The next installment of our “My First Quilt” series for National Quilting Month comes from one of our wonderful Missouri Star Quilt Co. team members. Nichole is our fearless senior copywriter, who spends her workdays crafting quilty stories and quips for all of us to enjoy! Read on to learn all about Nichole’s first quilt and why she made it.
Back in 1999, I was a moody teenager, more interested in tattooed boys than my school work. Most Friday nights I hung out at all-ages clubs full of spiky-headed youth, but occasionally I would spend my time pursuing milder hobbies. It was a few months before graduation that my cousin, Joy, suggested we make quilts together. I wasn’t against it, but I had no idea where to start. My generous aunt helped us procure all the necessary tools and showed us how the sewing machine worked. It seemed kind of cheeky to take a quilt, something associated with our grandmothers’ generation, and make it our own.
We planned out our patterns on graph paper. Mine was an ambitious design featuring my favorite mopeds appliqued around the edge with the Vespa logo in the center. I had no idea what I’d taken on. I didn’t even own a scooter, but I loved the idea of hopping on a cute, mint green Vespa and jetting around town. It seemed like a simple enough design in pink and black squares, but reality hit me when I began ironing on all those little scooter pieces and satin-stitching around the edges. It definitely tested my patience! The result wasn’t perfect by any means, but it is a tribute to the ingenuity of ignorance and, of course, scooters.
Now I look back on my first quilt, 19 years later, and I realize how much I’ve learned about myself. I don’t long to own a scooter anymore, and I never did ride on one. As I finished college, I abandoned quilting for a time, but my interest in quilting resurfaced again in a big way about ten years ago when I stepped into the Stitchin’ Post in Sisters, Oregon. The walls were lined with gorgeous quilts and I couldn’t stop myself from purchasing a bundle of fabric and planning to begin another project right then and there.
Once again, it was a pattern that I might not take on today, and in fabrics that I wouldn’t necessarily choose again, but I stuck with it, and 11 months later, I had hand-quilted my second, real quilt. The blocks were a variation on the Schoolhouse pattern, but made to my own specifications in 1800s reproduction fabrics. It was a doozy!
These days, I prefer to work in an eclectic modern palette with brighter colors and playful fabrics. I love Japanese prints and using the entire spectrum of solids. Sometimes I even sneak in a vintage print for fun. And I’m sure my tastes will shift again as I grow older. That’s the beauty of quilting. It grows with you. It changes as you do. It can be as easy or as complex as you wish it to be. However you choose to quilt, make it your own and, most of all, enjoy the process!
If you want to jump into quilting, Nichole recommends Couch to Quilt! This all-inclusive box of quilting supplies includes everything (minus the sewing machine) you need to make a crib-size quilt. Click HERE to shop now!