My first quilt

I mentioned recently that I’d lost the photo album with my early quilts in one of our moves but I was going through some photos today and came across this one – it’s a photo of a photo of my first quilt. I had never sewn before, but decided I wanted to make a memory quilt with photographs so I needed to teach myself to quilt. This one was hand pieced and then I went to my sister’s house where she showed me how to use a sewing machine to quilt it in the ditch. The darker blue squares are actually pockets and the pattern was designed to tuck beanie babies in the pockets. I wish I’d gotten a photo of the quilt with the beanies in it.

This one was pieced in August 2000. When did you start quilting and what was your first quilt?!


  1. I made my first quilt in 1978 and took it to college with me. It was a brick scrap quilt with a sheet for the backing and a thin blanket for the batting. The following year, I made one like it for my sister and embroidered feather stitching around every block. My daughter finished her first quilt in 2020 and also made her second and is now working on her third. She donated her first two to Project Linus. Yes, we took photos of them, but I wish she had kept her first one. I don’t keep any of my quilts but I still have my first one. We used it for decades, but it is in a cedar chest now. I have made close to 600 quilts since then but they all go out as gifts or donations.

  2. My first quilt 1995 was a queen sized tumble block pattern, English paper pieced using our new bedroom curtain fabric and sheets that matched the valence and sheet set. Wool batting and sheet backing I quilted in the ditch using my trusty 1975 Elna SU. First and last time I used sheets for quilts. I hand cut all the papers as well.

  3. My first quilt was a RWB Trip Around the World. I made it in 1993 during my first year of college. I had sewn clothes before, but a friend I met at school sewed quilts and so did her Mom and Grandma and they all encouraged me to try. She dropped out of school and we drifted apart, but I still think of her and am grateful for the inspiration that got me started.

  4. My first quilt was in 2010, shortly after retiring from 30 year of teaching. I took a class with Karol Kusmaul at Whispering Pines City Park, Inverness FL. The quilt was one of her original patterns, Bullets and Braids. I had no experience in quilting, but quickly found that quilting was my creative outlet. My son has my first quilt, and it is filled with the best memories that life offered.

  5. Um, my first quilt was in 1969. No, I am not that old, I made my first quilt in 2nd grade. It was a four patch and I used cereal box cardboard for the template. I still have it. Filled with polyesters for sure but I love it. My mom couldn’t sew (really, I sew the hems on her pants and the buttons on her clothes). I used my mom’s sewing machine to piece it. LOL she had never used it!! I had no clue there was color theory but when I look at it today I see I was already sorting colors in a pleasing manner. Every day I say a prayer for my 2nd grade teacher who taught me to sew and by doing so has given me a lifetime of pleasure.

  6. My first quilt was hand pieced and quilted, it was a teddy bear, a baby shower present for a cousin, more than 30 years ago, A few years later I asked her if she put it away so she could it to his baby when he had one. and she told me no she threw it away. I was crushed. Love this little quilt, it had to be precious with beanie babies. Next time I go to a baby shower I know what my gift will be, only this time it will be all done by machine! Thanks for sharing. your quilt and videos catching the cute furies.

  7. I made my first quilt in 1966, a cross stitch blocks for children, added sashes and hand quilted it. Then I made a few with panels in the 1980’s for my 5 grandchildren and quilted them on my Singer. Never took a quilting class until about 2005 where I made a queen size sampler quilt in red and white and stitched it in the ditch with my Bernina Virtuoso. After that I was totally hooked on piecing quilts. I have a long arm now but I don’t enjoy that as much as I love the thrill of finding the pattern and fabrics and sitting down to listen to books on old cassette tapes and sewing. I started taking pictures of each quilt when I made the red and white quilt in 2005. I have no clue how many I’ve made. I don’t make table covers or place mats, just children to king size quilts. So much joy in my life since I discovered quilting.

