The Trials & Tribulations of My First Quilt & More!

The new Genea-Quilters blog which Myrtle and Genea Philbert Ortega have started and contribute to has sparked my own interest again in starting my very first quilt. I am very happy to say that I have actually, finally, started my first quilt! I have wanted to make a Harley Davidson quilt for several years after seeing a few of them made. My husband  has often said I would never make one, but he should know by now, you never say never to me! Besides, if I make quilts they may be passed down to my descendants and become heirlooms!

Between my husband and I we have many many Harley shirts saved through the years. I kept saying I was going to make a quilt one day! I also have bought and saved Harley scarves from different stores we have visited all over the country. This means I will be making at least one more Harley quilt sometime in the future.

Eventually, I would like to make an ancestors quilt and an antique, maybe lacy looking quilt. These will be further down the road however as I have an awful lot to learn about quilting. I took a quilting class maybe 10 years ago, but never did anything with what I learned, so now I am starting new!

I should probably take a class again, but no, I have to learn how to do things the hard way. If you are a friend of mine on Facebook, you may have already read about me cutting through my dining room tablecloth and pad, while cutting out T-shirts. I couldn't find my rotary cutting mat, so I used several pieces of cardboard to do my cutting on, but now you know that cardboard wasn't strong, or thick enough. This is part of my "learning the hard way." Maybe sharing this will prevent someone else from making my mistake. I actually had to laugh. Thank goodness I didn't ruin anything I was really attached to.

I had picked out and cut 12 Harley shirts that I wanted to use for the quilt. I cut different colored borders to frame each block, and sewed them on. Now, as I read more I find that the seams are suppose to me 1/4 in. and mine are 1/2 in. Already? I need to start ripping? This may take me a long time to make...but, hey, I finally started! Oh...I have since found my cutting mat too. The trials and tribulations, already, of my first quilt...I don't think you will want to hear anymore, this could end up being the "ongoing saga!"

I wanted to share the site of a quilting blog I found online. It may help you use some of the scraps of material you have laying around. This blog is ~ Selvage Blog, making quilts and things with the "scrappiest" of fabrics is how I look at it. There is a link on this site for  "Creative Talk Radio" where selvages are discussed. On this blog I also found a link to the "Online Quilt Museum." Here you will find many exhibits and galleries of handmade quilts. You can sign up and actually have your own exhibit if you so choose. If you are interested at all in quilts and or quilting, you may want to see this museum! And, so you know, I have no affiliation what so ever with Selvage Blog, Creative Talk Radio, or Online Quilt Museum. I have enjoyed finding and exploring these sites and thought you may also!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Copyright © 2010 Cheryl Palmer


  1. You are braver than I am. A friend once showed me how to do a log cabin quilt, but I never got the itch to start it. But, Cheryl, reading your blog makes me feel like I wrote it. Can't wait to see your results.

  2. I do most every craft out there but my quilting attempts were very poor and like you I like to learn on my own.
    I still think one day I will do one. Good luck with the project.

  3. I'm excited to see how your quilt turns out. A T-shirt quilt (or two) is on my agenda for some time in the future too.

    Lessons learned the hard way - I once very meticulously sewed a project to my jeans (the ones I was wearing). Bummer. It was some of my best stitching too. :(

    Keep us posted on your progress!

  4. A Harley Davidson quilt? Very, very cool! I've not attempted quilting, and like Karen, I once stitched my sewing project onto my skirt...

  5. I wish you luck in your endeavor! I love the Harley idea. One of my softball mom friends made a quilt for her daughter out of t-shirts from the various teams she had been on. It turned out fantastic! I was so impressed I have been saving my daughters' softball shirts just in case I get brave enough someday.

    I would probably have the same "adventures" you and some of your commenters have had since I have absolutely no sewing talent.

    I look forward to your progress.

    PS I subscribed to the GeneaQuilters blog just to remind myself that someday I should seriously consider attempting it. LOL

  6. Tee shirt quilts are pretty tricky because the fabric is stretchy. It would be good to use an iron-on stabilizer like wonder-under on your knit fabrics before putting them into a quilt.
    If you visit a local quilt guild meeting in your area you'll find lots of help with your quilting. It's fun!

  7. Oh, and thanks for mentioning the Selvage Blog and Online Quilt Museum!

  8. Hi TennLady! I have had the itch, but never the time. I am trying to make the time now! Maybe following me with this will give you some enthusiasm for it, or it may scare you away from it forever! lol

    Hi Lori E, I go a few crafts myself and do like learning on my own, I have taught myself almost everything I do. For you, I wouldn't be surprised, one day you may just make one!

    Hi Karen, this may take awhile, so hope you have patience! ;-) I will try to keep you all posted!

    Hi imagespast, thank you for the comment! I think we all have some kind of stories like this we can tell, right?

    Hi Michelle, another great idea with the softball shirts! I wish I had thought of that when my girls played, they played high comp too. I hope my posts won't discourage you. ;-) (Glad you subscribed to the GeneaQuilters blog, it will be fun to follow if nothing else, and who knows you may get a desire from there too!)

    Hi Selvage Quilter, thank you for leaving a comment and it is my pleasure to mention these sites, I love them! I did add a stabilizer to the backs of the shirts, although I hadn't mentioned it. I have been a bit leery about mentioning to much on this blog, as it is mostly a genealogy blog. I don't want to bore those who aren't interested. But I do feel this quilt will one day become a heirloom...if I ever finish it! :-)

  9. Good for you TennLady. I started my first quilt 20 years ago, still haven't finished it. I'm sure you will do better, the bar is pretty low.

  10. That is going to be such a neat quilt. Don't worry about the 1/2 inch seams this time. If you make them all the same, it will still work. You can just trim them down to 1/4 later if you want. I don't think I would though, the way knit rolls, it might lay flat better if it is 1/2 inch.

    You're brave to try this on your first quilt. Definitely use a stabilizer of some kind. I like wonder under too.

  11. Hi Marti, I already ripped the seams out, so I can make correct! Thank you for the encouragement!


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