Quirky question: your first quilt block

Posted by on April 2, 2014, in quirky question

Martingale's Quirky Question

Thanks for stopping by for the weekly Quirky Question—where questions are just for fun, your answers are always welcome, and you could win an eBook for free!

Batik Blast quiltRight: “Batik Blast” by Terry Martin, from Wonder Blocks. Get the eBook for $5.97 this week only; see a slideshow of quilts from the book below.

Whether you’ve just started quilting or you’ve been quilting longer than you’d care to admit, we all have one proud moment: the day that we cut, pieced, and pressed our very first quilt block. Think back to your first time and tell us:

What was the first quilt block you ever made?

Post your answer in the comments before noon (PST) on Monday, April 7, for your chance to win. The carefully selected winning answer will be posted on Wednesday, April 9, along with the next question.

Last week’s Quirky Question was, “What other activities do you like to do while you’re quilting?” Here’s the winning comment, from Kathy:

“While quilting, I like to do…nothing else at all! I enjoy the quiet time in my own head, the rhythm of cutting, the hum of my machine, the warmth rising from the iron as I press, the scent of the starch…ahhhh! I keep a notepad close at hand in case other thoughts intrude or inspirations occur.  My quiet time quilting is the best part of my day!”

Congratulations, Kathy—look for an email about your free eBook.

Busy Bee Quilt Guild Raffle Quilt

The quilt that inspired the "Wonder Blocks" technique: Busy Bee Quilt Guild Raffle Quilt

Safe Harbor quilt

Safe Harbor

Gold Rush quilt

Gold Rush

Home at Last quilt

Home at Last

Batik Blast quilt

Batik Blast


  • My first quilt block was a rail fence block made of scape of apparel fabrics. I made a whole quilt like that as a teen. The dog uses it in her kennel these days.

    —Karen Watkins on April 2, 2014
  • The bow tie!!!

    —Connie Barrow on April 2, 2014
  • I honestly don’t recall the very first block I made. I was four when my grandmother started teaching me fancy work. The first one that I have real memory of was a shoo fly block. The pieces were traced from cardboard templates and cut with scissors. Ah, the good old days…..

    —Constance Pentzer on April 2, 2014
  • Four Patch!! I had no idea what I was doing. I combined two 1 1/2 strips. Then cut into 1 1/2 units then I combined 2 units to make a Four Patch. I was quite proud of myself!!

    —annie johnson on April 2, 2014
  • Churn dash when I was 12 with my grammy’s help.

    —Marlo Raub on April 2, 2014
  • Ohio Star

    Sallie on April 2, 2014
  • My first block was the nine patch block. Made with squares cut from cardboard templates, cut out with scissors….

    —Sandra on April 2, 2014
  • First quilt block was Ohio Star. I still have the UFO top!

    —Pat winters on April 2, 2014
  • Fence rail.

    —Cindy Vidor on April 2, 2014
  • My first block was the log cabin block.

    —Susan Best on April 2, 2014
  • The first was a Log Cabin block with my Grandmother. That was her favorite.

    —Chris on April 2, 2014
  • My first quilt block was a square in a square in a square in a square – it was paper pieced. You can see it at http://blog.geneblack.com/2008/03/my-first-pfp-quilt-square.html

    Gene Black on April 2, 2014
  • I fell in love with a quilt in a book. It was a log cabin with a leymon star in the middle. With no sewing background I dove in. a store was closing and fabric was $1.00 a yard. So I invested 12.00 dollars, thinking what do I have to lose. Not knowing of any equipment available, I hand cut with scissors, strips of fabric,sewed by hand, then cut the strips on an angle for the star part. Hand cut the strips for the log cabin blocks, again, sewed by hand. Turned out pretty darn good. Unfortunately, with several downsizings, I no longer have that quilt, but loved it.

    —Susan Pieper on April 2, 2014
  • Single patch, squares. I was 8 yrs old and we were making charity quilts to go to Ethiopia.

    Susie Rose Finlay on April 2, 2014
  • A log cabin block for a log cabin Christmas Tree wall hanging.

    Kathy Newton on April 2, 2014
  • My very first block was a Square in a Square, the quilt proudly lives on my couch!!!

    —Annette on April 2, 2014
  • A large feathered star block that will someday be a tree skirt. I had sewn clothing for years, so when I got the quilting bug, I found a pattern I liked and just jumped in. The only quilters I knew were on TV, and they made everything look so easy to do, I had no fear. The block sits there as a UFO because I want feathers on it and have not mastered them yet. But there is still time, my journey will not be over anytime soon.

    —Janet T on April 2, 2014
  • Sun bonnet Sue

    —Katherine Sarlay on April 2, 2014
  • My first quilt block was a Nine-Patch…Back in the late 1970’s!! The class was offered by a fellow army wife.
    The next one was a Dresden Plate. And everything took off from there! Years of fun and planning and satisfaction came out of those two blocks.

    —Susan Monroe on April 2, 2014
  • The first block was a star . I was on a quillting retreat not knowing realy what that was .The lady’s were laughing and showing each other things they had made and me sitting in a corner wishing I could do that . Thankfully to a person I never met talked with me and said one day you to will be like us and boy was she right . I make as many star quilts as I can and go to the retreats when avalible it is adictive .

    margaret pierce on April 2, 2014
  • Ohio Star

    —Carol on April 2, 2014
  • I think the first quilt block I ever made is called a "rail fence." It’s an easy block. In fact, my second quilt was a Turning 20, so I don’t know what that block is called. I have loved every block since I started piecing in 2006!!!

    —Trish Wall on April 2, 2014
  • Log cabin … and not without some frustration! It has become my most FAVORITE quilt block since then ~ so very versatile!

    —Linda H on April 2, 2014
  • My first quilt was made in 1967. A 9 Patch. I drew around the cardboard templates and cut with a scissors. Not my way anymore.

    —Dixie on April 2, 2014
  • first block I attemtpted was Kime’s cat block
    have yet to finish it
    the block I did do next was a 9 patch, finsihed that quit on Pat Sloans
    lists in an exchange of blocks. And use the quilt too.

    —carol craven on April 2, 2014
  • My first block was a log cabin, and its still my favorite. I love the versatility of it. Altho come to think of it, I’ve never made another one. That first one was in 1987, we used formica templates that the teachers husband had cut for each size of piece. We did have rotary cutters, it was the first time I had seen them. So many quilt patterns, so little time!

    —Su on April 2, 2014
  • My first block 5 years ago was a 9 patch at my first quilting lesson. I was shaking and sweating. It was the beginning of a beautiful autumn sampler. My wonderful teacher passed away suddenly 2 years ago. I still remember her laugh and her encouragement to get me on my way and I haven’t looked back. RIP Kim and thank you.

    —Shannon on April 2, 2014
  • My first quilting project was a Log Cabin pattern Christmas quilt! I was so excited to see that first completed block! Beautiful. I enjoy remembering that happy learning experience each time I see the cozy quilt. Of course I have been hooked since then. 🙂

    —Donna Siller on April 2, 2014
  • Bear’s Paw because I didn’t know 1/2 square triangles and matching all those points was supposed to be difficult! And, of course, no rotary cutting or handy triangulations back then. Just templates, white chalk pencils and scissors. I picked dark Amish style colors and for reasons unknown to me 35 years later sewed the blocks with ecru thread??? But even though the fabric was thin (no quality quilting fabric in my small town back then), this is still the top (yes, it is still a UFO) that people seem to love. So this year, Bear’s Paw goes to the top of the "must finish" stack!

    —Darlene Graham on April 2, 2014
  • The first quilt block I ever made was a half-square triangle. I did not have a pattern – I had a photo and a friend had shown me how to make the blocks. As an experienced seamstress, I thought it would be a piece of cake! I would be stringing together fussy-cut 4 inch squares with the half-square triangles to make a baby quilt for my yet-to-be-born niece. I very carefully cut and sewed all the half-square triangles only to find that the finished squares were not the same size as my 4″ fussy-cut squares. I am sure those of you who have sewn – not to be confused with quilted – know where I went wrong. My friend, having never sewn before she started quilting, neglected to tell me that quilting requires only a 1/4″ seam as opposed to the 5/8″ seam for traditional sewing! Not to worry, I re-sized the 4″ squares to match and I was quite pleased with the finished quilt.

    —Denise Sanderson on April 2, 2014
  • I had been interesting in quilting, as my grandmother and great-grandmother were prolific quilters. In college I bought some stamped quilt blocks to embroider. A few years later as a graduated student, I had completed the blocks and set them together with blue and green strips. I used a blue and green floral print for the back. We lived in a small mobile home, and it was difficult to spread the quilt out. So when my parents visited, I took the quilt to their motel and my mother and I spread the quilt out on the floor and basted it. That was in the days of shag rugs, and we had to do a bit of clipping to get the quilt off the rug! My mother died a few years later, so that quilt is special to me, even when my daughters referred to it as an "old" quilt.

    —Kathy Gant on April 2, 2014
  • My first square was a 12 inch dreslin plate design, when finished it was a double bed size quilt. I made it from all the scarp fabric left from my oldest daughters first grade clothes..

    —Priscilla on April 2, 2014
  • A HUGE nine patch – I think the patches were 6″ each. In middle school home ec!

    —Lisa on April 2, 2014
  • Ohio Star at age 8 on my Grandmothers treadle, 56 years later I still have her treadle and use it to piece on occasion.

    —Cilla Tyler on April 2, 2014
  • Birds of a feather!

    —Liz on April 2, 2014
  • nine patch

    —donna shearrer on April 2, 2014
  • My first quilting project was a pillow in 1980 and I believe the pattern was the Bear Paw or Claw. That was as far as I got. Lately I have been looking at the quilting pattern books I purchased then and ready to begin again. I believe the reason I selected the Bear Paw pattern was that I had a grandmother that always had a quilt in her quilting frame and it was always interesting to see the different patterns and then the quilting designs she selected. The Bear Paw pattern was a favorite.

    —DeEtta Robison on April 2, 2014
  • The first block I ever made was a nine patch, and it was ugly. My sewing was horrible and the color choices were even worse. But, something magical happened while making that very first block. I caught the quilting bug. And, as they say, the rest is history!

    —Mary on April 2, 2014
  • Grandmother’s Fan. I did it in pinks, greens and white. It looks like a first quilt. A learning experience for sure . I still have it. That was 30+ years ago.

    —M.E. Sorey on April 2, 2014
  • The first quilt block I made was the humble but oh so versatile nine patch.
    I have taken what I learned from that 9 patch and have grown in my quilting abilities. So much of quilt design is based on the simple 4 patch and 9 patch.

    —Kathy Hancock on April 2, 2014
  • My very first quilt block was the Log Cabin Block. It was a great starter block:)

    —Julie Javorsky on April 2, 2014
  • I started my quilting obsession with of all blocks, the tumbling block. I was looking for something challenging and without realizing the tricks and nuances of y-seams, managed to get through it. While it wasn’t perfect, I puffed up with pride that I could even accomplish it. Sadly, it sits in the other piles of UFO’s. One day, I might even quilt it. 🙂

    —Janae on April 2, 2014
  • Mine was a crazy quilt block. I had seen a picture of a full crazy quilt online somewhere and just loved the look, so I dig in my fabric and lace stash and made up a block by hand just to see how it would turn out.

    —Cheryl Rich on April 2, 2014
  • Log cabin

    —Jane Larke on April 2, 2014
  • my oldest son was in second grade when I made blocks with dinos on them. I was so proud of it. He had it on his bed for years, then I never saw it. His son is now in the second grade and he has his father quilt on his bed. I plan to make him his quilt for christmas this year.. maybe baseballs on it.

    —Linda Moseley on April 2, 2014
  • the first quilt I ever made…
    11 years ago. It was a rag quilt made from NASCAR racing fabrics. It was for a new nephew whose daddy and my husband would get together every Sunday and watch the races. It was 5″ squares and made from flannel. And just the size of his crib. (I didn’t want to take on too much!) I have progressed (barely!) from that and love to quilt!

