Thursday, August 8, 2013

#TBT - Throwback Thursday - My First Quilt

Quiltin Jenny

One of my favorite things about blogging is how thoroughly my quilts are documented.  There are times when I look back over my posts and realize just how many quilts I've made that I don't even remember!

While I've had the best of intentions about keeping a detailed journal of each quilt, frankly no one (including me) has ever believed it would get done.

In the spirit of Throwback Thursday (#TBT on Twitter), I've decided to go back and write about some of my pre-blogging quilts in the hopes that at least some of the information will survive.

So, without further ado, here's my first submission and, not coincidentally, my first quilt.

I started my quilting journey when Deuce was a tiny baby.  Mom suggested that I take a class while she watched him, just to have some time for myself and get out of the house.  I took a faux finishing class, which was interesting but you run out of walls quickly.  Then I took a beginning quilting class.

The blocks from this disaster are still in a Ziploc bag in my UFO pile.  I don't know why I can't just let it go, but it serves as a reminder of just how far I've come. 

When my baby boy was seven months old, my world was shaken when my best friend delivered a beautiful baby boy of her own.  Her son was almost immediately diagnosed with a fatal heart defect, and he slipped away just two days after he was born.  It's a long story of it's own, and it's not mine to tell.  Suffice it to say that it was the single most horrible thing I've ever dealt with in my life, and it didn't even happen to me.  It was a nightmare.

Fast forward six months, and I found out that I was expecting The Bear.  I held my breath, knowing my friend was trying but not yet pregnant.  Thankfully the stick turned blue at her house, and she was due just ten weeks after me. 

At this point, Mom was also learning to quilt.  We decided we would make our first quilts together - the same design but different fabrics.  Mom made a quilt for The Bear, and I made a quilt for my friend's new arrival.  I can't remember where Mom found the Noah's Ark fabric for her quilt, but I bought my blue and gold fabrics at an old shop in Roswell called Calico Quilter.  Sadly, it is long gone, but I took many classes after that beginning quilter class in their back room.

It's a simple enough pattern; just a nine patch alternating with a solid square.  I don't even have a picture of the whole quilt.  We were both hand quilting at the time, so there's not a whole lot to it.  But I think that this was when I realized how therapeutic quilting could be.  I couldn't do much for my friend, who lived in anther state.  Nothing I did would guarantee the safety of our babies.  To pour my heart into this quilt, to lay it on my expanding lap and imagine her wrapping it around a healthy child, was how I stayed sane that year.

I had the quilt mostly finished by the time The Bear arrived, all pitiful and colicky.  The only way he would sleep is if someone were holding him.  I literally finished the quilt with him laying on my chest while I hand quilted above his head.

When he was just ten weeks old, we got on a plan to Miami and went to meet my friend's very healthy baby boy.  We wrapped him in the quilt and marveled at the difference in the two infants in just ten weeks and cried thinking of his brother.  It was a few days I'll never forget.

While making this quilt, which I called Sweet Dreams, I learned so much more than quilting.  I learned how healing it can be to make something when there's nothing else to do but pray.  I learned how much love can be stitched into an inanimate object.  I learned how precious it is to wrap a new baby in a new quilt.  It's still one of my favorite things in the world to do, and the reason I make so many baby quilts. 

If you'd like to share a pre-blogging quilt, crafty moment, or family memory of your own, please feel free to link up below.  I love quilt stories and would truly love to read one of yours.

P.S.  Special thanks to Chevron Stitches for the tutorial and "Grab My Button" code generator for the button.


  1. Great idea. I decided that I would also go back and try to repiece my quilting history, though I have only added a few posts. Love your link photo.

    I posted a link but it didn't give options for pictures so I am not sure it is right.

  2. a sad and beautiful story. So heart breaking to lose a child. There is nothing we can ever say that will make it alright but we can stand beside our family and friends in these times and say I care. My heart is breaking too.


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