I started quilting in June 2004, not long after my wedding. I was unemployed, and I needed something to fill my time while waiting for responses to job applications.

At the time, HGTV or DIY Network was broadcasting a quilting show, and after watching a few episodes, I was sure I could quilt. I could cut fabric and sew straight seams, after all! So, off to the local big-name craft store I went to get the necessary tools. I picked up only the essentials, and only those items that wouldn’t break my meager budget.

Let’s just say that there’s truth in “pride goeth before the fall”. I didn’t do enough homework, I didn’t ask enough questions, and most importantly, I didn’t choose good enough quality for my tools and materials.

Final layout, Fireworks

Despite the lack of preparation and subpar tools and materials, I did manage to crank out this little quilt top. It has never been quilted and probably never will be. It has separating seams, crooked seams, one block that is somehow an eighth of an inch too small in both dimensions…but I still love it because it was my first.

One day, I will make a new quilt very much like this, with the same profusion of stars and stripes, the same color scheme–but it will be the product of 10+ years’ experience and improved knowledge of the necessary techniques.

This quilt top, though. Oh, Fireworks. You keep me humble.