    —Rhondsa on April 2, 2014
  • The star from ‘Tennessee Waltz’ was my first block.

    —Quilting Tangent on April 2, 2014
  • Double Irish Chain

    —Lisa Centurelli on April 2, 2014
  • My first quilt was made of brick blocks

    Christy Trevino on April 2, 2014
  • I was working on a mixed media wall hanging with a flower theme in cross stitch, embroidery, and found objects. I couldn’t decide what to do with the middle panel, and it came to me in a flash that I needed a quilted/appliqued piece to make it complete. I had never quilted before, so I watched a few episodes of Quilting Arts, watched some YouTube videos and got an issue of Quilting Arts magazine. In that magazine, there was an article on quilting with tea bags. An Ah Ha moment happened. I could place dried flowers behind the translucent tea bags and quilt around them to complete my themed piece. So I got some muslin, batting, prepared the tea bags, dried flowers from my garden and went to town. From there I was hooked. My next project was a queen sized quilt I made for my grandson from 18 inch blocks. Quite a learning experience, but I’m now a confirmed quilting addict!

    —Jamie on April 2, 2014
  • I don’t really remember the exact block, but I know I started out with the basics, so I’m guessing it was a 4-patch or a 9-patch.

    —Karen A on April 2, 2014
  • As a retirement gift to myself a number of years ago, I purchased a new sewing machine. I had a very old one that I had used for many years to make clothes and gifts for my children and family. I wanted to try quilting, because it was a part of sewing that I had never done. With direction from my sister-in-law, I attempted to use my first rotary cutter and make my first quilt block. I was "hooked" from the first cuts I made; however, my sewn block that was supposed to be square- came out looking like a trapezoid!! I still have that first block I made, and as I look at the quilting I have since then, I smile proudly as I realize how far I have progressed from that first try. I surely am glad I persevered until my squares really were square!

    —Mary on April 2, 2014
  • My first block was an applique of an octopus—fused, appliqued, quilted—for a diaper bag in 1979! With help from friends as well as my "new" sewing machine, I did a fairly good job! Now the child is 35…and out on his own.

    The first quilt I made was three years later in 1982—-a sampler quilt that was both hand and machine pieced in pinks and purples. It lies in my UFO burial grounds!


    —Ellen Owens on April 2, 2014
  • churn dash

    —Kathy Luehrs on April 2, 2014
  • I do not remember my first quilt block. My first quilt was a sampler quilt and I do not remember which was the first block.

    —Susan in OK on April 2, 2014
  • My first quilt block was ugly. Made in my first quilt class, of colors I can’t remember. It was so disliked that it was never set into memory or a quilt.

    —Lynne on April 2, 2014
  • The very first block that I ever made was a log cabin block for a doll quilt for my granddaughter. It was a good place to begin since it was a small, handable project. I went on to try other blocks for the other 4 doll quilts that I made for my other 4 granddaughters. Thank you for the opportunity for a chance to win.

    —Linda Finkelstein on April 2, 2014
  • My first quilt block was completed last week. I am working on a quilt for my granddaughter. I am using the Oink A Doodle Moo fabric. I made two different sets of 4 strips sewn together from the jelly roll. I then placed one set face up in one direction and the other face down in the opposite direction. Sewed them together on all four sides. Then I cut on the diagonal, turned the square and cut the other diagonal. what I got was pretty amazing. I plan on using the squares to complete the quilt.

    —Terri on April 2, 2014
  • It was 36 years ago and it was a set of appliqued blocks I was making for a quilt for my first born. I remember it so clearly because the quilt is still a UFO in my cupboard. It was my first attempt and would be the last for 28 years!

    —Janine Hoey on April 2, 2014
  • A nine patch with a very good teacher, I think I ripped out every seam at least 3 times. It turned out great!

    —Barb on April 2, 2014
  • Well…..if you want to get technical about it my very FIRST quilt block was actuall a cross stitch block that I made for my daughter. I started it BEFORE I was even pregnant! After that it was a 1600 quilt…and then a brick design…a braid….than a 9 patch. So for an actual ‘block’ design I’d have to say it was the 9 patch that will be completed after I finish the braid quilt. I have seen so many block designs that I’d love to try, but one at a time. Check out my quilts on my blog…I need to add the cross stitch quilt for everyone to see!
    Thanks for the opportunity to win! Good luck everyone!

    Beth on April 2, 2014
  • My first block was a nine patch. My Granny (Daddy’s mother) had come to visit us. She was always sewing on a quilt block of some kind, and I probably made a nuisance of myself wanting to do what she was doing. I was only 5, 6 at the oldest. Every time she came to visit, we would sew more blocks. I still have the quilt that we made. I finally finished it when I was a Senior in High School, and I set it together with a bright yellow solid every other block. Then I wrote the names of everyone in my Sr. class, our class officers, and all that on the solid blocks (there were only 42 of us). Mother, Granny, Grandma (mother’s mother) and I quilted it. I still have it, and it has been well used and definitly well loved over the past 38 (wow!) years.

    —Brenda Sanders on April 2, 2014
  • the first block was a snail block….used in a autograph quilt to be raffled….I made several in different colors as did my mom and several other ladies that she taught quilting to. Joy of joys it was my mom who won the quilt. She has been gone 7 years now and each time I use that quilt, I see her handwriting and it brings back many wonderful memories of hand quilting with my mom on many many quilts, as well as memories of all the ladies as well.

    —Marg on April 2, 2014
  • Years and years ago when "So-Fro Fabrics was still in business they had a Christmas Block sampler program that I decided I would try.(My first attempt at quilting) I believe the first block I did was "Card Trick" – after getting all the different blocks made it was time to put the whole quilt together-not. Just about all the blocks were different sizes? Yikes – I emails the company and because the patterns were mimeographed blocks came out different sizes – so frustrated I put the whole project away and about 5-6 years later I pulled it out added and subtracted and finally put the quilt together – my first quilt! Not the best but full of memories.

    —Linda Majer on April 2, 2014
  • During a learn to quilt class, we made 4 half square triangles, 4 sets of flying geese, and 4 solid corner squares. Our teacher then instructed us to "play!" (She knew how to keep her students) Wow,I was amazed at the many different blocks I could create with these simple pieces. I have been "playing" ever since!

    —Lesley Drury on April 2, 2014
  • As a beginning quilter, my first quilt block was a rail fence block. My second was a puss in the corner, and the third was a nine patch.

    —Pauline on April 2, 2014
  • My first block waas made back in 1975 and was a churn dash. It is still my favorite block!

    —Suz Kuhns on April 2, 2014
  • Log cabin was my first block. What a way to master 1/4 inch.

    —Karencg on April 2, 2014
  • My first block ever was rail fence, my instructor was the fabulous Harriet Hargrave. She suggested that we make a wall hanging or a baby quilt, but I just had to have a queen sized quilt for our new home. I got REALLY tired of making those blocks, and to make it worse I miss-cut
    the first set of strips too small, so I decided to continue on with the smaller sized blocks, which of course meant that I had to make even more of them. I used only 4 fabrics in that quilt, ever since I’ve been the queen of scrappy, the more fabrics the better!

    —Diane Hanke on April 2, 2014
  • First block quilted was a 9 patch & snowball combo.

    —Alene Knox on April 2, 2014
  • My first block was a green and white Irish Chain table topper. I didn’t have a pattern, so I took the picture, divided it up and figured out how to make it. Of course I couldn’t tell that the white spaces were not pieced also – didn’t find that out for awhile – when I saw the first one that someone else did. Then I decided that I needed to quilt it also, nearly wore out my fingers because I did not know how to hold a thimble…..I still have it – it is not perfect but it is my first. I still love to hand quilt and I never look at a quilt unless I try to decide how it is put together.

    —Bonnie Mitchell on April 2, 2014
  • That’s easy. My first block and my first quilt was a log cabin. I made it for my son who would soon be graduating from high school.He didn’t want any flowers or cutesy fabrics so I made it entirely of solids… jade green, purple, blue and burgundy with white on the light side. I loved it and thought it was the most beautiful quilt in the whole world. I had it finished, even hand quilted and ready for him to take to University. I was so proud and so excited. He refused to take it to school though because he was afraid someone might sit on it!
    I recently had to replace the binding on that well loved quilt. My "student" is now 42 and still loves it even though the colours have faded a bit. I’ve made lots of quilts since that one, but it will always be so special to me.

    —Bev Smith on April 2, 2014
  • My first one was a fence rail – made for my future mother in law. Then I made a log cabin for my mom. Then a bento box for my brother. I’ve lost track after that.

    —Danielle Wilson on April 2, 2014
  • My first block was a square with a circle appliqued to the center.. I had no idea that was going to be that difficult- At the time anyway. I was determined to make it work and I did, not pretty but the circles were in the center of the squares.

    —Cheryl Dimiceli on April 2, 2014
  • The first block I ever made was a simple 9 Patch. Then proceeded to make asimple patch quilt with border (lap size) in a class at my daughter’s school – for the parents! Now I’m addicted!!!

    —Beth Williams on April 2, 2014
  • The Log Cabin Block

    —Jackie Livingston on April 2, 2014
  • My first block was the Dresden Plate. I hand pieced and quilted it and after 25 years the quilt is still holding together, a little worn in places but well loved.

    —connie on April 2, 2014
  • My first block was a 9-patch done by strip quilting in a beginner’s class I took several years ago. It was not a traditional 9-patch, but something the instructor had developed and I have been learning and improvising ever since.

    —vickie on April 2, 2014
  • My first block was an entry in the Pacific National Exhibition. It was an applique of my sister and myself playing a duet at the piano. I deliberately made the piano large, as that is what it seemed to me when I was a little girl. I even have a metronome and mother’s clock on the piano. To my surprise, as I was not a quilter at that time, I won a first prize blue ribbon.

    Gail G on April 2, 2014
  • I was about 12 when I did my first Log Cabin block. Oh my the 1960s and 1970s fabrics I used for it were such a crazy mix. Clothing parts and scraps and no rulers. Just cut freehand. I was 18 when I got that double quilt done and used it on my college dorm bed and later into our first years of marriage. I must admit I have come a long way in my quilting since then but I still LOVE the Log Cabin block. Just finished another bed sized quilt in that design last month in fact. Kathy Aho in MN

    —Kathy Aho in Minnesota on April 2, 2014
  • My first attempt at quilting was either an hourglass or a rail fence. big difference, I know, but since I gave the quilts away at the same time to my granddaughters, I can’t remember which one I did first. Kind of like the chicken and the egg thing.

    —Karen C on April 2, 2014
  • My VERY first was "helping" Mamaw piece 2 squares together. I think it was about 3 stitches per inch! My first real quilting was in 1976 while I was working as a Girl Scout professional in So Carolina. After the voted design from the girls in our 9 county area(Pee Dee Girl Scout Area) she and I choose colors and made the square. It was added to all the others in the state for a Girl Scout Bicentennial Quilt. I used the scraps for a lap-size quilt for our 9 county executive director.

    —Linda Clark on April 2, 2014
  • The very simple and timeless 9 patch. Then it was card trick the old way with 1/2 squares. Am not an over achiever just left handed and determined!

    —Sandy H on April 2, 2014
  • My first quilt was a bow tie block quilt using my Grandma’s oil cloth templates, which I now know were not precisely cut. I also ran out of the blue background fabric and had to try to find a close match. My quilt has been loved a lot but some of the stitching has pulled loose because of the crooked cuts I made. I learned a lot on this quilt and am thankful I now have the modern tools to create more precise work. It is still one of my favorites as it is on my bed right now keeping us warm at night!!!
    Thanks for the chance to win this book. It looks like it is full of inspiration.

