a 2008 quilt is finally finished!


It seems rather appropriate to have just finished this quilt, just in time for my 2 year blogiversary, since it’s one of the very first quilt tops I made. This happens to be another one of those quilts that I started way back when (according to the original post about this quilt, that would be in August of 2008), long before I actually knew anything about quilting. If I recall, I saw some version of this quilt on Flickr and decided I should make one. I wanted a scrappy quilt, so I used one piece of each fabric I owned at the time (I ended up having to buy a few scrap bags so as to not duplicate any!)

I do specifically remember that I wasn’t sure this sewing thing was going to stick, so I was really against investing in all the “quilting tools” which would have made my life easier. (Morgan finally talked me into a tiny cutting mat and a teeny tiny rotary cutter).


At this point in time I would look at a piece of fabric and would have absolutely no idea how to go about cutting it – either in a straight line, or in any shape I might want (even a simple shape like these rectangles!). I had my brother come over and cut several rectangular templates for me out of a file folder. Then I used my teeny tiny rotary cutter to cut around this paper template. The template got smaller and smaller as I kept trimming little slivers off each side (oops!). I convinced myself that wouldn’t really matter in the end, so I just kept going. Of course, we all know how that ended, right?


After I started sewing the rows together it clearly wasn’t lining up correctly and I got a little tired of it. I put it away for a while and then periodically pulled it out and considered finishing it. Each time I pulled it out I remembered why I hadn’t finished it. I was pretty convinced I wasn’t going to finish it and I almost cut it apart to get a few pieces of my favorite fabrics back.

Fast forward to about a month ago. I pulled it out (again!) and decided that it deserved to be finished. If for nothing else than to remind myself about how I started. So it’s done, and while it’s certainly not one of my favorites, I’ve decided to embrace it in all its wonkiness! And speaking of wonky, want to see that part?

Oh, here’s some!


Oh, and here’s a little more wonkiness… (and yes, those little slivers are supposed to be full rectangles. In order to square the quilt I ended up just hacking the bottom off!)


But if nothing else, this might show you how a little quilting and a trip through the washer and dryer can make things look a lot better. And once it’s all rumpled on the couch I don’t even notice how it doesn’t line up correctly!


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92 Responses to a 2008 quilt is finally finished!

  1. 1
    WendyLou says:

    The quilt, of course, is gorgeous. But the way to photograph your quilts is always so interesting. I keep taking my quilts out for pictures, but then I get so stumped. I’d love to hear any tips you may have for us photographically challenged folks πŸ™‚

  2. 2
    Nancy says:

    Quite honestly, I love this quilt’s imperfections! It will always be a reminder of how far you’ve come!

  3. 3
    Vickie says:

    You know, there are going to be ‘millions of people’ wanting a wonky, slightly off balance looking quilt, too!!! I think it is actually quite lovely. Even more so, because it has a story!!! πŸ™‚

    p.s. Love your blog!!! I especially liked you last post…Turns out I am a quilter…and a blogger! I can relate (at least to the quilting part), having just started quilting for real last summer. πŸ™‚ Congrats!!!

  4. 4
    Anna L says:

    I’m so glad that you finished it! It certainly is a good roadmarker on your quiltmaking journey!

  5. 5
    Rachel Leavitt says:

    This has inspired me to finally finish my very imperfect first quilt. Thank you!

  6. 6

    Wonkiness and all, it is still a pretty quilt. I kept my first quilt to remind me that I should never expect perfection and just make my projects with love…

  7. 7
    Rebecca says:

    Love your quilt! I think the imperfections make the stuff we make beautiful! Congratulations!

  8. 8
    Sandy says:

    It’s so true how a bit of quilting and a bit of lovin can hide any imperfections on a quilt. This one turned out wonderful. I especially love the binding. I’m a firm believer that the binding should be part of the design and this one gives the quilt the appropriate end. Gorgeous!

  9. 9
    pbach1 says:

    It’s adorable! and also a “keeper” — you must label it for future reference (as if you’ll need a reminder).

