ancient history

This is what I consider my “official” first quilt.  Several years ago, I went to SewExpo in Puyallup, Washington, and on impulse attended a half-hour seminar about paper-piecing from Connie Spurlock.  I ended up buying 3 or 4 paper-piecing patterns from her booth, one of which was a Hunter’s Star.  She made it seem very easy.  I am so glad I stumbled into that seminar – because of her, I am a quilter!

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I made this eye-popper for my youngest son, Preston. At the time, he loved this bright apple green and turquoise – what I call Buzz Lightyear colors.  It’s flannel with a muslin back.

There is a story behind the quilting of this quilt, and it’s one of my favorite stories to tell to new quilters.  I took the top to a local longarm shop called Just for Fun! Quilting, where I poured over books and binders full of quilt patterns, designs, and pantos, and finally settled on a quilt design that looked like big fluffy clouds.

I really had no idea what I was doing or how it would turn out.  This was my first excursion into the quilting world.  Neither I nor anyone I knew had ever owned a quilt.  The only quilts I saw were the ones for sale at the department stores, and I wasn’t impressed!

A couple of weeks later, I got a phone call that my quilt was ready to be picked up.  On my drive over to the shop, I felt excited and nervous.  I couldn’t WAIT to see it!  But what if I didn’t like it?  What if the quilting made it look horrible?  What if it was stiff, like the department-store quilts, instead of soft and comfy?  I had spent so much time piecing that top…

I walked in and told the woman behind the counter that I was there to pick up my quilt, and described it to her.  You can’t miss a quilt like that.  She called for someone in the back to bring it up.  I was so excited, I blurted out to her that it was my first quilt and I couldn’t wait to see it.

She was astounded.  “THAT is the first quilt you’ve ever made?!?  You did such a beautiful job!  The points match up perfectly!”  I replied that I had paper-pieced it, which made matching seams very easy.

She told me to wait right there, and she disappeared into the back room.  It was a few minutes until she called out for me to “come on back!”

I walked into another room that had 2 six-foot tables pushed together with chairs all around.  My quilt was spread out on that table, and every employee of the shop was standing behind the table so they could see my face, all rubbing their hands together with anticipation.  I gasped.  My quilt looked beautiful!  I started crying.  It was incredible; I could not have imagined how quilting could add so much to the quilt.  It was wonderfully soft and cuddly, and only became more so after washing.

And that was that – I was hooked on quilting.

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What a wonderful story! It’s something I’m sure you’ll never forget, seeing that quilt laid out and everyone so excited to see your expression. I guess I have Connie Spurlock to thank for introducing me to one of my very best friends, don’t I?!

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