    —Jeanne on April 2, 2014
  • My first quilt block was an Ohio Star variation that I made in 1986. With two small children and being a stay at home mom, I had no money for materials so I bought the ends of 4 bolts at my local Zayre’s for (I think) $1.00 a yard. Red and green solids, and navy and yellow calicos. They matched well enough to get me started with my "new" hand-me-down 1941 Singer. I cut the cardstock templates out of the book, traced around them on my fabric with blue ballpoint pen, and cut out my pieces with scissors. Then I sat down to sew. I knew nothing about how to measure or mark seam allowances but I guessed my best! Somehow they all went together into a reasonably square block! I made three more 18″ blocks and four 9″ blocks with good intentions of making a wall quilt, but life got in the way and it never got assembled. These days, thankfully, my budget has come a long way so I use the right tools—-good fabrics, rotary cutter and mat and plastic templates when I need them. But that wonderful 1941 Singer??? She and I are demonstrating quiltmaking tomorrow night at the middle school where I’m a teacher!

    —Dotty Bailey on April 2, 2014
  • The first block was a "whack-n-stack" My wife and I and three other ladies started taking lessons from a very accomplished quilter. Her comments to us about the design didn’t calm our nerves about –"you want us to do what with all that fabric?" She was right — our blocks and eventually the finished quilts were beautiful. It is amazing how 5 people with different fabrics of different coloring could end up with such wonderful items. Two of our grand-daughters were the recipients of our quilts and they love them.

    —Ron Lower on April 2, 2014
  • Log Cabin on point. Practiced on making a table runner first and then went straight to the quilt blocks on point.

    —Doris True on April 2, 2014
  • My first quilt block wasn’t actually a block but a quilt. My sister-in-law showed me how to cut with a cutting wheel cutter. I fussy cut fish from a fabric and cut strips of contrasting fabric to match, started sewing and completed the quilt in one night (stayed up most of the night). I then had it quilted and gave it to my son. I did loose the pattern in my house fire in 2005. I was so proud of what I had learned and acomplished. I’ve been quilting ever since.

    Kathleen Woods on April 2, 2014
  • My first quilt block was a 9 patch that I made with my mother when I was around 10 years old. We sewed it on the treadle sewing machine. It was on my bed while I was growing up. I still have the quilt that I keep on my quilt rack. It has lots of memories as the blocks were made from fabrics that we sewed for clothing. I also still have the treadle sewing machine and it still sews great. My mother wasn’t a quitter but we made utility quilts.

    —Velva Hoyt on April 2, 2014
  • The first quilt block I ever made was the Churn Dash block. It’s been nearly 15 years ago now, but I had convinced myself that, even though I really wished I could learn to quilt, it was a skill that I would never acquire. Then, I went to spend a weekend with my "baby" sister. She had recently started making quilts and was very zealous and enthusiastic to share her new-found passion. When I told her that I always admired handmade quilts and wished I could learn to quilt, but knew it wasn’t possible because I didn’t know how to sew, she was very adamant to show me that I was wrong. She absolutely insisted (in other words, she annoyed me non-stop) that I sit down with her so she could show me a couple easy techniques. Further, she insisted, with just that much knowledge I would be able to make a host of quilt blocks. She showed me first how to make a half-square triangle. Then she showed me how to piece a four-patch unit to get the points to match up. Then she helped me ("forced me") to put together a nine-patch block to build my confidence with matching the seams. After that, she showed me a picture of a Churn Dash Block and said, "Go ahead and try it. You’ve just learned all the skills that it takes to put this one together." Well, I did, and it turned out pretty good for a first block. I was so excited! It was as if the light in the room grew brighter and I might have heard a choir singing (a bit of exaggeration here)! In other words, my dear sweet sister had suddenly opened my eyes to a craft that would later become my passion too. My husband might beg to differ, since he now claims that I’ve become a fabriholic. He might be right, but one thing I know… I am so thankful for my (pushy) sister and for that first (feeble) Churn Dash block!

    —Robin on April 2, 2014
  • The first quilt block was a 7 or 8″ half square triangle for a baby quilt that was put together envelope style and tied. I didn’t consider myself a quilter until I did a for real binding which came many years later. Ahhhhhh, the memories.

    —Rita Sevig on April 2, 2014
  • It was already made, I put together Harley Bandana’s for my first quilt!

    Jean on April 2, 2014
  • I actually completed my first quilt before I made my first block! I inherited some beautiful blocks from my grandmother. No pattern came with them, so I had to design the layout, and cut the necessary extra pieces and borders to make it all work. That gave me the quilting bug, so then I took a class using Marti Mitchell templates that started me on the right path. My first block was a beautiful little 4-patch. Her trick to cutting off corners, and pressing flat the center into a little pinwheel, was the first quilting trick I learned. 12 years later, I’ve made and given away many beautiful quilts and have a collection of over a hundred quilting books (from Martingale Press of course!)

    —Suzanne Knapp on April 2, 2014
  • It’s been many years since I made my first quilt but I think it probably was the Log Cabin which I felt was the easiest one to start with. As a result, my first quilt was a Log Cabin one.

    —Jackie W on April 2, 2014
  • The Lowly Nine Patch. Made with a solid green and different prints which are made out of feed sack material. Lived on a farm and I put them together bu hand while keeping watch at our fruit stand on Hwy. 79. It also was the first hand quilted quilt I did. Stitches are not pretty, but Mother helped me. The sashing is Hewy, Dewey, ?? ducks and the backing is 4 yard feed sack pieces of garden items such as seed packages etc.

    —Gladys Keith on April 2, 2014
  • My Granddaughter took a quilting class and insisted that I learn how to quilt. She taught me how to piece the
    "Ohio Star". That was 19 years ago and I have been quilting ever since.

    —marti jenningsm on April 2, 2014
  • omigosh: embarrassing! a plain old 9-patch, with 4 inch squares, made from scraps around the house, including Dad’s old worn out boxers!! I was 13 or 14, 8th grade, and it makes me cringe. Never did finish a top, don’t have ANY idea what happened to the cut up pieces and the few squares I did on Mom’s Singer 401 slant needle, I wouldn’t doubt that somewhere in my stash carried around for about 40 years as an Army wife there’s a piece of that block (shudder)

    Sharon in Colorado

    —Sharon on April 2, 2014
  • I spent my 5th grade summer with my Great-Grandmother Minnie in Punxsutawney PA. We had sewed 4 patches all summer. I came home and taught all my friends in 5th grade how to put together 4 patches. We got caught by the teacher sewing under our desks.

    Debby Craggs on April 2, 2014
  • My first block was a Hunter Star Log Cabin.

    —Dorothy Le on April 2, 2014
  • The first block I ever made was a nine patch – did I realize that the 1 and 1/2 inch squares had to be perfect in size or the quilt blocks would not all be the same size – so what did I do, I just cut the completed blocks to the size they were supposed to measure and off I went sewing them together. Of course, my blocks had some squares that measured only 1/4 inch by the time I cut them down to size and completed sewing them together, but I love that quilt just the same. It is also hand quilted, but I was not quilting the layers together, I was just hand sewing, not quilting with the rocking back and forth motion. But live and learn – it is still my favorite quilt

    —Barbara on April 2, 2014
  • The first block I made was Log Cabin. I didn’t know about rotary cutters and mats so I cut each log out with sissors using a cardboard template making each log 1/2″ large than the next. I did it just like I remembered my Grandmother doing. I ended up making it into a queen sized quilt, hand quilted it ( not very well) and I finished it! It’s a wonder I made another quilt but when I found out about all the modern tools I was hooked and have never looked back!!!

    —Rose Landon on April 2, 2014
  • It was "Hunter’s Star" for my hubby. Bought a scrap quilt book, and decided to teach myself to quilt. I had inherited 4 beautiful quilts made by my great-Grandmother, who could neither read or write, and I had been sewing for 35 years, so I really wanted to try. Made a King size out of scraps I had from many projects. It turned out very pretty, altho I did many things wrong, and the hard way(like cutting every piece with a scissors and templates, and don’t look at the binding!). That was 1999, and still use it today. And I turned out to be a quilting teacher!

    —Sandra Lewis on April 2, 2014
  • The first block I ever made was the Log Cabin. I was thrilled at how easy it was and how quickly it went together. My very first quilted thing ever was white and green Log Cabins with red centers made into a wall hanging that looks like a Christmas wreath. I still have it.

    —Meghan O'Connor on April 2, 2014
  • I cut each and every square of Jacob’s ladder and sewed organza patches with black floral background squares into the Jacobs ladder blocks, I certainly knew nothing about quilt making but I loved it and still today I have that quilt. fortunately for me it turned out remarkably well considering I did not "square" anything and I tucked in the seam not bound it as I didn’t have access to any help.

    —diane on April 2, 2014
  • I was more interested in machine embroidery. I saw a series of designs I wanted to embroidery for my Mom. I wanted to use white fabric, but I had none. So, I opened a new pack of pillow cases and embroidered the designs on them. I had found fabric I liked from our local quilt shop,cut squares and went on to make her a door hanger for her quilting/sewing room. It still hangs today with "Carol’s Quilting Corner" embroidered across the top.

    —Darla Chauvin on April 2, 2014
  • my first quilt block would have been a 9 patch (square) blocks when I a first starting to sew probably 10 years old. Practicing! I thought that it was great! Very primitive but still beautiful.

    —Sherry Dye on April 2, 2014
  • My very first quilt block was "confusion". My daughter signed me up for this quilt class in June 2000 & I was scared to death & shaking like leaf! I made a baby quilt for our son’s first born, a baby girl! It turned out beautiful using "fishy" fabrics as both of the kids are the educational fisheries departments. It was a difficult pattern for my very first quilt & have completed 2 more!

    —Gwen on April 2, 2014
  • The first quilt block I ever made was the log cabin, and while making it, I couldn’t believe I was really able to do it. It came together so easily and when finished I was so proud of myself. My mother-in-law had it on her rocker for many years. It’s funny, if I was making one now, I would choose different colors, but at the time,
    those were the colors I liked. I still have the quilt, my very first one.

    —Barbara OC on April 2, 2014
  • My first block was an embroidery block. A quilt for my oldest son was the plan. The alternate was a soft pale blue corduroy. Some one told me I couldn’t use corduroy in a quilt, so after a while I took the little quilt apart. I still have the blocks, embroidery and corduroy.

    —M A Cribbs on April 2, 2014
  • I love Mariner’s compass (haven’t made one yet) and star patterns. The first quilt block I ever made was an eight point diamond star. It was made from fabric scraps from making clothing. I made 20 of them and used a white sheet for the background fabric. I still have it in my incomplete bin because I could not figure out how to make the centers lay flat. My grandmother was the only one I knew who quilted and she moved across the country before the quilting bug took a good bite of me so there was no one to tell me about the 1/4 seam unsewn in the center. That was over 23 years ago. I do intend to finish someday!

    —Liz on April 2, 2014
  • The first block I made was a log cabin block. This was back in the 80s and was in the first class I took at our local quilt guild.

    —Marion Policastro on April 2, 2014
  • My first quilt block was a basic HST block that measured about 5 inches square when finished. I made this when I was injured and unable to walk at 13 years of age. Totally bored so Mother handed me fabric scraps, needle, and thread. I still have it 40 years later. It shows lots of love and usage.

    —Deanna Daugherty on April 2, 2014
  • After resisting the quilting frenzy of friends for years, I decided I should at least make one quilt for my first grandchild who would be a boy. My friends helped select the fabric and cut the fabric to get me started on the "Suspender Sam" quilt in primary colors. My first block was "Suspender Sam", appliqued on a muslin background. I was "hooked" and have loved quilting the past 15 years!

    —Sandy on April 2, 2014
  • My first quilt block was an double Irish Chain. I made the double Irish chain king size quilt for my nephew and his bride as a wedding gift.

