Thursday, December 06, 2018

Throwback Thursday - my very first quilt

Welcome to Throwback Thursday!
I'm hosting the linky party this month for Sandra at mmm! Quilts while she's busy with family and a wedding :-) I hope that you will link up with me below for this final Throwback Thursday of the year.

My very first quilt!
My mother started quilting after she retired. She loved to sew and quilt but I was very intimidated by all of the rules involved - if you haven't figured it out yet, I'm a bit of a rebel😊 So while I appreciated my mother's quilting, I didn't really think that quilting was for me.
My very first quilt - totally hand-sewn and hand-quilted.

When I moved to Ottawa, one of my brothers gave me a clipping of an upcoming workshop to make a healing quilt. It was a weekend workshop and very affordable, so I escaped for two days to make a healing quilt. It was an incredible weekend!

The centre star of the Lone Star quilt
The two ladies who ran the workshop were First Nations. One was an elder and both were healers. A Lone Star quilt was to be sewn and quilted by-hand by the group of about 20 women attending. All of the fabric, scissors, thread and needles were provided. We were shown how to cut the diamonds using templates and then how to sew them together.

What made this quilt so special was the healing aspect of it. While we were working, we were encouraged to think positive healing thoughts for the recipient of the quilt. As you can imagine, it was a very powerful weekend. We managed to finish the quilt top and most of us were able to return a few weeks later to quilt it. There was no quilting frame, just the women around the table quilting on our laps or the table.

When I told my mother how we were making this quilt, she couldn't believe it - but it turned out to be lovely. When I got home, I decided that I would make a quilt like this.

It took a lot longer than a couple of weekends to make it, more like a year. My daughter used it for several years. I also filled it with healing and loving thoughts.

I can't take a photo of a quilt without Chevy wanting in!
Must be all the love in the quilt :-)
What I learned
  • I learned that there was another way to quilt and that following the rules was optional.
  • It turns out that hand quilting without a frame still gives good results. I sometimes do the same with my embroidery.
  • For a first quilt, it was pretty good but not very square. However, a lot of the quilts that I've made, using rulers and a sewing machine, are still not all that square or even!
  • I used scraps to make the Lone Star quilt, and some of it obviously had polyester in it. I quickly learned the difference between sewing and quilting by hand using 100% cotton and cotton-polyester blends. Let's just say that sewing with cotton is like cutting into butter while polyester is more like cardboard.
  • I've only quilted a handful of quilts by hand. It's very relaxing, meditative and a great opportunity to fill the quilt with healing or loving thoughts. It's just too bad that it's so darn slow 😊.
  • I still infuse my quilts with love and positive energy, but it's not the same when I use a machine to quilt it.
  • I love Lone Star quilts but now that I know what I'm doing, I find them way too intimidating to make!
Linking parties
I'll be linking this post to many linking parties as well as the link-up here - so check out what everyone is doing! Tuesday Colour Linky Party, Let's Bee Social, Midweek Maker, Needle & Thread Thursday, Finished or Not Friday, Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?, Friday Foto Fun, Slow Sunday Stitching, Monday Making, What I Made Monday, Linky Tuesday, Moving it Forward, Design Wall Monday,

Great News! The Lone Star quilt was featured on the Tuesday Colour Linky Party - Thanks Dione  😊.
I'm also linking up this post to Sarah Goer's Show Me Something With Stars linking party. 

Throwback Thursday Link-up for December


  1. I love stories about first quilts!! You picked a real challenge for your first one, but it looks wonderful. It’s probably best to start quilting with such a complex project when you’re clueless because then you’re fearless. I like that the pattern was taught to you by First Nations quilters and that it is a healing quilt. For me, any quilt I make as a gift or donation is a healing, or at least an intentionally thought-filled quilt. I agree that hand-quilting is more meditative, but I have also learned that machine quilting can be meditative if I do it without a TV on or background music. I wonder if you might reconsider making a Lone Star quilt if you use a strip technique to make the diamonds instead of joining them individually. Thanks for filling in for a Sandra this month. Have a wonderful trip with your daughter!

    1. Thanks JanineMarie, I really should be a little more mindful, even on the sewing machine. I really do want to make another Line Star but accuracy is not my forte. Maybe one day. Actually I really like the little Lone Star quilt you had quilted. Maybe something smaller, but not tiny, would be a good start. Thanks again for linking up!

  2. Hello Andrée,

    I hope I haven't cheated by linking up with a needlecase rather than a quilt, but I thought it would be fun to throw as far back as possible, and had I not enjoyed sewing that needlecase, then perhaps there would never have been any quilts!

    The lone star is an amazing first quilt. Dealing with fabric cut on the bias can cause all sorts of problems, but you jumped straight in! The ladies on the weekend workshop sound like amazing teachers.

    Love, Muv

    1. Hi Muv, I think that your needle case is gresg! It's all about our journey. I was really clueless when I made the Lone Star. I didn't even think about bias until you mentioned it!
      Thanks so much for linking up.

  3. Thanks for linking up to Slow Sunday Stitching... I enjoyed reading your post!
    Hand quilting is so wonderful, and yes.... so darn slow! LOL

    1. Thanks so much Kathy. It's amazing how many memories writing the post brought back. I do have a couple of smaller projects that need hand quilting. Maybe it's time that they came out!

  4. I've heard of these healing quilts and that they work wonders

    1. Hi Susan, I believe that any intention that you give to your quilt will work. There's nothing like a lot of thinking loving thoughts while quilting to jazz up a quilt's energy :-)

  5. Such a beautiful story! And I love what you learned ;)

    1. Merci Frédérique. There is always so much to learn, and often going back all those years makes me realise that I did learn a lot from this. Joyeuxes fêtes!

  6. Great story! It's so funny how a pattern sometimes becomes more intimidating the more you know about it. Beginners have all the luck when they don't know what they're taking on. Thanks for linking up to What I Made Monday!

    1. Hi Becca. Coming at something as a beginner with no expectations is a great thing. Unfortunately it's too late for me now with the Lone Star. I could use the tools to help with accuracy, but the stress of getting it right is probably not worth it.
      I have recently seen a quilt with a series of smaller Lone Stars. Making a much smaller piece might not be as intimidating...maybe :-)


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