While a quilter's very first quilt may not be her most inventive, it may not be her prettiest, it may not be her most well-constructed quilt, by virtue of being first, it always holds a special place.
The Rose Star quilt was my first quilt. Ever since I was a child admiring my great grandmother's scrappy quilts, I knew that one day, I would make a scrappy quilt of my own. I collected fabric scraps from the seamstresses in my family (primarily my paternal grandmother), and daydreamed about starting a quilt. However, I never managed to get organized. It was the worsening of already rather significant allergies that severely curtailed the time I could spend outdoors which finally pushed me to start the quilt. I decided that if I couldn't be outside, I needed a positive inside project to keep from losing my mind. Quilting has been my escape ever since.
The Rose Star pattern came from a Traditional Quiltworks magazine. (I don't think it is being published any more.) The original pattern was scrappy like mine above, but where I have blue points on the perimeter of each "rose", their pattern showed green. Green points did make it look more rose-like, but hey even a newbie has to make a pattern her own.
My Rose Star quilt is hand-pieced with the exception of the outer, white border and the binding, although the binding is whipped down by hand on the back. It is also hand-quilted. It never occurred to me to use the sewing machine. In thinking back, trying to remember why I made the choice to hand-piece and hand-quilt, I think there were several reasons: 1.) Old sewing machine that was temperamental, 2.) Very limited experience with sewing machines in general, 3.) I wanted to feel at one with my pioneer ancestors (yeah, I realize that sounds hokey, but it was true), 4.) I wanted to be able to do my project anywhere and a hand project is much more portable than a machine project.
The quilt is not made with 100% cotton fabrics. Oh, I'm sure a lot of them are, but not all. I didn't realize that most quilters use only 100% cotton. So there are some poly-cotton blends, and even a piece of 100% polyester faux suede. Guess what? The quilting police never took me away.
I honestly do not remember how long it took me to finish this quilt. I believe I started it in 1995. I know it took me 3 winters to quilt it (I don't quilt during the warm months because I hold the quilts on my lap). I know it was finished by the time we moved away from Kansas to escape the allergies in 2002. And it is residing on my bed now.