Looking Back: The Early Years

I made my first quilt in 1983, as a newlywed.  My husband and I needed art to hang over the sofa, but couldn’t afford a framed painting.  But, I knew how to sew and I thought I could learn to make a quilt.  I bought a book for $10, and the fabric for another $10.  Six weeks later I had finished my first quilt, a Variable Star design (also called Ohio Star.)  It was the perfect addition to our country decor.

First Quilt:  1983
First Quilt: 1983

Throughout the 80s and most of the 90s I continued to make pieced wall quilts.  (I made one queen sized bed quilt which I hand quilted.  After about 500 hours of effort, I decided I did NOT want that experience again!)  The next few quilts are typical of that time period.

Brown Triangles (A "scrap" quilt made from purchased scraps.)
Brown Triangles (A “scrap” quilt made from purchased scraps.)
Flying Geese in the Cabin, Miniature (paper pieced by hand)
Flying Geese in the Cabin, Miniature (paper pieced by hand)
Fragrant Starlight, a challenge quilt for Seaside Piecemakers

Fragrant Starlight, a challenge quilt for Seaside Piecemakers

Things sure have changed in the quilting world since I entered it!  To give you an idea, the top two quilts were made using cardboard templates, with each piece drawn and cut by hand.  No rotary cutters!

I was learning about machine quilting, though.  The first three were done by hand, but the last one was done by machine.  I could only do stippling, that was good enough for me.

Where did your quilting journey begin?

Ellen Lindner

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