My first (real) quilt

Author: Jacqueline

Way back in November 2008, I finished my first real quilt. It lives on my sofa (usually under a kitty) and I love it every single day.


What should you do for your first quilt?

  1. Find a simple yet inspiring pattern.
  2. Choose a small range of fabric colours (or a fat quarter set/ layer cake etc. of pre-matched prints)
  3. Find a local hang out and some quilting friends
  4. Dig in.
  5. Hang-on until you are finished.

I certainly didn’t hit the list in the right order, but I made it from start to finish. I wanted to design my own quilt pattern, asymmetrical, off centre squares. I don’t recommend designing and constructing your first quilt yourself. Instead find a pattern that you love and start there.

At my first Quilt Sunday at The Workroom in Toronto, I met quilter (and teacher) extraordinaire  Johanna Masko. I already had my fat quarter set, a collection of prints from Anna Griffin’s collection Evelyn. It was from one of my first trips to Quilt Market and I was in love. So, I told Johanna what I had in mind and she immediately introduced me to Denyse Schmidt’s book DS quilts.

The pattern, with a bunch of squares, was exactly what I was looking for. Big pieces, simple design, off-centre squares. There are several variations of this signature design, but the point is, only choose one major challenge per project. Mine was ‘make a full size quilt’, so there was no need to add designing to the list. Did I mention Denyse is also a RISD grad? Denyse’s project-packed how-to book is the alternative quilting resource for the home crafter.

With just 25 blocks, this project was inspiring enough to keep me going, and simple enough to work in small evening sections. First I made the squares.

I did add a few more fabrics to my fat quarter set (once again breaking the rules), but at a quilt shop full of fabric, who could really resist. For the background colour, I used 3 shades on white- for some extra depth. It’s hard to see, but the different whites gives the quilt some interesting texture, and variety.

I used solid pink squares for the centre of each quilt and the border, and a variety of browns and complementary fabrics for the back. It is finished, well used and very much loved, as all quilts should be.


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