Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Quilts from My Sewing Machine #4, Chris the Fireman

Okay, so it's a day before Really Random Thursday, but here's a post to add to the few I've written about quilts I have made. Today on the docket is the first "quilt" I made! As I remarked in a earlier post, I had made quilts before this, but all were the basic one piece of fabric sandwiched with another and tied.

And without further ado....My First Quilt!

Me, a sophomore in college, in a dress I made!
I had sewn clothes from my first 4-H class through to when I was 30. I never really enjoyed it, but I was competent enough to make clothing. It was cheaper than buying clothes back then. Also, my mom said, you could have just the right fit, right color and the lines would match along the seams! I gave it up finally because it got more expensive, but really because I didn't enjoy it.

Noel Heart asked me to make a quilt for Firstest’s second Christmas. I had already decided to make a baby quilt; the type I'd done before with two pieces of fabric. But Noel Heart had different ideas.

We found a book with the cutest quilt made of panels of fire trucks and Dalmatians. It didn’t look too bad, so I decided I could make it.

It is named Chris the Fireman, after my dad who was a fireman. I made it into a double bed size, starting in 2002 and finished in 2005. I found the pattern in 10 * 20 * 30 Minute Quilts, by Nancy Zieman.

Here is what the quilt looked like in the book:

I had to add some rows to make it a double size, so I decided on square-in-a-square, some checkerboard rows and use the smaller dog pictures.

To get started, I went and visited my DMIL. She is a wonderful quilter and I needed lessons. When I showed her the pattern, she looked worried. "Are you sure you want to make this quilt? It's kind of difficult?" I was fearless! Of course I wanted to make it! This was for my first grandchild!

It was my first experience with rotary cutters and real quilting. I actually cut my first piece with scissors, which my DMIL found hilarious. The first step she taught me was to cut strips and sew them together to make a checkerboard. When I sewed that first strip then cut it, I was hooked! I thought this was the most fun I’d had in a long time and a much better use of a sewing machine than for making clothing. 

It took me a long two years, but it did get done. I tied the quilt with red crochet thread and Firstest had it on his bed for years. When he was twelve, Noel Heart told me she had never washed it! Needless to say, I took it home with me to mend some seams and wash it!

Chris the Fireman, finished!

Chris the Fireman Statistics

Life Quilt #1
Started: Winter 2002
Finished: April 2005
Size: Double
Designed, pieced and tied by myself


  1. I agree with you about making clothing. Did it, done with doing it.
    We'll do anything for grandkids... don't you find that is true? Love the fireman quilt. I think it'd time for a grown up quilt now that he is 12. This one could be set aside for his first baby.

    1. You are so right--on everything! I've had it in the back of my mind what quilt I should make him. I liked a quilt that Bonnie Hunter has, just not sure yet.

  2. Awesome history! I like hearing your stories. :)

    1. Thanks, Susan. I've always loved telling stories. I've written a couple of "books" telling stories of when my kids were young and from my own childhood.

  3. You are a great story teller and so is your quilt. It is a story about your dad, you and your firstest grandchild! A treasure.

    1. I appreciate your comments. I think every quilt has a story.

  4. I love the idea that this quilt will always hold such precious memories! Quilts have a way of doing that especially when they are made over time....ya just remember what was going on "when" your made this row...ect. (I love the firehouse dad is a retired fire chief)


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