Today we have the first entry in our new series My Sister’s Quilts. My amazing sister Sarah has made a baby quilt for each of her 15 (I think) nieces and nephews. We talked her into sharing each one here on Skirt Fixation. Allegra is her oldest and therefore first niece, so we’re starting with her baby quilt today. I asked Sarah (who her nieces and nephews call Aunt Fess or Auntie Fessy) to share what she remembered about making this quilt.
This was one of the very first quilts that I made I think! Of course I was inspired by my very first niece, but also I was inspired by my very first real job! I was age 16 I think. I had a summer job at House of Fabrics. House of Fabrics was one of the two fabric stores in the town where I grew up. Over the summer the store was actually closing down. A lot of the time I was putting fabric underneath the desk to save to buy on the liquidation sale! I saved up a lot of fabric that summer, but not a lot of money! :-).
So the fabric in Allegra’s quilt was from that summer job. The quilting method was self-taught on this quilt, as it was before I had gotten my formal training from my aunt Mary! My aunt Mary is an amazing quilter… Of professional standard… Her work is amazing! And she now owns a long arm quilting business. She spent a winter vacation teaching me how to REALLY quilt probably when I was about 17. It was a priceless gift, that I will always use and value.
Anyways, looking back, I un-knowingly used the “fussy cut” technique to make a little rectangular square for an animal in each square of Allegra’s quilt. I used neutral colors as I did not know the sex of my new niece or nephew! In later years, my own critical eye sees it as a pretty sloppy job, but it was the best I knew at the time! Years later, I remember Audrey bringing the quilt to me to repair, and this was after my formal quilting training, so I was able to reinforce a lot of my stitches and do a meandering quilting pattern to hold the whole thing together a lot better (originally I had just done the stitch-in-the-ditch method).
Making this quilt was a great experience in anticipation of my new first niece and an even more amazing experience being at her birth months later. I cannot believe that that was 17 years ago and that now this quilt belongs to an amazing young woman full of opportunity and anticipation as she approaches her adult life.
Allegra, always remember that even when life seems like a zoo, you are a patch holding a very important place. Others rely on you and, you are part of something much much bigger than yourself, a patchwork stitched together with love!
Allegra cherishes this quilt so much! This type of quilt would be a great 1st quilt for someone to sew. Thanks Sarah for sharing. We’ll see you next month for the next installment of My Sister’s Quilts.