  10. 10

    Oh it’s so cute how unintentionally wonky it is! Good for you for finishing it! I too remember the days when a quilts was going to have “every fabric I own” in it. Thinking that would be near impossible (and probably very bizzare!) these days?

  11. 11
    Kellie says:

    I’ve been blog stalking here for a while and was wondering if I could email you with a few quilting questions. Thanks!

  12. 12
    Emily says:

    Wow, what a great marker remember how far you’ve come since that quilt! I think it looks great! I had a similar experience with one of my first quilts where I had to cut off portions of the bottom to make it square. LOL!

  13. 13
    Amy Rochelle says:

    Your quilt is beautiful. I really love all those special places in a quilt. Have you looked at really old quilts? They all have them and they are beautiful still!

  14. 14
    Ethne says:

    Hey at least it’s now finished – I’m sure I’ve got one that’s been lying around waiting to be sandwiched, basted and quilted for at least 6-7 yrs and I’ve currently dug out my handdyed log cabin unfinished blocks, fabrics etc to start working on it again.

  15. 15
    aseemlylife says:

    I like that you accept the “flaws” in your quilt. Perfect is boring and so much pressure. We do the same thing with the people in our life too. At least we should. The quilt looks fantastic.

  16. 16
    sherri says:

    I happen to think it’s great! I have one of those quilt tops, never finished because I don’t like the way it turned out. Everyone who happens to see it in the sewing room says how pretty it is. Ugh, I can only see the flaws! Isn’t it funny how when you make it yourself, you’re so critical, but others really don’t see what you see?

  17. 17
    Angie says:

    Imperfectly perfect!

  18. 18
    kerri says:

    i LOVE it!! something about coin quilts just call out to me. maybe since that was one of my first quilts.

  19. 19

    Those little slivers are part of its charm. Thanks for sharing the story,and the quilt, and the photography!

  20. 20

    It’s beautiful! I’m glad you finished it! You’ve given me inspiration to pull out my first quilt (four years and counting) and finish it. We’ll see how that goes.

  21. 21
    shelly says:

    Cute quilt. And honestly, having everything line up exactly is overrated. Well done!

  22. 22
    Claire says:

    I think all of my quilts end up geting something cut off that I didn’t intend to have happen…but I’ve leanred to embrace and just myself that it gives the quilt more personality or at least something to talk about if anyone happens to notice. And I didn’t even notice your mistakes until you pointed them out. All in all I think the quilt looks great!

  23. 23
    amy says:

    I think it is great!!! Thanks for sharing it with us!

  24. 24
    euphoria says:

    Lovely story- love the wonkiness photos too- that is how we learn, right?

    It looks like a darling quilt- you did great!

  25. 25
    K says:

    When I was, oh maybe in second grade, I clearly remember reading a story (in one of those reader textbooks at school) about an Indian weaver woman making wool blankets on a big loom. The story said that the weavers would intentionally leave small “mistakes” in the blanket, so that if they caught the tails of any hovering spirits, those spirits could get out of the quilt through the errors. I don’t know why I remembered that so clearly, but I did.
    Years and years later, when I started quilting, and start making multiple mistakes, I instantly felt better when I considered them to be “escapes” for the linger spirits that might have been caught in my bad sewing. I’d like to think that there are fewer and fewer errors in my progressive quilts, but I’ve yet to make one without an “escape route” whether intentional or not. The spirits are safe with me.

  26. 26
    Sally says:

    So did you figure out how to not have the wonkiness in a coin quilt? I had the same problem when I made my daughters quilt for her big girl bed. It turned out totally wonky and I just gave in because I couldn’t figure out what I did wrong. Everything was exactly the same size too. This summer I’m making one for my son, I thought it would be fun for them to have matching quilts even if one if more girly then the other one.

  27. 27
    Barb says:

    Love this quilt… love the photography too. Wish my pictures were as interesting.

  28. 28
    Susan McKey says:

    Indeed, a true gem of a quilt and of a quilter’s journey.

