Girls. How do you emphasise “My First Quilt” without putting like a zillion exclamation marks after it? Yeah, I don’t know either, but every time I look at it a zillion exclamations marks vibrate across my heart, my brain, and my fingers. That’s right folks, the day is finally here, I HAVE FINISHED MY FIRST QUILT! I have to say it again: I HAVE FINISHED MY FIRST QUILT.
The thought still blows my mind. When I embarked on this journey on June 01, 2012 by stepping into a Lincraft store and buying some yellow fat quarters and a rotary blade, I never knew the adventure I was about to have. Exactly six months later and I have come a long way since then, learning about fabrics, cutting, sewing, sandwiching, binding, quilting, hand stitching, and unpicking. Like, seriously, y’all, I had never even used a sewing machine before this quilt.
I’m sending this quilt to my quilt inspiration, my grandmother, who raised me, and who always had a sewing machine running in the background of my childhood. She is the reason I am the person I am today, and this is the tiniest of ways I could ever say “thank you.” Six months of my life for the life you gave me. I love you. You’ll see in the photos that I have hand stitched a label onto the back of the quilt which reads:
Grandma – Being together is like ‘”Walking on Sunshine.” Love, Joshua 2012
“Walking on Sunshine” also serves as the title of the quilt. It measures 52″ x 72″ and will be the perfect size for Grandma to use while she sits in her recliner this winter. I used all cotton fabrics, some from that original Lincraft adventure, some from eBay and Etsy, locally and abroad, some no name basics, others lush designer textiles. Except for the grey fabric used for the border and backing, all of the other fabrics feature yellow in some way. Why yellow? Because there’s simply not enough of it in the world, especially the quilt world.
I used my Ikea sewing machine Betsey to piece the quilt top and back, and then used my mother-in-law’s Pfaff sewing machine to do the quilting. I originally thought I would have to send it off to be quilted by someone else as I was just not capable of such a challenge. The wonderful group of ladies in Quilt Club Australia laughed in my face and said, “Sit yo’ ass down and finish that quilt yourself.” Um, okay. Sometimes you just have to do what you’re told, and I’m so glad I did. Even though some of the lines are a bit wonky, whatever, it is beautiful to me.
I think the back of a quilt is such an opportunity to shine, so why not throw all the scraps back there? Now it’s reversible, and acts as a moment of rest from the front. I also threw some of the scraps into the binding, which for being such a small element, is one of my favourite parts! It’s just enough to POP and say, “I may be binding, but don’t forget about me!”
I think it is safe to say I’m now obsessed, addicted, manic about quilting. This one quilt has led to my joining quilt bees, blogging, learning completely new skills, and even rejuvenating my interest in photography. (For someone who has a Master of Fine Arts in photography, I had stopped taking photos! Oh no!) So I have a lot to be thankful for …
I’m also thankful for TGIFF! What a great way to participate in my first TGIFF by also showcasing
MY FIRST QUILT!