Many years ago, I met my husbands Aunt. She lived about an hour away from us so we did not see each other all that often, but we did go to see her regularly. She was already an older woman when we met but she was an avid quilter. Unfortunately, her eyesight was becoming a problem for her quilting. When we left her house that first time, she asked me if I quilted. I told her my mother had quilted when she was alive and that I wanted to very much. She gave me a finished quilt top and some finished squares to "help me get started" and I promised her I would quilt them up.
It's been a few years (don't ask me how many) but I finally broke out those squares and decided to finish them. There were only six so I had to take some of the material in my stash to put between the squares in order to get a decent sized quilt. I added backing and fill and tried to learn to quilt.
I started with machine quilting, but I had very intricate designs drawn on the face of the quilt and it became unworkable to machine quilt it. I knew I couldn't hand quilt so I put the quilt away, for a loooooong time.
Finally, this winter, I decided to clean out my sewing room to begin working in there again. During that massive clean-out I came across the half finished quilt and felt a bit guilty. My hubby's aunt was gone and still my promise to her was unfulfilled. The quilt made with the squares was unfinished, and the finished quilt top she gave me was folded up in a drawer. I decided to do a little reading about hand quilting and with that and a lot of youtube videos I finally got the courage to try it. Not one to finish anything, I started with the unbacked quilt top. I had lots of fill that I had gotten at a garage sale so that wasn't a problem. Then I went through my fabric stash and took out all the colors that went with the quilt top. I sewed them together and viola, I had a backing. I started by setting up my mother's quilt frame and I sat there every day watching the children play football in the street in front of the house, quilting away. In time my stitches got better and I didn't even notice. Finally I had enough done that the quilt would stay together without a frame. So, I got a big hoop and moved to the livingroom where the fire is. That quilt is still in the works but I realized that I could actually finish the small quilt that had taken me sooooo long to get the courage to do. So, here it is, my handed-down, learn-how-to, part-machine-quilted, part-hand-quilted,slightly-unfinished- first-quilt