The Coming of Age Quilt

I used to say to my mother that quilting was a “coming of age” kind of thing. You had to be a certain age to be able to quilt. This was an ongoing joke between us because of my first attempt at quilting.

I had found a quilt pattern in a magazine, bought and cut the fabrics according to the pattern, and began sewing, diligently following the instructions. It didn’t work. I was so disappointed. I had really wanted to call my mom and tell her I had made a little quilt all on my own.

I called her, likely in tears, telling her I couldn’t quilt. This was a huge disappointment to me because my grandmother was a seamstress, my mother quilted and so did my sister-in-law. I was pretty sure that quilting should come easily to me. She chuckled and told me to pack it all up, magazine and all, and send it to her. I did. After she had taken a look at it, she called me back and told me there was a mistake in the pattern. In spite of that, I still told her that maybe I wasn’t old enough to quilt yet. And that became our little joke.

The very first quilt I did successfully make was this  mini log cabin, which I made a few years later.

The pattern came from the book Little Quilts All Through the House by Alice Berg, Sylvia Johnson, and Mary Ellen Von Holt, which I still enjoy pulling out now and then. The patterns are very basic and simple, and timeless — easily updated with today’s fabrics.

I enjoy making log cabin blocks because they have a rhythm as the strips wrap around the center square — light, light, dark, dark is the way I used to remind myself as a beginner. I went on to make quite a few log cabins in those first years.

I made this quilt in the late 90’s, starting on an afternoon at my friend Connie’s house, while we each stitched on our projects and my two kids ran around us playing. (Those two kids are now both young adults, so this little mini would have quite a few stories to tell.)

I went on to finish all the blocks, pieced them together, hand quilted it and made the binding, all on my own. Close examination of the quilt shows some of the things I still needed to learn, but all in all, I was very pleased with the outcome.

I called my mom and told her I was finally old enough to quilt. We had a good laugh about that.

Linking up today with LeAnne at Devoted Quilter.







7 thoughts on “The Coming of Age Quilt”

  1. It’s so funny you thought you weren’t old enough to quilt! And how frustrating that the first pattern you followed had a mistake in it 🙁 Your first quilt is beautiful, especially with that red binding framing it. I love log cabin quilts too. Thanks for sharing yours with my link party 🙂

  2. Great story, but sorry you got off to a rough start on one that had a mistake in the pattern. So glad you tried again and got it right! Fun learning a bit more about you;)

  3. What a bummer about the first pattern you tried! Congrats on giving it another go – that log cabin quilt is adorable. My second quilt was a log cabin I made for my son and he still has it. It was fun to read this story Wendy. Thanks so much for sharing it! I love that you and your Mom share a passion for quilting.

  4. I love this story!! I remember some of my early, unsuccessful attempts, and can well identify with the frustration. You’ve come a long way! ?

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