    —Karen Flowers Thomas on April 2, 2014
  • I first block I ever made was about 30 years ago. I wanted a new bed spread and thought I’ll just create my own. I used butcher paper(man have I learned since then) and designed a queen sized 4 diamond pattern. I was very proud to show off my new creation. I didn’t have the quilt very long after it was made, due to a friend who had moved away,had some of his belonging stolen, so I ended up giving it to him.

    —Francine Cato on April 2, 2014
  • I made a lovely set of placemats in a class to see if I like quilting.. the placemats were intended for my sister in law, no matter what they turned out like. Half way through the construction the teacher and other student asked me what I was muttering about.. I said, these are too pretty, I dont like her THAT much and I am LOVING this whole process! I’ve been addicted since November now with no turning back and no regrets!

    Debbie D on April 2, 2014
  • Churn Dash was my first, I made it at a local quilt store where I took my Intro to Quilting class. Four squares, some sashing,a border And bound! My very first Sampler quilt,stills hangs facing my garden when you enter my home from the patio. That square was then turned into a ladybug pillow and a 100 and 1 Dalmatians pillow for my first two grand children’s birthdays, with many more of both to follow..

    —Maryann weaver on April 2, 2014
  • The first quilt block I ever made was helping the ladies from my church make quilts for a children’s home located in Mexico. The blocks were all very simple, just ten inch square fabric sandwiches that we sewed from corner to corner. We then joined each square together in rows and columns with the seam to the front side. Then we frayed the edges of the seams to give the tops a soft look and feel. It was a very poor children’s home and for some of them it was the only blanket they had to keep warm with. I felt so good when we made them that I had to continue and learn more about quilting. I honestly do not know what I like the best, the making or the giving. It can all be so humbling. I am hooked on both feelings.

    —Tina on April 2, 2014
  • My first quilt block was a Lone Star that I stitched onto ticking fabric for a pad and back for my rocking chair when my son was born. At the same time, I made some Log Cabin blocks and foundation pieced a couple of Pineapple blocks. It was some years later before I started quilting again, since I was busy making garments for myself, my husband and my new baby boy!

    —Karin on April 2, 2014
  • The very first quilt block I made was just a square. A solid color of fabric. The whole quilt was a simple thing of five or six shades of blues and purples. All solids. I think it was something like a Trip Around the World, but extremely simplified. I started it when my daughter went off to college. I wanted something to do in the evenings that I had never done before, in hopes of helping me with the transition. She took it to college with her after I finished it, and it’s been gone a long time now, what with being worn and threadbare. But my first quilt block was a square of solid colored fabric.

    —Catherine Wingfield-Yeatts on April 2, 2014
  • I first made a rail fence block. It was a class, and we learned strip piecing!

    —Karen B on April 2, 2014
  • 9 patch……yes,…..it was made using sandpaper templates and no machine allowed. Finished it into a pillow, complete with a border, binding holding it all together and envelope closure.

    —Carol on April 2, 2014
  • a 9-patch…and it’s still my favorite block.

    Anne Wiens on April 2, 2014
  • Wanting quilts for the twin beds in our new addition, I found exactly what I wanted, but couldn’t afford. Decided that since I had sewn clothes years ago that I certainly ought to be able to sew the straight lines in what I learned was the log cabin pattern. And think of all the money that I would save!! Of course, you can guess the ending. While we have two beautiful quilts on those beds, I have a new hobby 🙂 My husband refers to those two quilts as the most expensive ever (with a big and proud grin on his face, of course).

    —Kate on April 2, 2014
  • My first block was a whole quilt–it was a pattern with applique which I did on the sewing machine. I had no knowledge of real quilting at the time, but the quilt came out really cute! someone thought I bought it!

    —Adeline on April 2, 2014
  • I’m not sure of the name, but it was a 4 patch with small sashing in between and a square in the centre. These were put together with larger sashing. The story is better. This would have been about 20 years ago — I picked up some 5″ cut squares at the Aloha Bowl flea market in Honolulu. This was even before there was such a thing as charm packs. They were beautiful Hawaiian prints. At this point I didn’t even quilt, but they were so pretty! They promptly sat in a drawer for 15 years before I ever made anything with them. Love the quilt and love the blocks, as it was a fine purchase!

    —Julie on April 2, 2014
  • My very first quilt block was named after my very first quilt. Log Cabin which I made in 1976 when Eleanor Burns designed the "stripping" method of Cutting strips before we had the rotary cutter.

    Robin medley on April 2, 2014
  • Tree of Life was my first quilt block. Things went much faster when I discovered four- and nine-patches!

    —Tesuque on April 2, 2014
  • It was an 8 point star made with diamonds
    I couldn’t get the center to lay flat.

    —Laurel W. on April 2, 2014
  • Lemoyne star from a Better Homes and Garden hardback book on quilting from about 1980. The book was my first "quilt book." I was a newlywed with little money for fabric so I used my husband’s worn out jeans for part of the star. My mother in law gifted me some white polyester/cotton fabric that I used for the background and I purchased the other cotton fabrics over several months to make a red, white and blue quilt that I tied to hold all the layers together. It was my first quilt project. Of course, I cut off points and my centers didn’t match well. After years of use, some of the fabrics wore away to expose the polyester batting. It did what it was supposed to do though. . .keep us warm! Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

    —Terry on April 2, 2014
  • Log cabin in about 1995. I went to a craft fair and saw a class on how to make it using a rotary cutter. On my way home I went to my nearby quiltshop and they helped me find the fabrics. I made the block into a cushion which I recently threw out as it was old dirty and holey.

    —Wilma on April 2, 2014
  • classic nine patch

    —Lawana Whaley on April 2, 2014
  • wow! that is testing the brain. But it’s kicked in and now I remember….the first quilt block/quilt I made was the quilt as you go rag one…think that’s what it’s called, with the cut edges….never quilted, never done anything like it, but saw one and decided to have a go and I think I made about 10 of them and gave them away and from then onwards I haven’t stopped sewing. Maybe you should ask what I’m working on now, that I might remember. 😉

    —Shirl Hair on April 2, 2014
  • My first quilt block, made over 35 years ago, was an Ohio Star. The block was made into a pillow after the class and hand quilted. Just in the last year I had to throw that poor pillow away since it had been used so much that the fabric was falling apart–but I’ll always remember that first block that got me totally fascinated and interested in all things related to quilting!

    —Debbie on April 2, 2014
  • The first quilt block I made was a "Pineapple Block" I loved it so much, that was the first quilt I made. That was in 2000 & I am still going strong! Would like to make another quilt soon with the Pineapple Block…….but soo many others to make…..so little time!

    —Carol on April 2, 2014
  • A nine patch.

    —Jen B on April 2, 2014
  • Okey, my first quilt was made just 3 years ago. Although I have been sewing for 50 plus years, I just took up quilting. My first quilt started out as a crazy quilt but as I kept going on it, it turned into a memory quilt. It was for my grand-daughters graduation gift. There are no two pieces of fabric on the entire quilt that are the same. After I finally got the top put together, minus a lot of finger nails, I had to figure out how to add batting and backing and heaven forbid the binding. I kept at it and it all came together beautifully and she loves it.

    —Ruth Purvis on April 2, 2014
  • My first quilt was a stack and whack pinwheel. I had always said I didn’t have the patience to be a quilter, but decided to take a class at an embroidery conference because there wasn’t anything else that interested me at the scheduled time. That quickly led to 9 stack and whack pinwheel quilts for all of my grandchildren.

    —Debbie Stoehr on April 2, 2014
  • The first quilt block that I made was a bear paw block, an ambititious block for a beginner. At the time, I had no idea what was easy or hard. I used templates, because this was before rulers and rotary cutters by a few years. I made a baby quilt for my second daughter. Someone had made an appliqué quilt for my oldest daughter, and I wanted to make something special for my second child. It went together fairly easily and is still in fair condition today (35 years later)!

    —Jean Blythe on April 2, 2014
  • The first quilt block I ever made was a pin wheel – modified. I couldn’t get the points to match in the center so I made this crazy modification and it worked. I was completely hooked and haven’t stopped quilting since I finished that top. I love big block quilts and little block quilts and appliqued quilts…..I’m sure you get the idea.

    —Bette on April 2, 2014
  • well, my friend wanted to quilt so i tagged along to a quilt show in Adelaide "for the ride". now I’m hooked. my first project was a baby quilt for another friend. i bought a stack of pre-cuts & set to. the first block was attaching the first two completed rows together after my daughter & I spent hours laying them out on the floor! setting the corners to match was interesting…. but the quilt turned out well & was well received…. sadly i didn’t record the finished article.

    —Suzanne Keal on April 2, 2014
  • I used to make a lot of quilts but they were single fabric or cheater cloth quilts that I tied. A few years ago I bought a rotary cutter,mat and how to rotary cut book and decided to make a pieced quilt. I made a puss-in-the-corner lap sized quilt top that I’ve yet to quilt. I didn’t do that great matching points but had a lot of fun with it. Now, thanks to the internet and companies like Martingale I have learned real techniques to make my projects better. What inspirations we see on Stitch This!

    Susan Paxton on April 2, 2014
  • I decided to make my son a quilt for his high school graduation so my first block was a school house block. I had never quilted, didn’t know about rotary cutting, 1/4″ seam or any quilting guidelines. I was a pretty good seamstress so I thought I wouldn’t have any trouble at all. HaHaHaHa!! It came out so wonky I didn’t know what I had done wrong. I immediatly signed up for a class, the quilt came out gorgeous and I have been quilting ever since.

    —Sharon Sentena on April 2, 2014
  • just read my post? does that count as a block? the first block that i cut & pieced was a Dr Who block, a square within a square for my daughters bed throw. haven’t finished the throw yet but it is taking shape.

    —Suzanne Keal on April 2, 2014
  • I took a class so I’d learn what to do. The class was on making a sampler of blocks that were "easy". I learned how to use the rotary cutter, mat, 1/4 inch seams, squaring up fabric, laying up the blocks so everything would go together correctly. I don’t remember which block we did first but I’ve be a "quilter" ever hence I took that class which was 17 years ago.

    —Jami Price on April 2, 2014
  • My grandmother taught me, as a 6 year old, the simple 9-patch….We would cut up old dresses and shirts that belonged to my grandfather. Very scrappy!

    —Vickie Ludiker on April 2, 2014
  • I made a Lovers Knot baby quilt from Eleanor Burns Quilt in a day. I really enjoyed her easy and very clear instructions. Since than I have continued making many quilts for family and friends.

    —Kathleen Bigler on April 2, 2014
  • My very first attempt at a quilt was a gift for my parents on their 50th wedding anniversary. We now live on different continents and do not see each other nearly enough. So I wanted to give them something to “see” me every day. I decided on happy colours – blue and green – in denim, batik and felt. My first block was just two pieces of material joined (denim and batik) with felt flowers and colourful stems appliquéd. And a little bit of hand embroidery and quirky buttons as flower centres. Loved making that!!

    —Karien on April 2, 2014
  • A queen sized amish diamond was my very first. I just dived in my friends laughed but i got it done.

    —Sharon Meyer on April 2, 2014
  • I made a 4-patch only to keep my sanity from clobbering my ex-husband for being a jerk!! And it turned out pretty nice (which started my quilting ‘Calgon take me away’ projects.) I’ve been sewing quilt tops and quilting ever since. Thank goodness my new hubby enjoyed going to fabric stores as much as I do.

    —Nola on April 2, 2014
  • Seminole quilt block which was made into a table runner. That was almost 10 years ago and as a "first project", I still have that runner and try very hard with each project since then, to made it better and shown off the great fabrics that the designers have created so that we can make and hare beautiful quilts and projects. "Happy stitching and quilting" to every one out there in creativity land.

