I passed a significant milestone last week - my 20th Quilt Birthday!
On February 8, 2003, I took my very first quilting class in Syracuse, NY. Before that, I barely knew where the on/off switch was on my new sewing machine - a basic model that cost about $200. It landed under the Christmas tree a few months before the class. The plan was to use it to finish hand-knit sweaters.
Until I took the class.
I remember receiving the supply list, and that first trip to the fabric store for supplies. I read the book cover-to-cover before the class. Then during the class, I caught the bug and never quite recovered. I made note of the date in the opening pages of my first book (above).
This is that very first class project from 20 years ago. It's only about 14" square - a single block with borders, very light quilting, and a machine-sewn binding.
A typical first project. Not very well done, but lots of potential!
I had some of that yellow/floral fabric leftover, and, shortly after that class, I added to it to make this small quilt that has seen quite a bit of wear and tear in the last 20 years. It was used for a bird cage cover for a long time and even had a short stint in a squirrel rescue. It's badly in need of a good washing, but it's chewed in several spots (birds and their beaks!) and likely won't survive a good laundering.
On my actual Quilt Birthday, February 8th, I wrote a post in the Quilt. Stitch. Connect. facebook group which received many comments from those reminiscing about their own early quilting days.
That's the thing with quilting. . .It doesn't matter if you know the exact date, or even the exact year, when you cut into your first piece of quilt fabric. Every bit of this hobby is wrapped in memories - the good stuff - time with relatives, learning from a sister, exploring quilt shops with good friends, laughs and giggles at retreats.
Regardless of when your Quilt Birthday is, blow out a candle and celebrate with me!