My First Quilt (for the Parade of Quilts)

My first quilt--Irish Chain

Over at Simplify, Camille is hosting a Parade of Quilts (and lots of parenthesis) along with Carrie@La Vie en Rosie (who I’ll honestly admit I don’t know, but obviously I’ve been missing out because her blog looks wonderful and I’ll have to go get lost over there for a while after I’m finished here). Camille and Carrie want to see first quilts and last quilts, and I thought I might pass on this one (especially since I’d just posted something already this morning, and I’m lucky to post something twice a week but twice a day is unheard of and y’all might think I’m having an out of body experience and some other strange quilter has taken over and is madly posting to the blog). I mean, I could just be a sponge and soak it all in once the links to everyone’s entries were posted up on Monday but then I remembered that my first quilt (or what I call my first quilt anyway, which was really “one of the first quilts” if you need to be all technical about it) was an Irish Chain. The only picture I can find of it (well easily find anyway, since a 10 minute dig in the hard drive didn’t turn up anything bigger or better) is this little bit of a thing you see at the top of this post.

I made this quilt for my first daughter (who is now 17), to use in her crib and then on her toddler bed when she got bigger. It had cute fabric with baby foot prints all over it, which was what I used to decorate her whole room. What I learned: I don’t like Warm & Natural batting (or anything cottony for that matter); cotton poly blend isn’t that great for quilt backings, even when it’s sold as “quilt fabric;” binding’s not as easy as it looks if you want the corners to really be square; quilting in the middle of an Irish Chain pattern is a bit difficult to even contemplate if you don’t know about free motion quilting (and oh, btw, there still isn’t anything quilted in the middle of those big open spaces you see there ’cause Life got in the way). I also learned that even if it’s not completely quilted and totally perfect, the quilt will get used and loved anyway.

So why is this Irish Chain notable, and what made me decide to be a participant in the Parade of Quilts instead of a sponge? Well, (one of) the last quilt(s) I finished was an Irish Chain of sorts as well, but it’s quite a bit different and more involved. And of course, quilting a design in the middle of an Irish Chain block is way more fun (and doable!) now that I know how to put the feed dogs down and let ‘er roll!

So this quilt, called Accessorize Me—with Inchies! is the most recent large quilt that I’ve finished. The accessory motifs are fusible machine appliquéd, and the squares on this quilt are all Inchies. You can see more about this quilt here.

Thanks for stopping by to see my entry for the Parade of Quilts, and thanks to Camille (and Carrie) for sharing such a great idea! I’m sure there will be lots of eye candy just waiting to be discovered when all the links are posted. (I think Camille’s parentheses problem infected my blog post over here, so sorry about that) 🙂

24 thoughts on “My First Quilt (for the Parade of Quilts)

  1. They are both lovely! I can’t believe that first on was your first, definitely not an easy one to start with. And your latest quilt is fantastic! Thanks for joining in! (and sorry about the parentheses…)

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    1. Hi Camille, and thanks! It’s one of the first quilts, but the “true first” I don’t have anymore, and couldn’t imagine where I’d even hunt up the picture that I know I have–somewhere. The true first quilt was a bargello-style quilt, which wasn’t any easier. I’ve never been one for learning to walk before I run! (and I’m a total parentheses user anyway; I usually try to keep from using them so often, but sometimes thoughts just come out that way–see?) 😉

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  2. I made one of those woven-Irish-chain things too! And yours is so much better than mine ~ it’s beautiful! I also love your most recent quilt ~ Accessorize Me. Is that rick-rack in the binding? And did you color/dye it yourself or did it come that way? That is the coolest edging and it is absolutely perfect for your quilt! Thank you for playing along ~ and for showing your beautiful quilts!

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    1. Hi Carrie! That picture of the woven Irish Chain is VERY flattering to it, let me tell you. That is jumbo rick-rack in the binding, in about nine or ten different colors. I cut them apart and used just three bumps (sections, parts??) per color on each side, randomly arranged. (I’m not sure I explained that very well, but I’ve only had one cup of coffee so far, so it is what it is.) The whole time I was making the edging, I couldn’t decide whether it was going to be cool or a total failure, but I’m pretty happy with it (though it was quite painful to do, so it might never be repeated!).

      Thanks for your lovely comments about my quilts!

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  3. You are a brave woman to be quilting with inchies! : ) I can’t even imagine how tough it must be to wrangle all those tiny parts! It’s lovely, nice work!

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    1. Inchies has become my middle name, and I’m a total addict. They’re not as hard as you think, Abi! Thanks for your kind comments, and for visiting!

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  4. Wow – what a great contrast between your first Irish Chain and the Accessorize Me quilt. But both beautiful examples of your work! Thanks for sharing.

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  5. Your quilts are beautiful. I often make quilts with chains in them.
    I love how the chains in yours are different colors, and the ric rac is perfect!

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  6. Your first quilt is impressive. I love the way the chains are “woven.” And your latest quilt is fabulous! The chains and the motifs are so pretty!

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    1. Thanks Deborah! I love Irish Chain quilts too; I’ve made a couple of others as well. It’s a really great pattern and you can do so many things with it for different looks.

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    1. Hey Lisa! Irish Chain quilts aren’t as difficult to sew as they look, since it’s just strip piecing. You can even use a larger print as the background, and then there isn’t so much of a need to quilt something fancy in the middles! Thanks for your kind comments!

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  7. Irish Chain quilts are one of my favorites. There is so much you can do with that pattern. And you’ve proven that with your gorgeous accessories quilt. Awesome!

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    1. Hi aj! Thanks for your lovely comments; the quilting was really fun to do with that continuous line pattern and variegated thread. Thanks for stopping by!

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