    Jeanne on April 2, 2014
  • One of my first quilt blocks (can’t remember exactly what was first) was a 4 patch made from a jellyroll with 4 prairie points in the center.
    It was for a quilt I made and sent to the Jelly Roll Challenge a couple years ago. I didn’t win and didn’t expect too but it made me challenge myself with a new endeavor.

    —Barbara Dolan on April 2, 2014
  • I made six-pointed stars out of all different prints, surrounded by solid diamonds turning them into hexagons. Fabrics were collected from friends and family, so when it was finished they could find their history in my quilt. It was 1969, the summer between high school and college, and I designed it with my compass and protractor. Sister Geralda always said, "Ladies, you’ll need this for your quilts."

    —Debbie Bogenschutz on April 2, 2014
  • My first block was a frog from Margaret Rolf’s ‘Quilt a Koala’ book. I made the 1 block into a little mug pad for my aunt who loved green, frogs, and anything I did. That was one of the things I kept when we cleared out her place a few years ago after she passed. I now sits under one of her china tea cups so I have lots of fond memories from it.

    —Leslie on April 2, 2014
  • The first pieced block I ever made was a log cabin. I have made several different kinds and am working on one right now. This one has a lot of applique too.

    —Marsha Nelson on April 2, 2014
  • A nine patch many years before I really began to take up quilting.

    —Dana Womack on April 2, 2014
  • The first quilt I made has quite a story – My father passed away in 2007 and I had been contemplating taking up quilting for a long time. My mother was packing up all his clothes to give to a charity and I asked her for any flannel pajamas of Dads so I could practice quilting. I had heard about how easy it was to do the rag quilting for your first quilt with just plain squares. So I cut out all the fabric (8 pair of pajamas). My father loved his flannel pjs. Turned out not too bad, a little crooked, a few seams didn’t take so well but all in all in didn’t look too bad. It wasn’t big enough for a bed so I had no idea what to do with it. I laid it on the lazy boy where our little beagle Sophie always sleeps and when I came home from work one day she was all curled up in it and looked so peaceful. The first thought I had was how happy Dad would be to see that something good came out of his pjs. So I thought maybe I could give it to the dog for her bed. Needless to say she still has that little quilt and it goes everywhere with her and it gives me so much satisfaction to always feel like Dad is still around. I remember thinking to myself that Dad would be so proud of me for making this because he was an avid carpenter and loved working with his hands. So to have this little quilt made by his daughters hands would have made him very happy.

    —Cindy Lachance on April 2, 2014
  • The first quilt block I ever made was a feathered star. No one told me that it was not a beginner quilt block. I did the four blocks I needed for the “gift” quilt I was making and was less than pleased with the results. When I showed them to a quilt friend she suggested I do a new set. With “the previous experience” under my belt she thought I would do them to my satisfaction … she was right. The gift (to my Mother and Step-Father) was a hit. That was 1996 and I have never looked back. After my Step-Father passed away in 2003, I made a smaller version (paper pieced) for Mom when she downsized her living quarters.

    —Kristine Sveinson on April 2, 2014
  • Drunkard’s path – with checked material and white – not the best choice for a first quilt. Made with my mother-in-law’s help. Still have it. I hand stitched the blocks and we quilted it by hand too! It looks like a first quilt attempt too!

    —JOAN on April 2, 2014
  • My first quilt block was a original drawing of Garfield worked in black work. I drew 12 all together for a quilt for my mom. They were all different.

    —Vicki on April 2, 2014
  • My first block was for a cup cozy, a small placement designed to hold a coffee mug. It was in 6 fabrics, in shades of purple.

    —Karen Cohn on April 2, 2014
  • Grandmother’s fan. Six inch block, by hand with red poplin in for the center, made it on plane ride, home from Texas. 1983.

    —Diane Simmons on April 2, 2014
  • The first block I ever made was the 9 patch. A friend took me aside and showed me how to select fabric, cut out the pattern, then told me set it out to see how it looked…then said…go sew! I ended up making a small quilt all by hand and still have it today. That was back in 1991 after I had brain surgery and needed something to do by hand… She got me started to guilt, and since then still do a lot by hand, but have a nice Bernina sewing machine and use it.

    —Jeanette Spellmeyer on April 2, 2014
  • My first quilt block was the log cabin. I still like making them but now paper piece them. I am partial to log cabin blocks and paper piecing. Fun, fun, fun!

    —Lana Frazier on April 2, 2014
  • A Jacob’s Ladder block. I made a baby quilt with 12 of these blocks. I ended up making about 60 of them to get 12 that were close enough to make a quilt! I really did not know what I was doing back then!

    —Marianne on April 2, 2014
  • The Martha Washington Star block was my very first block.

    —Patricia Roberts on April 2, 2014
  • My first block was a hand embroidered block of an animal taken from the wallpaper in my son’s bedroom. It was pretty big, 12 X 16″? I made a couple of embroidered blocks and added solid blocks to create a twin bedspread for my son’s first bed. He is my first born and that was my first (self taught) attempt at a quilt. Wow! Looking back on that, have I come a long way with quilting and designing quilts.

    —Sandi on April 2, 2014
  • My first block was English paper pieced Tumbling Blocks. A friend and I went along to a rather snooty craft group, where we were handed an instruction sheet and then ignored.
    Undeterrred, we decided to try and work it out for ourselves and ended up making just what was on the page, an odd triangle of wonky tumbling blocks which we then appliqued to a background square. We had no idea that the instructions were just showing us how to put a whole quilt top together, LOL!
    I ended up making a quilt for my son using this weird block, and it still makes me smile 🙂

    When loved ones make their first quilt and compare it to something I’ve made (I’ve been quilting for over 16 years now) I bring my first quilt out and show them all my mistakes and explain where I went wrong. And then I tell them how much I love it, mistakes and all. 😀

    —Kayt Deans on April 2, 2014
  • The first block I made was a log cabin block…which turned into 64 of them to make my first ever quilt a king sized one I gave my then 10 year old daughter. She is 21 now and still has it on her bed!

    —Jenny Schnedler on April 2, 2014
  • My first quilt block was a baby quilt in flannel with pastel prints…..hope to make more when I have grandchildren!!!!!!

    —Amy Downey on April 2, 2014
  • Our first quilt block was a king sized log cabin quilt, my Mum made one half and I made the other half and then we joined them, neither of us knew what we were doing, all our blocks were wonky so we just trimmed them square before joining each block to the other, we didn’t know what a 1/4 inch seam was back then. Then I bravely free motioned quilted this huge quilt on my small domestic machine. Dispite all it’s errors the quilt is still beautiful and has been used for years.

    —Jeannie on April 2, 2014
  • A nine patch block with irregular seams and not quite meeting intersections of fabric. But I loved it and was hooked. This same block reappears from time to time in my quilts in some form. It’s a good basic block for learning the beginnings of quilting.

    —Jane Bachus on April 2, 2014
  • I am self taught [at least at the beginning] so I made a single block quilt of a log cabin. two shades of a dinosaur fabric around a central rectangle of red which someone told me was sort of customary. I used a 5/8″ seam allowance — which is all i knew from clothing sewing. Then i took my first class and the rest is history.

    —Ray Barreras on April 2, 2014
  • I think back to my first blocks. . it was a Churn Dash and followed closely behind with a Log Cabin. Then, I visited friends in Jacksonville so I cut a bunch of rectangles to start a Trip Around the World. . it’s still waiting to go Round to Jacksonville, but even now when I see an old fashioned quilt with a Churn Dash pattern, I get excited and smile.

    Carolyn White on April 2, 2014
  • I took a class to learn to make a USA Wallhanging. The blocks surrounding it were crazy patch. I kept making blocks after the wallhanging size and this little wallhanging turned into a queen size quilt. Funny how addictive quilting is!

    —Rose Cameron on April 2, 2014
  • Back in 1980, honey bee. Cut it out with my brand new Gingher scissors and used cardboard templates. Still love that block;I really need to design a quilt with it.

    —Alexa on April 2, 2014
  • My first block was a Churn Dash; I pieced it by hand, and have been hooked ever since!

    —Robin Cruce on April 2, 2014
  • My very first quilt block was the log cabin from Eleanor Burn’s book Quilt in a Weekend (I think that was the correct name of the book. I made a baby quilt then a twin sized for my mom. Called the latter "Kits in the Garden." in 1989

    —cynthia on April 2, 2014
  • My first quilt was a log cabin I made for my Brother who has a real log cabin he was thrilled. I was proud to have been able to make it as I had no experience at all. I have made several different ones since then and am happily addicted.

    —Jeannette Covan on April 2, 2014
  • My first quilt block was a log cabin block – with help from Grandma at 10 yrs old I painstakingly hand stitched each piece (oh the sore fingertips!!) and it took FOREVER!!!!!! Imagine my delight when I discovered machine piecing 🙂

    —Terri Lester on April 2, 2014
  • My first block was the snowball block.

    —Janice on April 2, 2014
  • The first quilt block that I ever made was a pineapple block. I was taking a class and had no experience at all but felt the need to do something creative. I sat through the class, thought I understood the instructions and was careful not to destroy the pattern. Remember back in those days we used shoe cardboard for pattern templates. Well, I did make a very sturdy block. Much to my humiliation, I had to explain my techniques to the class because the instructor had never seen one put together in that fashion-I doubled all the pieces. What is a girl to do? 🙂

    Kathy Bullack on April 2, 2014
  • My first quilt block was a churn dash block. I used dark brown and a brown "calico" type print. Each piece of the block I cut out with scissors. I pieced hand stitch. We were taught hand quilting. It was so challenging (like hard) to make my stitches even, straight, and to master stitching the three sandwich levels. When I finished the block, I made a pillow. Proud, happy, and satisfied that was my first quilt block.

    —carol on April 2, 2014
  • Nine Patch by hand from templates I made and added the quarter inch….I was going to be a purist, quilt only all by hand like my Grandmother and her sisters, then I took my first machine class end of hand piecing. PS That block is in a sampler quilt that I pieced all by hand but had to have it hand quilted by someone else 22 years later!

    —Kim Noland on April 2, 2014
  • The first quilt block I ever made was a block I designed myself to be part of a quilt given to our minister who was being transferred to another church. I was probably around 16 at the time. We were to use a white 8″ square and could stitch, embroider or whatever we wanted to represent our self or something dear to us. I used pencil to draw a music staff with notes, a Bible reference a violin, and my name.

    —Susan on April 2, 2014
  • My first experience with quilting was to make an embroidered center (large)and put one border around it, back with flannel pillowcase style, and tie it. My first pieced block was star block (12 pts came together in the center) made with poly-cotton fabric. I pulled my hair and cried, and then found a flyer for quilting classes at a local community college in California. And that was the beginning of this passion.

    —Whiskers on April 2, 2014
  • I took a quilting 101 class and made my first block using flying geese. At that time I didn’t even know what a block was and that I didn’t use scissors to cut my fabric. I’ve come a long way! I’m "hooked on quilting!"

    —Denise on April 2, 2014
  • I don’t remember what it was called but it was a block of the month class. I was pretty proud of the blocks I made until I was ready to put them together…not one block was the same size…I ended up cutting some down and adding background material to others. The quilt is together and looks pretty good but I still haven’t quilted it! It is in my UFO stack and my goal is to finish UFOs this year.

    —Maureen on April 2, 2014
  • It was probably a Seminole patch square. It was suppose to be an eyeglass case, but I don’t do zippers.

    —Deanna Sue Adams on April 2, 2014
  • My first quilt block was a nine patch

    —Betty Sylvia on April 2, 2014
  • dresden

    —Barbara Weygandt on April 2, 2014
  • My first quilt blocks were of cats at the age of 12. My grandmother is the one who got me started. She hand quilted the quilt and I still have it today .

    —Claudia Weber on April 2, 2014
  • My first block was the simple nine patch and it is still my favorite block.

    Jeanne on April 2, 2014
  • It was a "honeybee"", pieced and appliquéd completely by hand in 1979 from cardboard templates and cut with scissors, using unbleached muslin and calico prints. It was the first part of a beginning quilting class. I still love to make quilts!

