Old Quilt

quilts, scrap quilts

I decided to have a week or so of scheduled post as there is usually not much to write in the beginning days of a trip – also this is forcing me to unplug for a little bit and take a forced vacation from the blog.  We are all so dependent on the internet — some of us more so than others.  When did I get this way? – so addicted to blogging, reading others blogs and being on line in general!  So I kind of challenged myself to just write up a couple post to space out for a week or so and then start to blog again in a bit after I have a chance to see things and decide what to share!

Here is an old quilt that I made back in 1998 – at that time I was making about one big quilt a year  – and many baby quilts.   I think I had already made about 7-8 big quilts and some where as not bad — were not great –  I taught myself how to quilt and never have taken a class which is why I have big fat binding from the sewing department of the fabric stores and not hand made on these quilts – I didn’t know any better!!  All fabric was still being cut out by scissors and paper templates and I was finally actually looking at quilting magazine to try to figure how to do better.  I didn’t always have a sewing machine so some of these old quilts of mine the binding was even sewn on by hand.  Most were all made with hand piecing.  I made my first quilt in 1974 which would make everyone laugh at my attempt I no longer have it but one of my brothers does and he calls it my humility quilt to remind me that I didn’t know what I was doing!!

This quilt was from an international fabric swap of 5 inch charms from early internet days – I think I collected the fabric for a whole year before I started to make it – I don’t’ even remember now what those on line groups were called or how I found them – no two pieces are the same (except the white background of course) it is about 75 inch square I believe but I didn’t measure it when I was taking photos of it and another outside.  I do not believe I had my quilting frame at that time – I think I used a hoop.

Hand pieced and hand quilted.  I didn’t have a name for it and just refer to it as a Charm Quilt.


I am tempted at times to take that binding off and make a new binding for it – but it is an old quilt to me now so why bother and just keep it as is.  It shows I have come a ways in my quilting making.


I didn’t twirl those seams and I didn’t always press my seams!  so I do have lumpy areas where those seams of the stars meet up in the middle.


But some how just a couple years after I got started I knew how to do a rocking stitch and got pretty good stitches – I guess it just came natural.

Within just a couple years after I made this quilt I had taught myself through magazines and Alex Anderson’s HGTV show the correct way to make binding, I got a rotary cutter and a mat, rulers and took off from there.  My blog starts in 2007 and I certainly knew what I was doing by then and actually sold several quilts by that time.  I don’t make my quilts to sell often but still do sell now and then through a contact I made in Little Rock.   I have another old quilt to show next time.

(I am compensated for any purchases made through my links.)

15 comments… add one
  • Mary Sep 9, 2019 Link Reply

    My first quilt was a log cabin quilt. I took a class. I was so proud to have sewn a full size quilt even though a lot of the blocks didn’t line up and there were some puffy blocks.
    Enjoy your trip. I definitely understand the spending too much time online. Sometimes I don’t get nearly enough accomplished in a day.

  • Rebecca Grace Sep 9, 2019 Link Reply

    Oh my goodness. I wasn’t even born until 1973, Karen, so reading that you were making your first quilts around the same time that I was taking my first STEPS is actually very encouraging! Like, there may be hope for me yet, with another couple decades of practice! 🙂 I don’t think we can just lump all “screen time” together and call it all bad. Scrolling through social media feeds with all the politics and cherry-picked Brady Bunch family photos for too long doesn’t do anyone any good, but reading and writing blog posts is different. For one thing, my blog functions as a journal where I can record what worked and what I tried that DIDN’T work on a project. Used to write all of that down on scraps of paper before the blog, and then I’d promptly LOSE those scraps of paper so I had to figure it out all over again the next time around instead of learning from my trials and errors! But the surprise bonus of blogging has been discovering and connecting with so many other quilters out there, wonderful people like YOU who inspire and encourage me and who are so quick to come to my rescue in times of disaster (yes, I’m thinking of that link you sent me to the Save My Bleeding Quilt article!). Enjoy your vacation, Karen!

  • Diann Bottrell Sep 9, 2019 Link Reply

    Hope you’re enjoying your break, and seeing fun places on your travels! I loved seeing your early quilt – I know my first few show my lack of experience, too. This one of yours is so pretty! I like the scrappy stars!

