My first quilt, dated 1989, all little calico prints, now much faded. There is a pattern in there: each four squares pieced together of two in one color, two in another, then sort-of randomly sewn together. I was about 19 years old when I made it. I think it's entirely pieced and stitched by hand, such the purist that I thought I was back then even though I didn't have much of a clue what I was doing, checking out piles of books from the library on quilting. Not that I'd consider myself anything but a novice quilter now either. This poor quilt was showing so much wear and tear that it became a beach blanket for a couple of years and now it's in tatters. I guess I didn't put a binding on it, rather just folding under both front and back pieces and topstitching the edges together by hand.
I found these pictures from where I lived my senior year in college, this perfect little cottage with green shutters and glass paned front door, wood paneling throughout, furnished with old wood bed, dresser, table, desk, and craftsman style rocking chair, clawfoot bathtub (please ignore the gross shower curtain)....complete with garden gnome by the front steps, green shutters and screen doors, a chestnut and flowering cherry tree out front and white picket fence if I recall correctly, half a block from the university library on campus....all for only $150 a month, hot and cold water and laundry included! The keys were even the old fashioned kind.
The landlord was 94 years old and this was one of two cottages she rented in her back yard. Her two tenants and another neighbor who could see her kitchen window from their house had a system going: she pulled the shade down behind her kitchen sink when she went to bed at night and put it up again when she got up. She slept odd hours so if we didn't see it raised by noon we were to go and check on her to make sure she was OK. Fortunately, that never happened. The thought of paying more than double to rent someplace else not nearly so nice kept me there another 6 months or so after graduating, even though I wanted to leave the area.
Anyways, the point of this is to show the quilt in it's original state:
I made all the curtains, winged a slipcover for the old orange and brown flowered couch, sewed a plaid duver cover, built a bookshelf, and replaced the bedroom door with a curtain because the door swung out, taking up half of the living room. Ha! It's just like our bedroom
door curtain now. :)
Hey look, I had a red LeSportSac back then and that's my mom's old green sewing box under the bed. And that antique floor lamp: oh my, I loved that. So much so that I've since bought a similar one. (I have yet to find a glass shade to fit it. It's only been, oh, 10-12 years or more now. Mabye it's time to do something about that.)
These were just the beginning of my fabric store and thrifting days and there were a few false starts at knitting a couple of years before and around this time, including reading a lot of library books about it, swatching and playing around with different stitch patterns, but not really making anything in particular. This couldn't have been more than a year or so after receiving my first sewing machine. I had wanted a black velvet skirt to wear for the holidays but didn't like the prices I was finding so my mom took me to the fabric store, we picked out some fabric and a pattern and I sewed it on her machine, and then they gave me my first sewing machine for Christmas and paid for me to take a beginning sewing class at a local fabric store the following summer. When my mom sewed, by the way, it was the closest I ever heard her come to swearing, so she wasn't about to teach me much of it herself, I don't think. Wait. What am I saying, "first" sewing machine? It's the same one I still have, nearly 20 years later.
I've no clue who's cats those are in the pictures. I guess I was watching them for someone.