    —Sandra on April 2, 2014
  • The first quilt block I ever made was Cathedral Windows. One of my neighbors showed me how to piece it by hand when I was about 12 years old. I made enough to make a small quilt for my cat! His loud purring indicated that he was quite pleased with it!

    —Joanne Lenigan on April 2, 2014
  • First block was around the world block.

    —Debi Lohr on April 2, 2014
  • Oh my. I had sewed clothes for years and so how hard can a quilt block be? Fifty years ago I made a set of 12 very complex block knowing nothing about quilting and not bothering to educate myself at all. One of the fabrics I planned to use was sateen cotton – who knew. Worse yet I designed my own block with a ton of ignorance. The design kind of looked like Autumn Splendor by Jenny Beyer with 8 the points meeting in the middle and lots of little side pieces. but it wasn’t splendid. Two of the finished blocks looked like a starter bra for a teenager because the center poked up. On others, the side lines didn’t match, the centers didn’t meet in the middle. What an ego blow. The only nice thing was the colors were beautiful. Put those blocks in a box and forgot about them and went back to clothes.
    Three years ago I found them and added them to a care package for our church’s Ladies Aid who make mission quilts for Africa and disasters. After a few months they call me up and showed me the quilt they had made with them. By using thick batting, creative motifs and tying with ribbons in the centers they had made a very nice quilt and used it for a raffle to raise money for batting.

    I started quilting again three years ago. I took classes at the local quilt shop and did a fine sampler of the classic blocks to learn. I am almost ready to try that block again and started digging for the pattern.

    —lavonne on April 2, 2014
  • The first quilt block I made by myself was a rail fence. There were two different color blocks, pink tones and blue tones and once the piece was complete, I put it away for my first grandchild. My Mom helped me with the block sizes and choosing colors. She’s since passed away, so this quilt is very special to me and will be to my son and his girlfriend, who are having our first grandbaby in August.

    —Heather Campbell on April 2, 2014
  • I did some seminole patchwork with no pattern. Did not really make anything. However it whet my whistle for piecework. Next, I got a pattern from Eleanor Burns and did a flying geese queen quilt. Now I am probably 100 quilts later. Lost count.

    —Mary D - OKC on April 2, 2014
  • Cathedral Windows. I still have that test block… and after 20 years I am now determined to complete a cathedral windows Queen quilt totally hand stitched. I am over half way complete and there is no fabric used more than once in the quilt. I have had 2 1/2″ squares sent to me from friends who are quilters from all over the country…and it is beautiful. It is truly a friendship quilt.

    —shelby on April 2, 2014
  • I was very niave about quilting and picked out a Drunkard Path. I had no idea about the finished product and made every block with a different background color! It was decent at best.

    —Pam on April 2, 2014
  • My first quilt block was a hand appliqued block of handprints of my mother’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I made 16 blocks: one for each of her grandchildren, I stacked the handprints of each family on each block. It took me several years to finish because I started and then took a break. I managed to keep the project a surprise from my mother and entered the quilt in a small town quilt show and took my mother to the show and that was the first time she saw the quilt. Won second prize so that was a bonus. 🙂

    —Sherry Rupe on April 2, 2014
  • As I had never made a quilt before, I thought I had better select an easy pattern. It was easy–just squares in pastel colors for my first grandchild. I got it together and quilted before he was born and was so proud of that fact. Now I can’t stop quilting. My patterns have become more challenging and my work has improved. Yeah!

    —Wanda Holbrook on April 2, 2014
  • I had made a few blocks prior, but the first one that I was so excited about was the Sister Block. I made 9 of them with sashing and borders to create a table topper for my middle sister. It’s still one of my favorite projects and really expresses the love I have for my sister. ❤️

    Jane @ Handiworking on April 2, 2014
  • I had never thought about making a quilt and really was not fond of sewing either. But my grandson was in High School and wanted a quilt in his school colors, which was black, white and red. So I saw a class on a log cabin quilt in a day at the local fabric store, so decided to tackle a quilt for him. I thought if I could do this in one day, it shouldn’t be bad. It turned out beautiful and he loved it. I start quilting and never looked back. Of course my inspiration was that my grandson want something and I was bound and determine to get it for him.

    —Beverly Martiniano on April 2, 2014
  • The very first quilt block I made was not a block but an octagon table topper – talk about a challenge! Saw this great pattern and told myself I could do it and I did! To my great surprise. After making 8 of them I took my first quilt class and we made a square block of 2 colors alternating rounds, one with light centers & one with dark centers. I knew then I was addicted to quilting! After 5 years I am loving every minute of learning something new every chance I get.

    —Joy B on April 2, 2014
  • My first block was the log cabin block. I still like this block because it is so versatile.

    —Bonnie on April 2, 2014
  • My first quilt block was the rail fence but I added sports equipment (baseballs, footballs and basketballs) to the quilt I made for my grandson.

    Lynda on April 2, 2014
  • The first block I made was a pinwheel block. I made my husbands niece of pinwheel blocks, set apart with sashing, for Christmas that year. Unbelievably, the whole quilt turned out okay.

    —Cindy Dahlgren on April 2, 2014
  • My first quilt block was a six-point star. They were hand-pieced 8″ blocks, with sashing and setting squares, in a full-size quilt. It was hand-quilted, in a homemade frame using 2x4s and C-clamps. I made cardboard templates for quilting cables in the sashing and borders. The blocks were simply quilted in outline and echo lines for each patch. I was about 14 or 15 when it was finished, as it was for my 2yr old sister.

    —K R Ritchie on April 2, 2014
  • My church was planning to make a friendship quilt for the pastor. Blocks were to be embroidered. I did not know how to embroider. I was pregnant at the time and decided to learn to embroider by making a baby quilt. I embroidered small blocks and a large center block with my daughter’s name and birthday. I mastered embroidery and learned how to put quilt blocks together.

    —Ramona Dryer on April 2, 2014
  • My first ever quilt block was the disappearing nine patch

    —Maree Hannon on April 2, 2014
  • I’ve always loved fabric, and have sewed for family and friends as long as I can remember. But the first quilt block was for a challenge by a local quilt fabric store over in Anaheim, CA, when they were collecting fabric blocks to make quilts for the veterans. They provided the pattern and two fat quarters, and when I finished that block — and all the points matched up and the seams were straight — I knew I had what it took to become a REAL quilter!

    —Sue Chapman on April 2, 2014
  • The first blocks that I ever made were Bear Paws. I made several out of old shirts of my husbands. Last year, after 30 years, I made a few more and turned those blocks into a wall hanging. I thought I needed some kind of cornerstones in the sashing, so I started looking through buckets of scraps. Remarkably, I found scraps of every single fabric and made little 3″ cornerstone blocks. So does that make me a hoarder!?? 🙂

    —Sue Radkiewicz on April 2, 2014
  • Other than simple squares, my first real attempt at using a pattern was OHIO STAR which was a real challenge at the time. I was determined to learn how to cut and piece accurately, and how to NOT have unmatched or cutoff corners. I still have those first attempts at various block patterns sewn into a top (not quilted YET) and now laugh when I see how crude my early work was. It’s almost like looking at your old grammar school report cards. Hard to believe how far a person can come if you just keep at it.

    —JRuth on April 2, 2014
  • I made two 7 1/2″ square toppers that had a square in a box design with sashing and corners around the box. It was a pattern and fabric that was given at a Shop Hop a few years ago. I’ve just gotten serious about quilting in the last four years after over 35 years of garment sewing. Wished I started earlier quilting!! So much to learn, so little time!

    —Janet in ND on April 2, 2014
  • My very first quilt square was very simply a 2 piece square. I cut the pieces with scissors and stitched it together by hand I made a quilt for my teddy bear. I called it the diver’s flag because I grew up with my father and 2 brother’s being fishermen. But the most favorite of all the squares I ever made was something I called the animal square. Just simple scrap squares with animals hand stitched on them and pieced together with my very first adult sewing machine for my daughter. I didn’t know much about binding and I used a second hand sheet as the backing but she didn’t mind.She lost it when we moved to California and was so upset. Now she is about to graduate college and I am making her another quilt to take with her when she moves out. Quilting has been a life long love for me. I am not perfect in technique, my seams are not always spot on, but the folks that receive them have always enjoyed them as much as I enjoyed making them

    —Renee on April 2, 2014
  • My 1st block was an applique block, sewn as my block for a "Friendship" quilt 8yrs ago (still waiting to be quilted!!!!!!!)

    —Susan on April 2, 2014
  • The Nebraska Windmill Quilt Block was in a local newspaper minus the pattern instructions. But I knew immediately I wanted learn to make that block someday. In a few days I panicked hoping that paper had not been lost to another purpose. Found, I cut it out and tucked it in my Bible. For several years I would check to make sure it was still there. When my first of five children was ready for Sunday School, I knew I wanted to make that pattern into a special pillow for his first Sunday School teacher’s Christmas gift. I enlarged the block and purchased three coordinating calico fabrics, (calico was about all that was available around here in the early 70’s) and cut out the pieces. It was a very difficult pattern for me to sew together. But I persevered and was so proud of it, making that beloved yet difficult block more times for gifts still minus the instructions.

    When visiting the new and wonderful International Quilt Study Center and Museum in Lincoln Nebraska there was my Nebraska Windmill pattern on the wall for sale. They said it was sold out but I could purchase that one. My heart beat fast with excitement and new revelation as I reached high on the wall for that last one "with the instructions" before anyone else got it. It had the shape of Nebraska in two pieces rather than one which I had worked so hard to get set in. If I had just cut off the panhandle in it’s natural box shape it would have sewn together with the eastern part of the state so easily all these years.

    Yesterday was my 93 year old friend Leona’s funeral. Her daughter-in-law Susan,also a dear friend, said they had found a pillow I had made for Leona. I asked if it was The Nebraska Windmill pattern? She said it might be. When I described it as alternating blades each in the shape of Nebraska sewn together in a circle she said, "Yes, that is exactly what it is! I told her my story about learning how to make my first and favorite quilt block. They had been trying to figure out what the name of the block could be and now it made sense. She said she supposed she should give it back to me. But she hadn’t yet even though she had had it for quite some time because she wanted to keep it. And now hearing my story made her want to keep it even more. I told her to please keep it–that I was so honored that now two people I love have wanted to keep it so long.

    —Vicki Swamson on April 2, 2014
  • The above story about The Nebraska Windmill is mine. And you will not believe this but I have edited some out some of it.

    —Vicki Swanson on April 3, 2014
  • My 1st block ? I Had purchased a kit for place mats on sale at a new store in my neighbourhood. I made one and was hooked on quilting I went back and bought the rest of the kits they had. So why am I telling you this -because have no Idea what the pattern was and recently found one of those kits in my stash but NO Pattern was with it. There are precut pieces in red print triangles, red triangles and white triangles and red & white and print squares,I and know there should be 4 place mats but I don’t know where to start putting the precut pieces together. I have made a lot of quilts since then and think it might have been a Star as they are a favorite Block, One day when I’m not concentrating on finishing a new quilt I am determined to figure it out.

    —Elizajane on April 3, 2014
  • My first quilt block was a simple nine patch. My son came home from an after school program with one nine patch block and a bag full of cut squares. He wanted me to finish putting them together with him. After getting them together we wanted to make it big enough for his twin bed. I bought more material, cut it to match what we had, and put it together. I followed the directions he was given, and made my (our) first quilt. I had never sewn before, never mind make a quilt! Considering I had no idea what I was doing, we thought it came out pretty decent. That was 16 years ago. The quilt is still being used today (with a few repairs here and there)! Several years later I took some classes to learn to quilt. We still talk about what inspired me to start quilting. I thank my son, and that teacher for giving me that start!

