Here's the first quilt I ever made; the back of the photo says 1992. It went to a friend who had just had her first child, a baby girl who's now a senior in high school. I love the red and turquoise today as much as I did then. Despite my strict instructions that the quilt should be used, it went on the wall above the baby's crib. Sigh.
Did you catch the dog's nose in the lower right of the photo? You can see her better in the photo below. The red fabric that is used for the background of the flying geese, along with the brick red and dark red of the small sashing between the blocks, was massive sale yardage I bought in 1982, when I was living in Memphis with my then-boyfriend. I had just bought an old quilting frame at a garage sale, and I decided I would make a quilt. I actually pieced a huge, simple star - imagine a bed-sized nine-patch - and made the quilt sandwich with muslin on the back and an old wool blanket as a batt. I rolled it onto the quilting frame and it sat neatly against the length of my living room the whole time I lived in Memphis. Somehow - lost in the mists of time, but it must have been as oversized baggage - I brought it to Montreal, all rolled up on that quilt frame and wrapped in garbage bags. I put the frame back together and it stayed against my living room wall all through graduate school. Let's skip over the ten years that it stayed on that quilt frame, untouched! I finally removed it and found that the 18 inches that had been exposed on the frame had faded terribly. So I unpicked it and salvaged the fabric in the quilt you see here. I still have some of those reds in my scrap bag! Below you can also see a much younger me, along with my two dogs of blessed memory, one-eyed Jemima and the gorgeous Georgia.
The last quilt I have to show is a variation on the log cabin, made in 1994. It went to a friend who was moving to Israel. This was the last quilt in which I ever used polyester batting. At the time, it seems like everyone was using it. It does allow wider unquilted spaces, and there is something elegant about the way you can outline the block and have the high loft of the polyester give a nice dimensionality. But in every other way, it's just plain nasty.
I wish I had closer photos to show the piecing. As I recall, the quilting on this was pretty awful. I quilted in the ditch on the light sides and did horrible free-motion quilting on the dark sides of the blocks. I was waging a losing battle with my horrible old bargain-basement Singer. Clearly, I was asking it to do a job far beyond its ability and inclination. When I remember how hard it was to machine quilt those projects, I can't believe I am smiling in the photos. Maybe it's just from relief!
That's the end of the journey through the past. It's onwards and upwards from here, folks!
P.S. Wishing lots of luck to my pal, Lindsay, who is taking her first ever quilting class tonight!