  29. 29
    julie says:

    It captures a memory, a process, and your journey of quilt making- and it looks great. A win all around!

  30. 30
    Marcia W. says:

    This 2008 quilt looks good with all the quilting and the stripe of the binding is outstanding choice.

  31. 31

    I love wonky, you will just have to say it has character. It is lovely though! πŸ™‚

  32. 32
    Amanda says:

    I’m with everyone else. I love this quilt and all it’s wonkiness!

  33. 33
    nicolette says:

    Love the quilt and the story. It must feel great to have it finished and itÒ€ℒs beautiful!

    I have a similar experience with my first quilt. I declared at a quiltshop that it could not be that difficult to make a quilt and that I didnÒ€ℒt need all the supplies…! Now I know better and quilting life has become much more fun!

  34. 34
    Mary Ann says:

    Its beautiful and I love the “humility” wedges, they had such character!

  35. 35
    Elisha says:

    lol! It’s like my first quilt I did on my own – I thought I could do a crazy quilt without ironing and then, for batting, stuff it like a pillow and sew it together… I ended up tearing the whole thing apart and starting over from scratch. πŸ˜€

  36. 36

    I just adore the story around this quilt….it really is a piece of your creative history. Even in the beginning it is clear that you had an eye for fabric and I agree that once laid out, the little “wonkiness” will never be seen (some may even think you did it on purpose). kudos to Morgan for being so supportive.

  37. 37
    Colleen says:

    It’s a beauty…even with all the wonkiness!! I love it because it isn’t perfect. Who wants a quilt so perfect you’re afraid to use it or don’t want any one else to touch it???…Not me! I get upset with myself when everything isn’t lined up EXACTLY the way it should be so then I leave it for a while and just “think” about what I’m going to do. We learn as we go πŸ™‚

  38. 38
    Tiffany says:

    The beginning of the journey ….. I love it!

  39. 39
    Trisha says:

    I love how a quilt can document a journey. So cool that you finished this to show how far you have come. I think it is beautiful! And so is your photography.

  40. 40
    Amy says:

    I would never ever attempt quilting if I thought for a second it had to be perfect. I think I like this one the best so far because it was simply meant to be.

  41. 41
    Rachel says:

    Thanks for sharing from your heart in this post. It’s nice to know more about how you got started. It was definitely worth finishing!

  42. 42
    Sarah C. says:

    My theory is, I’m so wonky if I made a non-wonky quilt no one would know it was mine!! ((That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it…..)) Gorgeous quilt, especially in all its “wonkiness”!

  43. 43
    donna says:

    Gee, most of my quilts have little slivers that are supposed to be so much bigger. Thanks for showing this beautiful quilt in all its glory!

    I appreciate your honesty!

  44. 44
    Caroline says:

    Ha ha ha!! Still a very pretty quilt and you’re right, no one will ever notice.

  45. 45
    Marjorie says:

    This is wonderful! I’m new to making quilts and it’s so encouraging to see how you started after gazing at all the lovely stuff you make now (by the way that quilt even with it’s wonkiness is lovely). It inspires me to not worry so much about my mistakes and to embrace everything I make, perfect or not πŸ˜‰ Thank you for sharing your quilt and story!

  46. 46
    Amber says:

    It looks fantastic Ashley – and the story behind it is so, so great πŸ™‚

  47. 47
    Carolyn says:

    Without the wonkyness quilts can sometimes look too fabricated. I personally adore the imperfections. Not that striving for perfection isn’t my goal everytime – I look back at the mistakes and think of what was learned and like you have – a fabulous story to how the booboos got there.
    Beautiful quilt, glad you finished it!

  48. 48
    Lisa says:

    Congratulations! It looks wonderful and it must feel good to have it done. I know that old UFOs, especially the wonky ones, send out guilt vibes toward me making it even harder to get back to them.

