New Orleans House Project

Saturday, February 15, 2020

A Quilting Time Machine

Now that my oldest son Andrew has moved to Denver, I've been working on returning his bedroom to guest room status.  I started by tackling the walk-in closet, which was in sore need of organizing.  Over the years the closet became a place to stash all manner of stuff - including costumes, clothes, quilts, and keepsakes.  

As I was sorting through the mess, I discovered several quilts I had made for him over the years.  I'm not sure why he left them behind, except maybe he thought they would be safer at our house than with him.  Hmmm.  Anyway, it was a bright, sunny day so I decided to take pictures so I'd have documentation of the quilts.

This is one of the first quilts I made as a beginning quilter, probably in the late 1980s.  I started by making 4-patch blocks, then assembling them in rows.
The layers were machine quilted using gentle curves along the seams.  This was a technique advocated by Robbie Fanning in The Complete Book of Machine Quilting, an early reference for machine quilting. 
In keeping with the animal novelty fabric in the quilt top, I used a leopard print for the back of the quilt.  Interesting to me - I used a wider binding than I typically use now, and I didn't miter the quilt corners!

Another early quilt was this red and green Log Cabin quilt - a Christmas quilt.  Again, not sure on the year it was completed (no label - I'll have to remedy that!), but probably early to mid 1990s.  
I used the services of a local long-arm quilter for this project; I think I wanted to finish it in time for Christmas!
Close-up of the quilting, binding, and backing.  Still using that wide (2.5 inch?) binding.  Amazingly, I still have scraps from this quilt in my stash!

I've shared the story of this quilt before.  Andrew took this quilt with him to Denver, but I'm including it here as it's part of the story.

This memory quilt has also been documented on the blog.  I know Andrew was worried about his dog chewing on this quilt (see the red and black quilt above), so he kept it stashed in the closet where the dog couldn't get at it!

This final quilt was not stashed in the closet, but has been waiting for its photographic opportunity before being shipped off to Denver.  
I remade the Endless Chain pattern in black and gold fabrics to remind Andrew of his New Orleans roots now that he's far from home.  Black and gold are the colors of the New Orleans Saints football team, and most of the fabrics have fleur de lis images (the fleur de lis image is associated with New Orleans - it's even included on the city flag and logo).
I got a little sentimental with the label.  The quote on the quilt is from Hodding Carter, and it's been part of a family history/photography display in our house for years.  I thought it was a good thought to send off with my wandering son!


  1. What a fun personal quilt show today! The Christmas Log Cabin is so nice and traditional.

  2. Thank you for sharing these quilts. It is fun to look back and see how our style, technique, and skills have changed / improved in the mean time.

    1. I appreciate your comments! I enjoyed reminiscing about my quilting journey!

  3. Loved seeing your closet quilts. It's interesting to see the trends through the years. Your son's newest quilt will be throughly used and loved in Denver as the snow continues to come down.

  4. Thanks for sharing Andrew's quilt collection, Angie!!

  5. I really like that Christmas quilt! The blue and gold memory quilt is lovely too. But that black and gold Endless Chain quilt just takes my breath away! You have always done such great work with two color quilts, especially when one color is gold! (It calls to mind the purple and gold spiderweb quilt you made). Be still my heart!!

  6. Thank you so much for sharing all these quilt memories! I loved seeing them all (but especially the Endless Chain - LOVE it!)

  7. Oh what a treasure trove of wonderful gifted quilts. I think it is wonderful that he loves them enough to keep them safe from harm. I'm sure he will cherish the new one too!

  8. I would say he has a nice collection of quilts from his mom. I love the label too. And why would we be surprised that you still have those scraps in your stash. Do I need to show you mine? LOL

  9. Nice quilt journey. I didn't know about mitered corners for several years. I also used packaged binding for the first several quilts (again, I didn't know better).

  10. I love how that kangaroo fabric comes alive with just a simple checkerboard. And yes, I happen to have that kangaroo fabric in another colorway, and I now see it hopping into a quilt as I steal your idea.

  11. It's so fun to revisit early quilts. Oh, the dog chewed quilt - been there. Love your label on the Endless chain.

  12. What a fun trip down memory lane. Love that label on the last quilt.