I cannot really remember when I started quilting because all textile work was so much part of our childhood. But we did patchwork and did not quilt items. And in those days you made things very traditionally over papers. I can remember making tray cloths for relatives, for example. I can also remember doing little bits of quilting from childhood but none of them survive. I studied embroidery as a timetable filler in my last year at school and the art teacher who taught me made me work through some of the City and Guilds syllabus so I knew quite a bit about different embroidery techniques and used to enjoy visiting the Victoria and Albert museum and looking at the textile collections. I do remember getting enthusiastic about blackwork and making traycloths in this pattern. I always like counted thread work and did a lot, some of which still survives.
I suppose I really started quilting in the nineteen eighties which is when the quilting revival began. My younger sister made several cot quilts from Laura Ashley pre-cut squares and I caught the bug. Here is a very early one - possibly the first one I ever did.
It was made for one of my nephews. My sister and family were living in Cairo at the time so it did not need to be quilted with wadding. As you will see, it is Laura Ashley squares and I satin-stitched around them on the machine. This quilt has now gone to the second generation. When this nephew had his first child three years ago, my sister found it and added wadding. I made several like this for friends' babies. This next one had a bit of a history.
It was made for the youngest child of one of my oldest friends in New Zealand which meant it had to be posted and I seem to remember parcels went by sea in those days. So I made it and posted it before the baby was born. That was the last time I ever did that as the baby had major medical problems when he was born and then the mother got very ill. So I vowed never to send a quilt until after the baby was born!
But it was a while before I became more adventurous. I made this one for another friend in New Zealand and took it with me in a suitcase as that seemed much safer.
By now I was capable of hand quilting patterns along the stripes. Even the back looked better!
And I made them big enough to fit on a bed rather than crib size although when I did City and Guilds I made a wholecloth pram quilt. The photo is not good enough to reproduce, however.