  49. 49
    emma says:

    You have proved, once again, that simple is stunning.
    I’m immediately making plans to make one myself. What a great way to showcase one’s favorite fabrics!~

  50. 50
    carmel says:

    I think the quilt is beautiful!
    and i wish and hope that i’ll be as good as you are in 2 years from now!
    I am a beginner…

  51. 51
    erica says:

    fabulously finished feels better than sitting in a plastic box in pieces! i love the freshness of the white background of this quilt. revisiting early quilts is incredibly rewarding–you get a sense of how far you’ve come and how much you’ve learned.

    i just started reading your blog… it’s beautifully inspiring! thank you!

  52. 52
    Linda says:

    Hey, thanks for showing us that. I’ve been looking at your blog (& others) & thinking about making my first quilt (I just made a pieced challa cover for a young friend’s bat mitzvah and my tendonitis is bothering me too much to knit, so sewing is kind of tweaking my imagination). Anyway, this made me feel a lot less intimidated about jumping in & trying something.

  53. 53
    Elin says:

    Thanks for sharing this! If you started quilting 2 years ago there must be hope that I can do it someday too!

  54. 54
    deb says:

    Oh I love it so much. I especially love it’s wonkiness! I want to rush off right now and make one just like it.

  55. 55
    Sara says:

    Looks awesome! I too have learned that a run through the washer and dryer covers a multitude of sins.

  56. 56
    Molly says:

    The little slivers just make it!!

  57. 57
    Nova says:

    I love it, for it’s story & it’s wonkiness πŸ˜‰
    I loved that you finished it too xxx

  58. 58
    Patty says:

    of course we have all been there in one way or another I have a quilt I call the quilt from hell, I didn’t even quilt it, I tied it and still have it. The other day I was folding it and wondered why it was so difficult. It really is an easy pattern but for me it was the accurate seams, much like the accurate cutting. But it’s all mine,and in some small way I love because it played a part in my quilting journey.

  59. 59
    Tammy Gilley says:

    Love, love, LOVE the wonkiness!!! Love it!

  60. 60
    Jacque. says:

    Ashley. We all have to start somewhere. And, what a wonderful reminder you gave us! Thank you for sharing the story of your beginning to quilt days. Makes us appreciate all that you do now even more!

  61. 61
    Sandra says:

    I just love those wonky pieces, this is what makes it special! I bet it would make a great and fun game for kids to let them “search” for those ” hidden ” treasures…

  62. 62
    Dolly says:

    That is a beautiful quilt, and a perfect demonstration of how our “glaring errors” are totally un-noticed by anyone until WE point them out.

    I’m so glad you finished it…..you watch, this quilt will wind up being a family favorite, because it’s so REAL !

  63. 63
    Dolly says:

    oops……posted without linking to my blog !

  64. 64
    Viv says:

    OMG your post made me laugh. I have a quilt here just like that. Mine has black sashing. It’s really wonky, especialy on the ends. I’ve learnt so much since making that quilt. I still love the colours though.

  65. 65
    Amy C says:

    Congrats on your finish! I like it. Love the modern look of it.

  66. 66
    Valerie says:

    Ooh, I hope it’s not too late to post a comment. What a fantastic giveaway — so many amazing prizes! Almost as amazing as your quilt-filled posts. Don’t know how you do it, girl — churning out as many quilts as you do. It’s impressive!

  67. 67
    Munaiba says:

    It’s beautiful in all its wonkiness. After all, Perfection belongs to God not mere mortals like us.

  68. 68
    Bellgirl says:

    Wow, what a journey! I’m inspired to embrace my own wonkiness- and also the wonkiness in my quilts πŸ˜‰

  69. 69

    I love how it looks with the partial blocks peeking from the white! And I love how the block don’t line up, so fun and random! It makes me wonder what fabric would have been next on the rows that don’t have a little piece at the end!


  70. 70
    Mary says:

    I think the wonkiness gives it character…. perfect quilts are like models in Hollywood; they all look alike and too perfect. The charm of having something handmade (in my humble opinion) is being able to tell that it was handmade….

  71. 71
  72. 72
    LeeAnn says:

    All things being considered that is a pretty awesome first quilt. You started out with some gorgeous fabrics too!

