Sunday, April 15, 2012

My First Completed Quilt

Escape from Palm Beach, 2012
Last night, I was looking through quilts on the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI) website, making a wish list of the quilts I wanted to buy. I was so inspired by all the wonderful quilts, I started to imagine what it would be like to make one. That led me to the attic, where I retrieved some old batik fabric I'd bought about ten years ago. At the time, I tried making a quilt block. It was a disaster, so I put the fabric away.

The batiks were a little musty, so I threw them in the wash and figured out how to set up my Featherweight. I had just washed a pair of old, black pillowcases. They were originally going to Goodwill, but I thought black would be good with the batiks, so I took a rotary cutter to one of the pillowcases. Less than 24 hours later, I've got my first completed quilt.

I pieced the top last night, late nite!
I finished the binding by hand. The rest was done by machine.
It was a lot more fun than I thought, and I'm happy with how it turned out. Even though it's not a great quilt, it's not a bad one either. I stitched the binding to the back by hand, and probably shouldn't have used black thread, since you can see it. But I used the black thread because I could see it. All these years I've been running around telling people I couldn't thread a needle, and it's still true! Threading the needle was the most difficult part.

Reverse: I was lazy and did just two fast finish corners
This quilt was inspired by the people I've known who have made quilts for AAQI (you know who you are!!), and all the people I know who make quilts and love quilts. I intend to donate this quilt, my first completed quilt, but first I'm going to enjoy showing it off. I'll probably make others, too.

If you've never made a quilt, but thought about it, making a small quilt for AAQI is a good way to start. I can do it, so anyone can. For the more seasoned quiltmakers, if you haven't made any quilts for AAQI, or haven't made any lately, it's time to get to work! 


  1. Thank you for sharing this site...I wasn't aware. I also liked checking out the display methods (All I knew about was hanging ring and regular sleeve.)

    Hey, not bad at all for a first finished quilt! Recycling pillowcases and binding with black thread makes it look/feel more like "outsider art", adds to the charm, don't ya think?!

  2. Bravo on your first AAQI quilt! (I made my first one this year, too.) Register it and send it in, and hopefully it'll get put up for auction. I know I'll bid on it.

  3. I've got to hold on to it long enough to bring to my next guild meeting. :) When I do send it in, hopefully it will be part of a group of quilts I'm sending.

    The fast finish corners were super easy to do, and I relied heavily on the tutorials on the AAQI web looking at Lori and Andrea's quilts.

  4. Willy, I had no idea it was for the AAQI! I was just excited of the thought we may have converted you to the dark side!

    You really are a great guy - such a wonderful cause - hope the bidding goes to obscene levels. Make sure to let us all know when it's up for auction.

    Plus, I suspect you will be introducing at least a few of your followers to the AAQI for the first time - hopefully that will mean even more bids and donated works.

  5. If I was going to make a quilt, I had to have a good reason, and I couldn't think of a better one. I'll probably play some more during the year, and send a group of them late summer / early fall. I'll be sure to let everyone know when they're up, and I encourage people to check it out. Much more fun than I ever imagined.

  6. Ta dah! A quilter is born:)
    I agree, threading the needle is the hardest part. I have an eleven year old needle threader (as in my eleven year old daughter). I also use those flimsy little wire ones which don't survive so long in my sewing box.
    I love the quilting - is it machine or by hand? I can't work out if it's possible to enlarge the photos after clicking on them.
    The black thread will give quilt collecters something to talk about in the future - "now why do you think he used black thread?":)
    I think you're going to start a craze here. You could ask your readers to send in quilts that they've made after reading this post and you could document them.

  7. What a jewel of a quilt and so are you!!

  8. :)

    Alice, it is machine quilted. You should be able to expand the photo just by clicking it. If not, I don't know...

    If this quilt is around 100 years from today, the winner of the guessing game will be the one who said, "He probably used black thread because he could see it." LOL! Hope others will make and/or buy quilts.

  9. Well done that man! You might, just might have caught the bug..... This way lies insanity and addiction. (though it might be cheaper than collecting, on the other hand, probably not).


    I knew you could do it. I have seen the site and wasn't sure what to make. You did an awesome job. Liberated quilts are just your cup of tea. I have a hard time with some of them. Can't wait to see it.

    Mary K.

  11. I love your story behind the quilt and love the quilt even more!! What a fabulous way to be inspired and dig up some fabrics. Love the quilt! Congrats! Hopefully this is not the last quilt that you will make.

  12. No kidding, Bill! Beautiful work! Time to add this skill to your "About" page. :)

  13. Thank you all for such positive, encouraging words. I'm working on my second one...see today's blog!

  14. You know, I was just thinking about you the other day and wondering why we never see any of your quilts! I just assumed you were making them as fast as you collect them!

    You did a great job on your first piece. Bravo!