Do you remember the very first quilt book you purchased? If so, what was it? Do you still have it?
As I was unpacking a box recently, I found my very first one.
The book must have been brand new when I first learned to quilt.
The blocks for my very first sampler, the blocks we made in my very first piecing class, came from this book and as I look at the cover, I can pick out the blocks I used. Templates were cut from template plastic. The lines were traced by pencil onto the fabric which was positioned on a sandpaper board. The quarter inch tool was used to draw the cutting line. Every piece was cut out by hand with scissors and then the blocks were hand stitched on the drawn lines.
So much of quilting has changed since those days. I’m grateful for the updates and quicker methods but I’m also so grateful for my early days of quilting. I’m grateful for so many friends I’ve made through quilting. I can’t even imagine what a different path my life would have taken had I not wandered into that quilt shop in Lake Charles . . The Calico Patch, on my lunch hour one day back in 1980.
Thank you to those quilters who came before me, who thought up all the innovations we now use and love. Thank you to the quilting community in general for being such a loving, caring and sharing group of folks. I love that I’m a quilter and I love that most of you reading this are quilters.
Wow! that book is the one I used for my very first quilt class and did the blocks the same way you did, in fact I still have the plastic templates inside the back cover of the book. Sure glad quilting has evolved!
Yes, that’s in my collection, too. I’m not sure, but it might have been the Marguerite Ickis book, or maybe the paperback reprint of Ruby McKim that I bought first. Pickin’s were slim in the late 60s and early 70s! I know my first favorite was the history book by Myron and Patsy Orlafsky! Yes, we do things a lot more easily now, but we also have tools we didn’t have then, which makes it easier. I loaned a couple of your books to a friend, and she is using your snowball quilt pattern with her Dr. Seuss fabrics to make what I think is going to be adorable!
Amazing! That was my first book for my first piecing class. We used the same technique with sandpaper templates etc. I have the quilt – it’s a UFO – the blocks are all done and the quilt is pieced – needs to be backed & quilted.
Sherry Moran says
Well, count me in! That was also my first quilt book when I learned to quilt in 1987. We had to do everything by hand also, and that’s the only thing I have EVER hand quilted! It still hangs over our bed and I keep thinking it’s past time to change it, but I’m too lazy!LOL! Must change!
Diana Leone’s son, Eddie, owns Eddie’s Quilting Bee in Sunnyvale CA. Diana started the original shop in Mountain View back in the 70’s. Eddie took it over from her in the early nineties, which is when I started shopping there. She is still active in the quilting community. Pretty neat!
That was my first book too! I still have the book and I used the book in my first quilting class. I still have the quilt. I made the blocks for the quilt and my mom hand quilted it. Sure wish I would have used better quality fabric. I have learned so much since that class.
Thanks for helping me to bring back so many memories of learning to quilt.
Debbie B says
Well, I will chime in here, too! That was my first quilt book also. A lady at church donated her time to teach the class and we purchased the book, fabric, etc. We made a 4 patch wall hanging all by hand. Thank goodness for our cool tools today. Good memories!
That was the first quilt book I had and worked on my first quilt from. I never finished the quilt – it was a miserable experience due to the teacher. Thankfully I found another shop and a good teacher and moved on. I saw a couple of the blocks just last week while cleaning.
Lizzy Hentze says
That was my first quilting book too! Obviously Diana Leone has a lot of quilters to answer to!!! Great memories.
Penny Hankey says
My first quilting book was Lynne Edward’s Sampler Quilt book – a UK book by a UK quilter although I know Lynne has taught in the US as well. She uses more modern techniques in the book but my tutor made us do everything by hand as you described. I eventually finished a double bed (?queen size) quilt all completely hand stitched and hand quilted. When I look at it I am amazed at how far I have progressed!
I own it too. Must have made somebody some money.
That was the first quilt book I bought years and years ago also. Sounds like we are twins from the technique. The only difference is that I never finished my quilt. My husband at the time told me that one of my applique blocks was not centered – it was interlocking hearts. I told him that it was. It was clear across our large living room. He asked me to bring him my hem gauge. He measured and told me that it was off 1/16″ of an inch. That broke my heart. I thought I was a perfectionist. Yes, that’s the perfection he expected from me in everthing. I was lap quilting a king size quilt. I think I finished two rows. That marriage lasted 23 years. I still have not recovered from the devastation of the divorce 15 years ago. My children have turned on me – not him because eveything was always my fault. He is very ill. Of course, I’ve survived breast cancer since and was diagnosed with fibromyalgia within six weeks of the breast cancer diagnosis. Before my mother died, she took up hand quilting in a frame, again. She had quilted with her graqndmother as a girl. I sent her the unfinshed quilt. She didn’t know what to make of lap quilting and didn’t know how to put it together to get it on a frame. So, she sent it back to me. So, many years later, the unfished king size quilt is in a box in my attic. It’s not even in my closet with my many, many quilt kits. Many folks who know the story encourage me to get it out and finish it and others say some quits aren’t meant to be finished.
