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Sep 2, 2013

First Quilts on the First: Sherri of A Quilting Life

Sep 2, 2013
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Please welcome Sherri McConnell of A Quilting Life to this month's First Quilts on the First feature.  Sherri and I ran into each other in the lobby of our hotel at Quilt Market in the Spring.  She is such a sweet person, and I love her work.  She is one person who is able to seamlessly blend both modern and traditional in her work.  I enjoy when she uses extremely traditional quilt blocks with modern fabrics to create a fresh, yet vintage look.  Her book A Quilting Life: Creating a Handmade Home came out this spring.  Let's hear about her first....


Hello! I'm excited to be here today to talk about my first quilt, my love of quilting, and where my quilting is at today! I recently found a photo of my first quilt that I had forgotten I had. It's such a significant photo, too, because my grandmother and my oldest son are in the picture. I really began quilting because I wanted to make things for my family, and my grandmother who was taught to quilt by her grandmothers started me on my journey.

My first quilt was a Double Irish Chain using Eleanor Burns' Quilt in a Day book. I had actually asked my grandmother to make this quilt for my son, and she said, "No. But I'll teach you to make it yourself." The rest, as they say, is history. My grandmother came over to my house and helped me cut and sew the first few blocks...then she left me on my own to finish. Of course I was pretty hooked on this pattern and can't even tell you how many double Irish chain quilts I made before branching out to new designs.



Now, twenty years later, I don't know what I would do without this past time. I love fabrics and quilting, and I'm still making quilts for the people I love! I consider myself pretty eclectic when it comes to what I make as you'll see from a few photos. I recently finished my "Hopscotch" quilt using some fresh modern fabrics designed by V & Co. for Moda. This is one of my favorites (I'm working on the binding right now).


But I also love traditional block designs and fabric and am always drawn to the comforting colors and palettes of the Fig Tree fabrics. I completed my Farmer's Wife quilt about a year ago and used all Fig Tree scraps from my stash for the blocks. It just came back from the quilter a couple of weeks ago!



When I first started quilting I was influenced by the things my grandmother was making and by the projects she heard about through her local quilt guild. Over the years, I began to find quilt books of my own, and then when I discovered quilting blogs on the internet, it was like a whole new world opened up to me. I live in a pretty rural area, and when my children were younger it was just incredibly hard to get away to attend quilting events out of town, but with the new world of on-line quilting resources I began to be inspired by so many different styles.

My scrappy trip along quilt finished up last winter was inspired by all of the scrappy trip quilts I saw on Instagram.



My Marcelle Medallion was also inspired by the Instagram craze...




One of my most recent finishes is my Bella solids quilt using 9" finished signature block patterns from the Moda Friendship quilt along. After all of these years, I'm gravitating toward using a lot of solids...just as I did in my very first quilt!

I hope you've enjoyed hearing about my very first quilt and a little bit of what I'm up to today. You can follow along my continuing quilting journey at A Quilting Life and follow me on Instagram at @sherrimcconnell.

Thanks so much for having me as a guest blogger!
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6 comments:

  1. Eleanor Burns' double Irish chain was my first real quilt, too. :)

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  2. Great post! I love Sherri and her quilts. : )

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  3. Eleanor Burns' Double Irish Chain was my first "quilt" --- a 30x30 wall hanging that remains in a place of honor on our family room wall.
    And Sherri is a blogger I have loved and followed since day one!

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  4. Great to learn more about Sherri and her quilting. Noticed the incredible quilting on her fabulous Farmer's Wife quilt - wow!

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  5. Wow - great first quilt, especially done in solids/tonals!!

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  6. Sherri is one of my most favorite people. So fun to see early pictures of her as she began quilting.

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