This is the Autumn Quilt, my first-ever attempt at quilting, made during a time when my sewing skills were even more abysmal than they are now. I knew I was coming at this project at a disadvantage, having never taken the time to properly learn how to sew, so I chose not to worry too much about making it perfect. I figured if it held together well enough that I could take it out for picnics, I’d be happy.
I began the process of cutting and paper piecing the hexagons together back in late 2013 with bits of fabric, old pillowcases and sheets I had been collecting from local thrift shops. When I started this project, I remember thinking it would be finished within a few months. I didn’t want to “rush” the process. It’s laughable to think about that now, as what ended up happening, and what so often is the case with these things is that it was started and well on its way, and then left untouched for over two years. In my defense, this awful abandonment occurred right after I was hired on for a new job that exhausted most of my creative energy, shorty followed by a pregnancy and a newborn. Enough said.
Finally, in January 2016, fresh with the resolution in mind to finish all my longstanding works in progress, I decided to prioritize it. By this time, my daughter was nearly two and just discovering the joys of building forts, so I envisioned the quilt as the perfect play companion for her. This really powered me through the elements of quiltmaking that were holding me back, specifically the binding, which, if you look closely, is actually quite terrible, but it doesn’t bother me at all. Perhaps I can go back and replace it someday with a more polished binding, but I honestly doubt I will.
By now, it’s been just over a year since calling my first quilt done, and it’s one of our most well-loved couch blankets, despite all its flaws. It’s the perfect lap size for both my husband and I, and it keeps my daughter nice and cozy whenever she’s cold or wants to snuggle up for a movie. Eventually I’d like to incorporate the craft of quilting into my creative schedule and routine. I have visions of naturally dyed quilts on all our beds, the walls, the couches and chairs… And although my technique will improve as I continue to make them, there’s something about a patchwork quilt that’s obviously handmade and a little flawed that I find completely irresistible.