    —Debbie on April 3, 2014
  • When I was in college, I made a bear paw block by hand. Later I sewed it into a pillowcase. Today the pillow sits on a sofa in our very rustic cabin on the Penobscot River.

    —Margaret Shaw on April 3, 2014
  • My first quilt block was Eleanor Burns’ Log Cabin, made at the Adult Education program at my local high school. Thanks to her methods, by the time I finished the first block, I had all the blocks I needed for the whole quilt! Instant gratification!

    —Jackie Forcucci on April 3, 2014
  • My first quilt I remember is a 9 patch for my Doll at 8 with my grandmother , I really go into it again when I was 24 that was a dreasen plate , that I still have 40 years later

    —Dotty P on April 3, 2014
  • I remember it well. It was a nine patch block for the lap size quilt I was making. The other block that went into the quilt was a friendship star. And that was the start of my quilting obsession……

    —Rhonda Casey on April 3, 2014
  • My aunt taught me to quilt when I was just 8 years old. My first block was made up of my old clothes. As my dear Auntie told me. "This my child is how we used to make our quilts in the olden days." "It will always remind us of the clothes we loved most". That was 57 years ago. I still have a piece of the old tattered quilt to this day. And I have carried on the tradition with my children. They all have quilts from their well loved clothes that I also made for them. Along with pictures of them wearing the clothes.

    —Nancy on April 3, 2014
  • My first quilt block was the pinwheel. One day at work, my girlfriend told me she took a quilt class at the local college. I asked her to show me what to do. She gave me a piece of cardboard cut in the shape of a triangle.She told me to trace this on the back of my fabric. She then had me draw a 1/4″ line around each piece for a sewing line. I sewed and quilted it all by hand. Thank goodness I only made a crib size quilt, my finger tips were a mess when I was done. It now is stored in a trunk for when my daughter has her own child.

    —Karen Sieredzinski on April 3, 2014
  • My first block was Grandma’s Fan with a Heart added in the corner. I had never quilted before, but was a sewer. My daughter was 9 yrs. old when I completed my first quilt, even hand quilting it! This first quilt ‘hooked’ me, and I haven’t stopped quilting since. After almost 20 years, I have quilted over 60 quilts, all sizes, for friends and families, and given them all away. I love sharing my love of quilting with others.

    —Nancy Porter on April 3, 2014
  • my first block wasn’t really a block it was HORRID I bought a new machine and decided to join a group that met monthly. our first project was a flag. My stripes were not lined up and oh my the stars well it now is at the bottom of my scraps just to remind me how much i have improved

    —jo on April 3, 2014
  • Well, I have never let "that’s difficult" stop me. While growing up, on my bed was Grandmother’s Flower Garden made by my Grandmother. At 10 years old, I decided I could do that. So I did. I traced a pattern from my bed quilt and started making hexagon flowers. I made a doll quilt which I still have and when I look at it, I love how I brave I was.

    —Janet on April 3, 2014
  • My first quilt block was a rail fence block for my daughter’s basketball coach. It had basketball appliques over the rail fence blocks. It was a stadium size quilt and had plaids and the school colors. All the qirls on the team signed the back.

    —Jan on April 3, 2014
  • My first block was a good old nine patch. It was my first quilt, somewhere around 30 years ago, and it became the go to quilt for anyone who needed comforting. Sick kids, cold feet, sad movies, homesickness, it was very well use and very well loved. And yes, I still have it.

    —INA ANDERSON on April 3, 2014
  • I made Ohio Star blocks using scraps. At the time, it was nearly impossible to find 100% cotton yardage (can you say TreMode?) so I used scraps of everything from trimmed off pajama legs to shirt tails. It was a fun quilt, full of memories, but a real pain to cut and piece. That was also before the advent of rotary cutters and mats, so it was all marked by hand and cut out with scissors! I do not miss those days!

    —Kari Huber on April 3, 2014
  • My very first block was the bear paw. I made it in the 1970s. It was English paper pieced and, I have to report that it was also the last block I pieced for 40 years! A career in teaching and teddy bear making got in the way. I took up patchwork again about 2 years ago. There is a certain irony in the fact that it was the bear paw block…as I have made many hundreds of bear paws (attached to teddies)in mohair and alpaca since then.

    Sue Jennings on April 3, 2014
  • Ohio Star in my second start at quilting. The first quilt I made was an embroidered Three Little Pigs following closely by a farm top made from a Better Homes and Garden Magazine back in the early 70’s. That was it until I moved back home in 1990 and was bit by the bug again. The bug was inherited from my Grandmother whom I do not ever remember her not having a quilt in progress on her lap.!

    —Diana on April 3, 2014
  • April 3, 2014 Serendipity! I just read your April 2 Quirky Question email this morning. Yesterday I made my very first quilt block! It is two pillow shams that were deconstructed, then sewn together. I will trim it, then edge it with blue fabric recycled from the legs of several of my husband’s worn out pants. The backing will be made of flannel for a lap quilt for the cold Iowa nights when I’m sewing, reading, or doing homework. Considering that I’m now 70, it’s amazing to me that I’ve decided to make a quilt. I don’t know when I will get it finished because I’m working on an associate degree at the local community college as well as teaching a senior fitness exercise class. I have vowed to spend at least one hour each week working on the quilt. Let me know how to send a photo if you’re interested.

    We’d love to see your project, Kay–congratulations on your first quilt! You can send your photo to me at jenny@martingale-pub.com. –Jenny

    —Kay Day on April 3, 2014
  • A requirement to design and sew a project for a Girl Scout sewing badge inspired my first quilt block. The block I did was a large 9-patch with an appliquéd and embroidered teacup and saucer in the middle square. It was crooked and lumpy, but it was mine! I still love doing 9-patch blocks and variations, appliqué, and embroidery—53 years later.

    —Caryn Goulden on April 3, 2014
  • I never considered myself a quilter, although I loved quilts and like to hand sew, until ten years ago. My first block then was a log cabin. However, after I became a quilter, my mother gave me a box of stuff she had saved from my younger years. It contained six Sun Bonnet Sue blocks that I had made when I was in high school. I always thought of it as an embroidery project and didn’t know she had kept it. The blocks were made with fabric from the clothes I made in high school. When I saw them I realized that I had made quilt blocks 30 years earlier and wasn’t aware that I had been a quilter back then. So far, I only have grandsons, but if I get a granddaughter, she will have a Sun Bonnet Sue quilt with fabric from the seventies.

    —Pamela B on April 3, 2014
  • For my very first quilt blocks, I sewed together quilt squares that my grandmother embroidered in the early 1910’s. The squares were 9″. I sewed 4″x11″ blocks that tapered into a point at each end between each of the 9″ squares. The in between blocks came to a point so that there were 4 points meeting between each set of 4 embroidered squares. If that makes sense. It was all done by hand. The second quilt I made was a crib quilt with a single iris done in all solids. Purple, green and yellow on a black background.

    —Lori Sutton on April 3, 2014
  • My first quilt block was rail fence. The quilt was all in blues. I was in high school when I made it. My ex still has it.

    —Barbara Quinn on April 3, 2014
  • I learned to quilt by making pillows, and Sawtooth Star comes to mind as an early project.

    —Sally on April 3, 2014
  • Weather Vane. I made my first block in the "80’s". I loved this block and the quilt is still one of my favorites.

    —Diane on April 3, 2014
  • Actually my first "block " was embroidered tractors i did. Initially i asked my mother if she would put them in a quilt for me since i had never made a quilt! She had no time and said i should do it. I am in a wheelchair now and cannot use the machine i had in storage so i went and found coordinating fabric and proceeded to hand piece and hand quilt my first quilt which i gave to my father in law. I have made several quilts since and enjoy the handwork!

    —jody on April 3, 2014
  • My first quilt block was the "fan" and of all things it was done in polyester fabrics! Considering I have never attempted a quilt before, it was quite a challenge – but it peaked my interest and I did get it done – it turned out to be a king size quilt!

    —Dorothy Hoopes on April 3, 2014
  • When I was in high school I made all kinds of clothes. So when I was visiting with my then boyfriend’s mother and grandmother about how I would never be able to make such beautiful quilts as they do! Gasp! They thought I was crazy — anyone who can sew a yoke & sleeve on a western shirt would have no trouble at all making quilts! Well, long story not so short – the first quilt I made (with lots of help from his mother) was a queen sized Triple Irish Chain with the sewing machine my mother bought me for graduation and I was hooked! My dog kept chewing on that quilt and I kept patching it until I finally ran out of fabric. My mom made a stuffed kitty out of what was left of it. Now my kids play with that stuffed kitty and I remember all the love & patience surrounding my life when I made it. That was 19 years ago. So many wonderful things have taken place since then and among other things, I thank God I’m still quilting!

    —Sara on April 3, 2014
  • My first block was a star. I made a crib quilt for my granddaughter. the block was in the middle and rest was 4 patch.

    —sonia afanador on April 3, 2014
  • My first quilt block wasn’t cut with a rotary cutter. I tore the fabric into about 3 inch strips and cross ripped into about 3 inch squares to be sewn together into a nine-patch. My (in 1997) sister-in-law and I decided to take a piece I had cross-stitched to celebrate my parents 50th anniversary and create a family quilt around it. Every other block was a white square that she machine embroidered my & my husband’s name and that of my 4 brothers’, their wives and all the grandkids names, each DOB and date of marriage if needed. We pieced it (nothing really matched) in two weekends, layered it and she and her boys tied it by the next weekend. At that time, I didn’t know that you could "quilt" on a machine. Didn’t have time either. We also were planning the party for 200 people and doing all the cooking and decor AND each working 40 hours a week, all with 7 kids between us to take care of. After my dad passed away in 2001 and my mom remarried in 2004, I was given the quilt back, as the only quilter in the family.

    —Linda on April 3, 2014
  • My 1st block as I got started quilting was rail fence…..or fence rail.

    —Pam on April 3, 2014
  • My first quilt block was a Martha Washington Star from a Quilt in a Day book. They were offering a Block a Month class at the fabric store. I had never made a quilt but I liked the picture of the block. I was fortunate, the teacher taught me how to use a rotary cutter. I made several of those star blocks that would have been my first quilt had I ever finished it.

    —JoAnne T. on April 3, 2014
  • Rail fence was my first block and quilt.

    —Lynn on April 3, 2014
  • The block I remember as the first quilt block was a churn dash quilt in a lap quilt I made for my Mother as a Christmas gift.

    —Sue Bialorucki on April 3, 2014
  • Pin wheels, rectangles, and squares for a "practice block" for Rodeo Go Round. The quilt hung at International Quilt Festival Houston 2011!

    —Debbie Williams on April 3, 2014
  • My first quilt was just typically I guess a nine patch square… I just kept making squares and sewing them together… I was nine years old and had broken my leg… I made it on a treadle sewing machine… I still have it…I learned to do a lot of crafts that year…as I couldn’t get out to play. The colors were plain purple and yellow, yuck.. I would never pick those colors today…

    —Shirley on April 3, 2014
  • Oh yeah I forgot it also was cut with scissors

    —Shirley on April 3, 2014
  • My first quilt was a simple 9 rectangle quilt—3 across and 3 down made of all different materials– and appliqued a cat— all different materials— placed in each rectangle. I really goofed up on the binding–I ran out, so I just pieced a bit more in the missing boarder corner. I used buttons for eyes and appliqued the nose and mouth. I still love it and it is on my quilt wall at least 3 months a year. I basically taught myself how to quilt.So. knowing that crucial piece of information, I am thrilled to death that it turned out at all.

    —Diane Malaznik on April 3, 2014
  • My 1st block/s was Ohio Star. 3, turned into a table runner.

