I guess there's a story behind every "first quilt". Let me share some of mine.
A little over a year ago a beautiful baby girl was born, the first grandchild of a good friend of many years. In fact, I had helped look after her own babies when they were tiny and I was only a teen. Now one of these "babies" had a baby of her own. I was so thrilled, I wanted to send a handmade gift, but what??? With a demanding toddler of my own who hadn't slept through even one night yet, and seven other children, homeschooling etc, how would I find the time to make anything? Covering all daily basics took every bit of my time and energy.
Quilting was something I had long been interested in but thought I would have to leave such an activity until many years into my future when I may have some "me" time again. But then it hit me, I can't presume upon tomorrow, or next year. Maybe if I could find some nice fabric and a pattern I'ld make enough time to sew a quilt. Our local fabric options are rather limited but a quick look revealed a range of fabric I loved at first sight. That night I had a quick look online for a baby quilt pattern and found this beautiful and often used Moda Bakeshop Pinwheel Baby Quilt pattern. The decision was made!
Although I had sewn many items over the years, mostly little girl dresses in recent years, I had never heard of charm packs, rotary cutters, basting, batting, binding, stippling, darning feet etc. I began with my Moda Bakeshop printout in hand and gradually over three weeks, with a few trips to our two local fabric shops, raiding a few of my sewing remnants, searching a few tutorials online and skimming some library books, my first quilt became a reality..... and I LOVED it! In fact I loved it so much, I bought some extra pieces of my favourite fabrics in the hope of making one very similar to keep someday.
It was wonderfully satisfying to send this gift, yet very hard to part with it. Knowing the quilt is well loved has been reassuring. I knew it wouldn't be my last quilt. Over the coming months I delighted in making another, and another, eventually discovering there is a huge range of online fabric shops offering fantastic fabrics at a fraction of the price we pay here in Australia (even after adding shipping costs). The internet also provides such a wealth of design ideas for inspiration and tutorials to help understand various techniques.