The first quilt I ever made was a sampler quilt made from individual block patterns and kits collected on my first shop hop back around 2008 in northern California. The kits sat in a drawer for nearly a year before I was brave enough to dive in! As I recall, it was the "Jingle Bell Hop" and there was one more block with an appliqued bell that I did not include in the final layout, as I didn't want it to necessarily be a Christmas quilt. I was a very new quilter, although I had sewn clothes for 40+ years. When I opened the first kit and looked at the instructions, they said: Make 4 flying geese 1.5" x 3.5" out of light blue and white, and 4 flying geese 3.5" x 6.5" out of dark blue and white. That's it! No instructions on how! I managed to find instructions online (this was pre-Google days) and made the block. After that I wasn't intimidated by much of anything.
At that time I knew next to nothing about the actual quilting process. I hadn't learned about stitch in the ditch (SID) or pantographs, or custom work, or anything really. It was another two years before I took a machine quilting class and went to a week long quilt camp in Los Angeles with Jill Schumacher. The few quilts my mother had made for my children when they were babies had been tied with yarn and no one else in my family quilted. Included on my machine were a few quilting motifs, so I decided to add one to the center of each block to secure the layers. I also added single run quilted hearts in the cornerstones, and "ruby slippers"/red shoes in the cornerstones around the Wizard of Oz quote.
My daughter was delighted with her quilt and it immediately became a favorite for cuddling under while watching TV. About 8 years later it came back to me for repairs. It had been VERY loved and some of the seams were coming loose. Since I didn't know about the SID and quilting process when I made this, the seams weren't secured and were starting to pull apart in places. Repairs were made by hand, blind-stitching the seams back together. Then I added by machine SID to secure all of the seams for its next life and now it's good for many more years!
It's interesting to look back and see how far we've come. It's also wonderful to know that even these early quilts are still loved.
More snippets from the sewing room soon,