  73. 73

    I like a little (or sometimes alot) wonkiness — especially if it reminds you of a story. I figure that’s where we came from – individually and as the great global quilting tradition (you know some early pioneer woman was not worrying about squaring up her quilt).

  74. 74
    Terri says:

    What a wonderful feeling it must be to have this finished! I bet this will become one of your favorite quilts, just a feeling after reading your process of making it and first learning. Makes you appreciate all you’ve learned and how far you’ve come over the past couple years! I love it!

  75. 75

    i love it! i think the little “slivers” are soooo charming. there is nothing better than something homemade and something that is not quite perfect but absolutely cozy and snuggly.

  76. 76

    Great quilt and fabrics! I love the story behind it! And I love the little mistakes or adjustments that add a lot of character πŸ™‚

  77. 77
    Amy says:

    It gives me such inspiration to know that you’ve only been at this two years. I’m so (very) hopeful that I’ll be able to be as knowledgeable one day about all this quilting business as you are. Right now I’m working on a “quilt as you go” quilt, which is great until my machine gets bored with me and decides to mix things up… [deep breath].

    Anyway — thank you, thank you, thank you!

  78. 78

    Beautiful quilt and quilting. I love the colors on the white, a fun idea and wonderful for practicing my free motion on.


  79. 79
    Lara says:

    How beautiful! What a a great first quilt. I just finished a coin quilt myself and love it. I might try your modified version next.

  80. 80
    saripu says:

    Great! But I want to see the making of!!

  81. 81
    Dava says:

    The serendipity of this quilt is what makes it all the more lovely. As a newbie, one thing I find very intimidating about quilting is the exactness of it all. I’m a “fudge-it-as-you-go” kinda girl myself, so it’s reassuring to see the beginning from a master-artist.

    It’s so beautiful. And as they say, “you never forget your first!”

  82. 82
    BirthdayGinny says:

    Going back to an abandoned project and redeeming it is a lovely part of the process. Preserving the history and adding to it amend the original intent. It’s visually appealing, of course, and the story of its evolution just adds to the emotional impact. It’s part of the scrappy aspect…

  83. 83
    Valerie says:

    Those little slivers make me smile, after all, it’s the imperfections that set hand made goodies apart isn’t it?

  84. 84
    Kerry says:

    I like it! I think this was a good first quilt and look at the journey it started for you!

  85. 85
    Merete Vatshelle says:

    I really like it, its got soul and lots of charm :o)

  86. 86
    autumnesf says:

    I love it! Isn’t it funny how many people embrace the wonkiness? I think its great!

  87. 87
    Tania says:

    Just in case you’re askin’, the slivers and the ‘wonk’ are my favourite bits on tat bit of glorious quilty goodness….

  88. 88
    Michelle says:

    I’ve been teaching myself to quilt over the last several months, and blogs like this are so inspirational! My first cutting experience was the same, ever smaller pieces, and now that I’m sewing them together, I’m having to add lots of extra unplanned pieces. Many of my mistakes will show clearly, some won’t, but I’ll be happy to finish it and – someday, I hope – look back on all the progress I’ve made. I’ve already started another (of course!) and I’m not making the same cutting mistakes, although I’m sure I’ll find new mistakes to make. It’s really encouraging to see your beautiful quilts and know that there’s hope yet!

  89. 89
  90. 90
    Mindy says:

    Quilts are like people in that it’s our own personal wonkiness that sets us apart from everyone else. It’s the weirdness that sometimes makes us wonderful.

  91. 91
    krista says:

    This quilt is absolutely beautiful!!! Would you mind sharing cut dimensions so that I can try? Thanks!!!

  92. 92
    Claudia says:

    I have just sewn together a quilt top. It was so easy to put together, or so I thought. Somewhere I made a mistake and it is crooked! I love the colors and the pattern, but all I can focus on are the mistakes. Thanks for sharing this story. It is inspires me to just finish it-flaws and all. And your wonky first quilt- one of my favorites!

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