    Chris D. on April 3, 2014
  • My first block was a 9 patch, I was 9 years old. My twin sister and I spent much time with our grandmother who taught us to do needlework, to crochet, knit and quilt. The nine patches were all scrappy and came from her ‘rag bag’. Old dress material, left overs she had from dresses she made for us. Happy hours they were spent with this very patient and loving woman. We made enough blocks for the quilt and put them down for a time. When I was in high school, I asked her to help me put it all together. We quilted it together on her pull down frame. I have been quilting since. Currently working on quilts for the grandkids. Have 3 tops together and working on the 4th. Once all pieced, will be quilting time. Love both piecing and quilting.

    —Marianne on April 3, 2014
  • My very first block was just one single square that was from fabric I tore into strips then used a template aperture to mark the sewing and cutting line to make blocks, sewed them into rows of color and tied the corners, folded the back to the front for binding and hand stitched the date. This major event took place in 1970(something), and I have been hooked ever since. I still have that first book and although I have not used it since, it is my most treasured book in my now extensive library. and my most treasured quilt in my vast repertoire of quilts to present date.

    Terry on April 3, 2014
  • It was 2 9 patches with 2 squares to create the first block for a class for Beginner Quilting.

    —VickiT on April 4, 2014
  • I used to save all my scraps from making my children’s clothing. My Mom advised that I should make a quilt from those scraps. She showed me how to sew strips to magazine pages in a string quilt block. This was back in the early 80’s. I still have this quilt, it is one of my treasures. I can look at each strip and remember which child wore an article of clothing from that piece. The quilt is fraying in areas so I will patch with scraps from clothing made for a child after that quilt was made 10 years later…yes I have some of those scraps. 🙂

    —Susie Furgason on April 4, 2014
  • My first quilting experience was a log cabin block from the "Quilt in a Day" book by Eleanor Burns. My mother and I both made this quilt but we still laugh that it was not exactly a quilt in a day project like the book title. When we discussed how to send the quilts to our daughters in Iowa we decided to fly there and surprise them with their quilts which made for a very memorable experience.

    —Rosalind Gutierrez on April 4, 2014
  • My 1st block was a hand stitched Churn Dash block out of scraps from my moms sewing room. I got the pattern from the lady next door when I was babysitting, she had the book 101 quilt patterns from Ruby Short M. I had babysat for them a few times and so the next time I went I took some paper to trace some patterns out of her book—this would have been back in the early ’70s.

    —Joyce Kay on April 4, 2014
  • Six months ago, I finally decided I wanted to give quilting a try. In my typical fashion, I spent months reading tutorials and liking at patterns. I didn’t know what to make first. Then in January it finally hit me that my mom’s birthday was coming up, and I’m going to make her a lap blanket.

    My first block was for her quilt. It is a dark purple heart with white and lavender sashing. At my mom’s request, I placed the block in the center of the blanket. I also hand stitched a small number one on the bottom right corner of the block. 🙂

    —Jenn on April 4, 2014
  • My first quilt block was more like my first quilt, it was a rainbow quilt from either Family Circle or Woman’s Day magazine, sometime in the early 1980s. The block was an appliqued center and rainbow colors added with batting and backingso that there was no quilting involved. I made it for my oldest daughter who loved anything with rainbows. They still use it while watching t.v.

    —Ruth Spencer on April 4, 2014
  • My first quilt block was the Ohio Star. I used cardboard templates and boy was it a challenge. That was over 25 years ago and the tools now (yes I am a tool junkie) are fabulous. It makes quilting so much fun!

    —Carrie Perlman on April 4, 2014
  • I think it was a 9 patch. I started with a sampler quilt and I don’t remember which block was first for sure.

    —Cindy S on April 4, 2014
  • Nine-Patch used to piece a Disappearing Nine-Patch Quilt. Easy & fun!

    —Gail on April 4, 2014
  • My first quilt square was a Bow Tie. I did finish it along with others into a quilt top.
    My first hand pieced square was a 9 patch. It is still in the condition that it was when I finished it. I never finished the pillow that it was supposed to be. My daughter says the colors are ugly now(in the 1970 ‘s it was pretty).

    —Louise Buker on April 4, 2014
  • My first block was a log cabin quilt as you go quilt. That was probably 40 years ago. Still enjoy buying fabric and making quilted projects, big and small.

    —Sharon B on April 4, 2014
  • My first quilt block that I made was when I took an Adult Ed course at the local high school–too many years ago to recall even the year. We made a log cabin block, several of them which were quilt as you go. I had to discard the quilt a long time ago due to it being worn from use, but I still have several blocks from the pillow that I intended to make! So, sometimes UFOs are good.

    —Vivian on April 4, 2014
  • The first project I tried tackling on my own that wasn’t in a beginner quilt class was a Bear Paw. Still don’t have those blocks put together after 11 years!

    —Nancy on April 4, 2014
  • The first quilt block I ever made (in 1979) was a hand pieced Ohio Star. I’ve been hooked on quilting ever since and I still hand piece sometimes! I love samplers and have included an Ohio Star in every one since then. I was the president of the El Paso Quilting Association several years later. The custom then was the members would each make a block of the president’s choosing and colors and they would be presented to her at the end of her term. I still have my blue and brown Ohio Star quilt!

    —Pam Lewshenia on April 4, 2014
  • The first quilt block I ever made was for a wedding quilt for my daughter, I had never quilted before and my other daughter and I decided it would be fun to have friends all contribute a special block and we would put the quilt together. I was totally clueless in what I was doing, but I have been hooked ever since. And now working on a wedding quilt for my other daughter.

    Kathleen Gold on April 4, 2014
  • My first was a Log Cabin. My neighbor and I took a quilt class. The quilt still awaits a binding. It’s been waiting for it since about 2007! Think I’ll ever get it finished?

    —Margie on April 4, 2014
  • The first blocks I made were from a Hancock Fabrics block-of-the-month (which I bought on sale) and made into a baby quilt. I did not have a machine then, so I hand-appliqued and hand-pieced the blocks and the sashing.

    —Bro AJK on April 4, 2014
  • When I was expecting my first child, back in 1970, I decided to create my first quilt. I used fabric left over from my handmade maternity cloths and hand embroidered the alphabet on the five inch squares. I ended up with a sweet quilt. My son passed away in 1996 and I still have his nine patch baby quilt that brings wonderful memories flooding back.

    —Kathy Phillips on April 4, 2014
  • My first block was a Star, I was at a Brownie and Girl Guide Leader conference. A group of ladies from all over the world gathered in one place what a blast, everyday was filled with laughter, friendship and fun.
    On one of the days we all shared a craft that we had taught our ‘girls’ and one of them was a quilted doily, I was hooked and the rest as they say is history, I have been quilting ever since.

    —Janet on April 4, 2014
  • I think my first quilt was just all the same sized squares sewn together. Really hard to remember as it was just about 30 years ago. I do know that it was made using all scraps of fabric from my children’s clothes. Thanks for the giveaway.

    —Renea on April 4, 2014
  • I don’t think I’ve ever made an actual quilt block. I’ve been doing whole cloth applique wall hangings since I started quilting about a year ago.

    —Rhonda on April 4, 2014
  • First block I remember was an embroidered cat. Made in to a quilt for first born. Went on to the Cathedral Window -made into a pincushion..took a while to move onto full size quilts.

    —Shirley on April 4, 2014
  • Ohio Star I believe. I took a sampler class 25yrs ago. Made 12 blocks in all styles (piecing, several styles of applique) and getting closer to the big 65 so hard to remember which came first.

    —QuiltinGram on April 4, 2014
  • My very first quilt block was a 16 patch. I made several blocks to make a quilt for my eldest daughter. I tried to make a story about Under the Sea with fabrics I found that had dolphins and whales on them. I found fabrics with seashells and crabs, and all kinds of fish and seaweeds. On the back, I made a large central panel with borders of the seaweeds, dolphins and whales. One day I hope to appliqué a mermaid, and I’m hoping my skills will be good enough to make the face look like my daughter 🙂 She still has it on her bed.

    —Sue Potts on April 4, 2014
  • My first quilt block, if you can call it that, was a crazy quilt block made from clothing scraps, including polyester, twill, and seersucker! The quilt never materialized, even though I embellished the block with fancy machine stitches. The next blocks I made were for a quilt group that my friend Rhonda dragged me to. The pattern was Cactus Basket and the cardboard templates were traced onto cotton and cut out with scissors. That was in 1977 and I never looked back! Thank you Rhonda!

    —Linda Towers on April 4, 2014
  • Log cabin, and to this day it is one of my favorites as there is so many different ways to construct it and place it. 😀

    —Linda on April 5, 2014
  • The first block I ever made was for a quilt my grandmother was working on and the one she used to teach me the art of quilting when I was 7. It was a white dove appliqued on cornflower blue blocks. The blocks were pieced together with white sashing and quilted around the doves and along the sashing. My mom’s first cousin now has the quilt and I have been told that it will be given to me sometime in the future. I hope so. My grandmother showed me, while working on the quilt, how much love can be sewn into the stitches. She is gone now but I try to sew all the love I can into the quilts I make for family and friends.

    —Gail Davis on April 5, 2014
  • My first quilt was a log cabin and so I consider that my first block even though I was fascinated with many block styles. I had a picture from a magazine and a friend gave me some pointers and I was off and running!! There were not any cutting boards or rotary cutters in those days so I cut everything with scissors. My first block was really wonky so I learned quickly how to be more precise in cutting and sewing!

    —Shar on April 5, 2014
  • Working together with my mom and sister, we made quite a few charity quilts using single patch squares before I got brave enough to try more detailed blocks. Although the quilts weren’t fancy, I learned a lot from those early projects, including the value of sewing for others and the joy of working together with people you love.

    —Pearl on April 5, 2014
  • I don’t know the name of the first patchwork block I made which became a beach bag which I bring out to use every summer. It’s unique.

    —Julie on April 6, 2014
  • My first Quilt block was a Foundation Pieced "Crazy Quilt" Block. It was the first quilt class I took as a beginner quilter. It was very user friendly, and inspired me not to be intimidated by making future blocks.

    —Barbara Renshaw on April 6, 2014
  • My first quilt was a queen-size Lone Star medallion, so it was one very big block! Newly married and inspired by the bicentennial craze in the mid ’70s, I took an evening class at the local high school and pieced the entire top by hand using remnants from all the clothes that I had made for myself in high school and college. The quilting took 12 years, but I was determined to do it all by hand. After all that work, I did not want to put it on the bed for fear that my cats would destroy it, so it hung proudly on the wall in my former house for over 20 years. I’ve moved and have no place to hang it now, but look forward to building our retirement home where we will be certain to include a special place to once again display my treasured first quilt.

    —Holly on April 6, 2014
  • My first block was a crazy quilt block made from the scraps from my mom’s sewing. I loved looking at the quilts we had that my aunt made using those scraps and finding the fabrics my mom used for my clothes, my sister’s clothes and even my brother’s! Mom was a prolific sewer! I still have one of those quilts and I can still find those fabrics! 🙂

    —Elizabeth Tallau on April 6, 2014
  • Nine patch for a Double Irish Chain Quilt.

    —Linda J on April 6, 2014
  • My first block was a nine-patch in white and blue – hand pieced and quilted – and it came out at 6″ square. I made it into a tooth fairy pillow for my son, adding a square to the back for the tooth! (This was from Carla Hassel’s book on quilting in the early ’80’s when everything was still done by hand!) It finished its life as a very useful pin cushion.

    —Valerie Strickland on April 6, 2014
  • My first block was the log cabin block. The quilt shop manager suggested I use paper piecing so I could gain confidence while creating correctly sized blocks.

    At first I was confused with the concept of paper piecing, then after I understood it, I made very nice log cabin blocks. Not that it was all smooth sailing, though. I made plenty of mistakes and made extensive use of a seam ripper and scotch tape.

    —Crazy Cuban on April 7, 2014
  • Split rail fence. I took a quilt class with my cousin and my quilt is still one of my favorites.

    —Susan Donnelly on April 7, 2014

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