  8. My first quilt was made in the late 70’s. A teacher friend and I both wanted to make a quilt, so we worked together and each made a baby quilt using gingham fabrics in soft, pastel colors. We cut it into squares and a simple patchwork quilt was born. Mine was gifted to one of my nieces when she was adopted. That quilt is still around thanks to a sister-in-law who appreciates the time and love that went into it. That was the start to my love of quilting.
    Love your first quilt. I can imagine it with beany babies… so fun but also filled with love.

  9. Your first quilt is a cute idea with those pockets. Love the colors too! I started quilting in the early 1980s, but learned to sew as a child. My mother sewed most of my clothes, and it was a natural progression maybe for me to sit by the sewing machine and hand stitch little dresses for my dolls. I made a small quilt in 1969 in Home Ec class, and recently found it in a trunk of old things. My mom obviously saved it. But my real start quilting was encouraged by my sister-in-law. She was teaching a log cabin quilt class at the local HS in the evenings. And she gave me some block pieces to sew together to help finish a king sized quilt she was working on. I’ve been quilting ever since.

  10. 1992 Rail Fence. I had watched Quilt In a Day and thought “I can do that”. The rest as they say, is history. 2020 I finished 52 quilts! 🙂

  11. First quilt was in late summer 1975, for the twin bed for our first baby, who was due in December. I wanted the twin bed in there for when the baby was fussy or sick, so I’d have a place to sleep. Also for him/her (it was a him – before parents knew what sex the baby was) when the baby outgrew the crib. It was plain blocks in many different colors and I tied it. I used my new-to-me White sewing machine that my hubby bought for me for $25. I’ve been quilting 45+ years now, but sewing for over 48 years (used my mom’s machine previously).

  12. My first quilt was made in 1991 shortly before I got married. My grandma and I made it together – a log cabin quilt done in pinks, white, and blacks. We put double thickness thick batting in it and tied it with embroidery floss. I still have it today. It was made for my king-size waterbed (no baffles) that I got as a high school graduation present. I loved that quilt! Most of the blacks have faded over time, but not the sides of the quilt that were tucked in around the mattress. I didn’t make another quilt till 1995, and then really started quilting in 2001 with hand piecing and hand quilting. My first two quilts were made on the machine and tied.

  13. Hmmm, I was 14 when I began my first dresden plate with dress fabric scraps. As a matter of fact, I still have several of the blocks appliqued on soft yellow (fabric from Grants). The blocks done on red were paired with a solid white block next to it. This was then hand quilted and finished when I was 17. Sadly, after giving it to my sister, her then husband got cigarette burn holes in it. Another quilt was gifted to her when her first son was born (second husband). That one had Kool-Aid spilled all over it. Needless to say, she didn’t get another quilt until her 50th birthday. Now I have no qualms about telling folks who receive baby quilts to NEVER put them on the floor. I still love quilting though, and have become more selective in who receives them.

    • I started sewing at age 11, and then had 8th grade home ec class. I made most of my clothing. The first quilt I made was in 1971, simple 4 or 5 inch squares of fabric scraps from my sewing projects, and hand tied. I had it until around 1988 when it started disintegrating…since then I’ve made many small and large quilts, almost always from fabric scraps. I’m 67 now, retired, and love this hobby.

  14. My first quilt was 1979 and the pattern was Broken Dishes. Also, I keep forgetting to tell you that if you add 8.5 cut borders to a Quick Strippie it makes a dandy twin-size quilt.

  15. I had just turned 11 when I started my first quilt. I found my late grandmother’s quilting catalogues from the late 1920’s and 1930’s and made an embroidered flower basket with appliquéd flowers. I used whatever scraps were around (a lot of double knit fabric) to make this quilt. I didn’t have any help with it as no one in my family quilted. I finally finished sewing the blocks together in 1979 and finished quilting it in 1987. I gave it to my mom. It was a queen size quilt. I made others quilts during that time period too. Most of the quilts I have made are baby or lap quilts.

  16. I think I must have seriously started in 1981. What a mess the first couple of quilts were! I still have one stuffed in a box somewhere… I’m happy to say that I’ve gotten better!

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