was able to course correct various errors noted above as I went. 

I hope you are quilting with great abandon and precision (if that floats your boat!).  Jan


Anonymous said...

My first quilt was a self-taught one, but before I began I watched HGTV quilting program for months, not knowing I would actually start quilting. I bought a book for beginners and bought cheap fabric. Then I discovered a quilt shop nearby and took a class ... never did finish my first one but I still have it.

LuAnn said...

Every seam on my first quilt was perfect....because I used a big piece of cheater cloth. I had no idea what I was doing so I finished it envelope style. That's it. No quilting. No binding. I wish I'd kept it but it went off to Goodwill a long time ago. Then I discovered Simply Quilts on HGTV and took classes at my local quilt store.

Kathie said...

oh that looks like a great quilt, sorry you gave it away bet to look at it now would be a reminder how far you came and it probably isn't 1/2 as bad as you think now!