Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Life on the rails

My very first pattern was the Rail Fence.  This is the only quilt I've actually liked from all that I've made and I was delighted when DD#1 no longer needed it and traded it for another!  ;^)

My first luv was, and probably still is, home decorating.  I was a busy gal and had no time for make work projects like cutting up fabric and sewing it back together again.  But then I went to a national quilt show and SAW what all that cutting, rearranging and sewing could do.  Coordinated bedding!  Somehow I missed the art aspect of it although it was there.  This would have been back in the mid eighties.

This is a lap sized quilt with diagonal cross hatching.  I am a machine quilter and I used the large border to practice feathers.  I tried to do a value lesson with rails from light to dark.  I still need lessons in value!  lol But I liked the scrappy look.  This was from my folk art period.  LOL

My friend and show tour guide showed me using scissors to cut, templates for each rail!   :O  I bought fabric, those indescribable wee calicoes in bright reds,  whites, and blues. I mixed poly cottons into the whole thing.  I had enough fabric to cover our small town and after making two twin beds, a crib, some pillows, etc, I decided a queen size for my sister was gonna be the end of that colour run!  :}

But I was hooked.

It frustrated me as one can see in the small doll quilt which is so typical of the colour and fabrics available at that time.  It is hard for those verticals and horizontals to end up playing nicely.

Not much remains of any of those early quilt projects but I was surprised to see the influence the pattern holds.  I learned some things.  Rotary cutters and strip piecing are the way to go!  LOL  But quick cutting and piecing often leads to a bigger time commitment to figure out layouts and quilting.   I learned more is better.  More rails, smaller rails, and less contrast appeals to me.

I also learned as I was searching for photos and old treasures that this first quilt block has actually influenced a lot of my quilting but that is for another Tuesday.  Who knew it would turn out to be such a treasure!

This post is linked up to A Quarter Inch From The Edge  and Throwback Thursday!

10 comments:

Vicki W said...

I can see why this is your favorite quilt. The color and value placement is really nice!

Createology said...

The wheels are always moving...sometimes forward and sometimes backward. The rails you have quilted are very interesting. Thankfully you still enjoy quilting. Keep motivating dear...

Frances Arnold said...

I love the rail fence...there is so much that you can do with it. Yours is wonderful!!!

Beth said...

Great quilt. I can see why you like it.

Jo Ferguson said...

I adore the quilt. It's fun to look back and see our progression and how our tastes change, over the years.

Heidi said...

Beautiful! Are the flowers part of the border print, or broderie?

Linda said...

Love your first quilt!

Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl said...

How cool to find that this quilt and pattern has influenced your other work now that you have the benefit of time to look back and reflect. :)

Jenn @ A Quarter Inch from the Edge said...

I've yet to make a Rail Fence quilt, but whenever I see a good one (like this one!) I add it to my gotta make list in my head! Thanks for sharing your quilty story and the lessons you've learned (and for linking up with Throwback Thursday @ A Quarter Inch from the Edge!)

JanineMarie said...

I really like your interpretation of Rail Fence...but now I'm really curious to see how it has influenced you in your current work.