I Blame It on the Hormones

My daughter Katerina was the one who set me on my quilting journey, although she certainly didn't know it at the time. It was early 1993, and I had recently found out I was pregnant and was absolutely thrilled with being so. Like a lot of women before me, I decided I wanted to celebrate my pregnancy by making a quilt for my baby, even though I had no idea how to go about it.

Plump with pregnancy, I drove to a nearby quilt store and stared at the shop samples, trying to find one that would be just right. As I considered the colorful quilts displayed in the shop, it never occurred to me to ask how easy or hard a particular pattern was. After all, I could sew! <grin>

So for my first quilt I chose the one I loved, and never considered whether or not I could make it successfully. As you've probably guessed, the quilt was filled with lots of half-square triangles whose points would only match if I was careful and employed only the best quilting techniques...none of which I knew at the time.

My first quilt, an ocean waves variation

My first quilt, an ocean waves variation

In a hormone-filled haze, I dug through a barrel of scraps my local quilt store was selling by the pound, looking for only the best baby-themed fabrics. I didn't have a stash then, and I wanted to the quilt to be nice and scrappy, just like the shop sample.

I created a triangle template and carefully marked and cut out each triangle, blissfully unaware of rotary cutters or speed-piecing methods. For the rest of my pregnancy and for a few years after, I carefully sewed those tiny triangles together. When almost none of the points matched and I realized that my quilt looked amateurish, I got discouraged and put the project aside for a while. I decided I needed to know more, such as why my quilt looked so different from the one in the shop. So I took classes and made simpler quilts that helped me improve my skills.

When I returned years later to finally quilt my daughter's "baby" quilt, I no longer saw the mistakes. Instead, I saw a very happy little girl who loves the quilt her mother made just for her!

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