  • blackeyedsewsan Sep 9, 2019 Link Reply

    I have followed you for a long time Karen but really can’t put a date on it. Going down memory lane will be fun for all of us! “happy trails to you’ Dale Evans 🙂

  • Kathi Clower Sep 9, 2019 Link Reply

    What a fun stop on your blog today Karen! I hope you are enjoying your unplugging time and you and Mike are finding things to chat of… or you are stitching or knitting or crocheting on something fun 🙂
    I love the quilt you shared as your older quilt… and I second looking at beginning work and seeing how far you come in knowledge when you look at current things or even more recent as you point out… I am exactly the same.. always learning and inspiring others yet being inspired by others too <3
    I am glad we blog… I wish I had inclination to blog more but my life adds up to once a week or twice at times… so I will stick with that but I sure am enjoying that while you are unplugged you set some ahead 😀
    I love all the thoughts your post today provoked for me… think I go sew bibs for my grand and ponder those 🙂

  • Tu-Na Quilts Sep 9, 2019 Link Reply

    I had to figure out when I made my first quilt. I know I was 16 so that would have been in 1969. I just thought I’d throw that in here so you don’t feel so old; now I do! Enjoy your travels and enjoy your time off. I’ll be waiting to read when you post whenever you choose. I know for a fact that it is hard to write and post during traveling.

  • It’s a beautiful quilt, Karen! I, too, am self-taught, and still prefer piecing by hand. My first quilt was hand-pieced and hand quilted. It took me 3 years to finish it! LOL!

    As far as internet addiction, for me, as introvert, it provides me a way to stay in touch with friends and family, and make new friends without leaving the house. I know, psychologists say people should get out in the “real world.” I do, but far less than my extrovert acquaintances.

  • Barbara Sep 9, 2019 Link Reply

    What a beautiful quilt. It even has a modern feel to it. I did a 5 inch square exchange too but mine are sitting in a container, such a good idea with the different white backgrounds. I love a star so you may have motivated me. I started quilting with my mom and aunt in the 1970’s and some of my early quilts have that store bought binding too! I remember the cardboard templates, and not fondly I might add. What a relief to have rotary cutters and acrylic templates.

  • Vicki W Sep 9, 2019 Link Reply

    Around that same time I was part of a Prodigy group that exchanged 6″ charms. I think we had about 20 people and would send a certain number of charms in a color theme to each participant. I absolutely loved getting that mail! Those fabrics found their way into quilts for years.

  • Karen bonita colcha , me encanta tu historia y tus estrellas.
    LLevo ya algunos años haciendo edredones, siempre a mano.
    Disfruta de tu viaje

  • Sarah Sep 10, 2019 Link Reply

    Your quilt maybe 21 years old but looks lovely still. My first ever quilt was a log cabin probably made around the time you made your charm quilt. I’ll have to dig it out and see what the label says! Enjoy your blogging/internet break.

  • Sandra B Sep 10, 2019 Link Reply

    Love your post Karen!
    I, too, have a quilt that was made from a charm exchange…. My quilt took many years to complete because I kept putting it away for months or years at a time when I would tire of working on it. After all the years of hand piecing and hand quilting, though, I am really glad I kept at it because it is now one of my favorites!
    Enjoy your travels and be safe!!

    P.S…. The charm exchange I participated in was found in Quilters’ Newsletter Magazine. Quilters could send in an exchange request and it would be posted in the magazine. It was a lot of fun to get the packages of charms and see where all they came from. Some people would send notes along, telling a little about themselves and their quilting…others would just send the charms without notes. I do not remember if I got any from outside the US. I do remember that I only got a few duplicates in the hundreds of charms I received.

  • Dottie Bishaw Sep 10, 2019 Link Reply

    I’m so glad you had this post, I was so busy yesterday unpacking boxes in the garage I didn’t even open my tablet. It’s good to unplug sometimes because you get a lot more done. I love this quilt, you shouldn’t change the binding since it’s such an old quilt, that’s what a lot of us did when we were self taught. I think I made my first quilt in the late 70s,, no classes for me either. I had quilting books and watched quilting shows on a public tv station when they started them. I hope you’re having a good time and getting a lot of relaxation in. Safe travels!

  • Jocelyn Thurston Sep 10, 2019 Link Reply

    I enjoyed reading this post with my morning tea. As always entertaining and informative…I think this quilt is special; any artist must tract their journey and beginnings are important. As you say, it shows how your skills have evolved and your knowledge grown. I think it’s a beauty, btw. Anyway, hope the travels are going well and I look forward to reading all about them!

  • BROOXIE MEEKS Sep 11, 2019 Link Reply

    Karen, this is your quilt that I’ve loved from the first photo you posted! Such a scrap buster too!

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