My first experience with quilting was in college (1976-1980). I was home over the Christmas and New Year's break and was bored. I had a sewing machine in my dorm room and was usually working on a garment of some sort. I didn't think to bring something home to work on, so my grandmother showed me how to piece and quilt by hand. I made a small pillow, which I still have somewhere. I liked the end result but did not like doing it all by hand. I didn't do anything else with quilting till 2000.
My husband and I were just married and we bought a home in my hometown of New Milford, Connecticut. I hadn't lived there since I left for college but I enjoyed being "home" again. Mark worked in Danbury, about 15 miles away, and I worked at home on programming projects for two companies at that time. This left me more flexible and able to run errands...
One day, I was waiting to pick up a cat from the vet and decided to stop at the quilt shop in New Milford. I had been driving by it regularly and thinking I should stop and see what they had for fabric. I walked in and saw a sample for a class... and signed up. As I continued to take classes I knew I'd found my purpose.
Here is a photo of my first quilt, plus cats. I tried to get them off but they wouldn't accept that this quilt is not for their enjoyment. Every time I put a cat down one jumped right back up. The pattern is a simple 4-patch set on point, made with quilt shop flannel. I later learned that flannel is considered somewhat difficult to quilt with. Also, setting blocks on point seems to scare some people. The quilting was simple in the ditch and echo quilting around the alternate squares.
Ok, so I have to admit I have way more UFOs than I do finished quilts. This is partially because while I owned Little Lamb Quilt Shop in Barrington, NH, from 2004 to 2011 I had a bad habit of trying to make everything that came into the shop. My addiction at the time was with Thimbleberries... all things Thimbleberries. My business partner, Camille and I even went to Minnesota for a Thimbleberries seminar with Lynette Jensen. We ran the Thimbleberries Club at the shop every year from 2005 to 2011.
The oldest UFO that I could find is a Thimbleberries Club Quilt from 2005. It was two quilts that year, Sunrise and Sunset. The shop opened in 2004 when that year's club had already started, but we liked Thimbleberries enough we started to offer the club to our customers in 2005. This year there were two quilts that were each made over six months, called Sunrise and Sunset.
Shops were able to purchase kits in the fall of 2004 so that you could display samples of the 2005 club quilts. I made the Sunrise quilt and my business partner made the Sunset quilt. My Sunset quilt is still in the box. It looks like I started to cut the green fabric. Oh well, back in the closet of UFOs...
Note: I wrote this post on Friday, then forgot to publish it. So I'll be back tomorrow with big news. Thanks for visiting!