I also own this book, and was my first purchase in a class given by Co-operative Extension.
Mary Ann Parker says
The first quilt book I bought was “The Country Bride Quilt” in 1992. I still have all the fabrics to make it including the nearly 17 yards of white it required for the top and backing. Last spring I gave myself permission to NOT make this quilt – I know I will never do all that applique – and I can stop feeling guilty. I still love the quilt and was very impressed when I saw the original one at the Old Country Store of Intercourse, PA, still my absolute favorite quilt store in the whole country.
Dora, the quilter says
Off the top of my head, I can not remember the first quilting book I bought–although it had to have been at least a couple of years before that one was published. (I’m sure I’ll run across it in a box one of these days.) However, I was really glad to see Diana Leone’s book published because it saved me a lot of preparation time in the classes I taught. Gosh, that was a long time ago!
Linda in NE says
I think that was the first one I bought too. I remember thinking that with all the block patterns it was a lot of bang for my buck and I was taking a class from Wanda Dawson, a well-known NE quilter, at the time. She was teaching a hand-sewn sampler using patterns that she drafted to the correct size from traditional patterns. Ah, memories!!
Joan in Ne says
Hi Linda, I too remember Wanda, she was a very special quilt teacher back when we started to quilt.
Joan in Ne says
Do not remember the first book I bought, but I do know I still have it. Gosh you don’t want to see how many quilting books I have. Could start a library. I have that book too.
Even before I saw her name I knew the book was one of Diana Leon’s! Her Quilting Bee shop (now Eddie’s Quilting Bee) was a must visit when I took a trip to California in the early 1990’s. I had the pleasure of meeting her that day. Several of her books are in my collection and I also own some of the fabrics she designed for Northcott.
Can’t remember the exact title and i am too lazy to go downstairs to my sewing room to check but it was A Fons & Porter, about an inch or so thick and it taught me so much. I really love that book. I think i am the only one that doesn’t have the same one as your first book.
My very first quilting book was an instructional ‘how-to’ by Eleanor Burns with only three blocks in it. She was just starting out and the book was hand bound on her kitchen table. She taught the class and sold the book.
Mel Meister says
Georgia Bonesteel’s “Lap Quilting” was my first book. And the first way I leanred out to quilt. I still have that quilt. Never finished it but it has a very warm place in my heart.
my first quilt book I received from my Grandmother who had given it to my mother who then passed it on to me. I also have her quilting frame which hangs from the ceiling or sometimes they just placed it on for ladderback chairs. Inside the book were some old newspapers St Louis from the 1930’s and 40’s of quilting blocks. I received my love of quilting from grandmother to mother and I guess maybe? genetics 🙂
Valerie Boudier says
My first quilt book was Beth Gutcheon’s The perfect patchwork primer, published here by Penguin in 1974. Was published in the U.S.A. in 1973
Penny Holliday says
Me, too, Judy! That was the required book when I took my first quilting class through Claremont, CA Adult Ed class back in the day ~ same technique you mentioned but we used the plastic inserts from bacon pkgs. If we couldn’t supply that for ourselves we used manilla files or poster brd. Teacher did require a couple of applique blocks that she supplied patterns including Sun Bonnet Sue. I still love Sun Bonnet Sue!! After completeing blocks we assembled by hand using a tedious “Quilt as you Go” method” which I’ve never used again. My quilt did not receive any awards in a quilt show but I have proudly shared my pastel sampler quilt as “my first quilt” many times.
Diane Hines says
I still have that book too. Haven’t looked at it for a long time. I like your books better. We used cereal boxes to make templates. I also learned to quilt as you go by the block. I never finished my sampler.
My first book was “Start Quilting with Alex Anderson”. That was ca. 1999 as my son was born in 1998 and I became a SAHM and soon discovered her show which I watched for a year or me before I started to quilt myself. I learned a lot by watching her and her many guests, and didn’t take a class until many years later, which was from a local quilter teaching the Stack-N-Whack method by Bethany Reynolds. Now I have more books than you can imagine, well maybe you and every other quilter can ;p
Roberta Horton’s book on Scrap Quilts, The Art of Making Do was my first quilt book and yes, I do still have it.
Funny that I can remember my first one after all the books I’ve bought.
Robin F. says
My first quilt book was The Sampler: A Machine Sewn Quilt by Eleanor Burns. I took a class at my local fabric shop in the early 80’s and we made almost every block in the book- I ended up with a king sized quilt. I still have the book and the quilt.