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Apr 1, 2011

First Quilts on the First: Alison of Little Island Quilting

Apr 1, 2011
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Yay!  The VERY first First Quilts on the First guest blogger post on GXQ!  Please welcome Alison of Little Island Quilting - and I personally say, thank you SO much Alison for bravely volunteering for this spot on short notice.  Alison has a great First to share with us today.

I was living in the Netherlands at the time (the 1990's) and had just learnt to quilt by taking 'patchwork' classes with a local quilt shop. I completed one quilt block (a pin wheel which was cut out using templates), was completely bitten by the quilting bug and decided to go for it by making a king size quilt as my first major project! As quilt fabric was/is so expensive in Europe, my husband was going to be in New York so I found out the name of a quilt shop (which is still in New York to this day - and asked him to buy me ' some green fabric.' With help from the (male) owners of the shop, he came back with a good selection and I started.

 I had no reference to any quilt books, no internet then, no one to ask apart form the quilt shop where I had done the classes but I didn't want to because I felt bad that I hadn't bought the fabric from them!

It took me a whole sweltering hot summer to make the log cabin quilt and I pieced it all by hand. Quilting was kept to a complete minimum and I only quilted rough heart shapes in each of the red squares. I didn't really know what binding was so I made sure the backing was quite a bit larger than the top, folded it over to the front and stitched it down - didn't even know about mitred corners...look at my over-zealous stitching:

The quilt is now faded and when I look at it I realise how far I have come both in terms of workmanship and taste in fabric. However, I still love it as it is a reminder of a hobby that I continue to really enjoy.

My current work:

Finished Tufted Tweets quilt
As soon as Laurie Wisbrun's Tufted Tweets line came out, I had one of my (rarely for me) 'I have to have that NOW' moments...normally I am happy to mooch through the sale sections of fabric websites. I purchased a half yard each of the whole line and made two previous  quilts .  I was then left with a load of scraps that I thought I could still get a third Tufted Tweets quilt out of . And this is the one I made. I originally blogged about it here.

Close up of Tufted Tweets quilt

Back of Tufted Tweets quilt

When I started quilting, it was to make a specific quilt for a specific reason - I've long since passed that stage! I quilt because it is relaxing and productive and every quilt that you make is unique to you. My tastes in fabric and design have definitely changed, but my love for the whole process from choosing fabric, to deciding what to make, to actually making it - that has never changed! I think the internet has been a huge source of inspiration. When I started out 15+ years ago there were some books and magazines and that was about it. Now, at the click of your mouse you can have a whole quilt show going on in your home at any time of the day and night and I find that very inspiring.

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  1. That's a pretty impressive first quilt! I love that you wrapped the backing around the front to bind it! so funny and so creative! Love the tufted tweets quilt - seriously stunning.

  2. Wow! I can't believe that was your first quilt! It is awesome. You are clearly a natural!

  3. Yay Alison! I can't believe you pieced it all by hand. I have loved seeing your Tufted Tweet quilts.

  4. By hand??? Yikes! You are much more patient than I :-)

  5. Wow! That's a first quilt? Impressive! I like the First Quilts on the First idea!


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