My First Quilt. My First TGIFF.

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 


31 Responses

  1. ~~Jo~~ says:

    You should be so so proud! It's completely amazing and sweet, your Grandma will absolutely love it 🙂

  2. Sooli says:

    Go Josh! Welcome to the dark side – once you're a quilter there is no escape! My you're a speedy quilter though, my first quilt took me about 4 years to finish! We love having you in QCA, who doesn't love a bit of sparkles! Now you need a photo of your Grandma wrapped in your quilt!

  3. MsMidge says:

    Amaze-balls! Love everything about your quilt! Happy first quilt and first TGIFF from another firsty here! xx

  4. Seriously fantastic! Well done on a beautiful first quilt! I think it is such a special gift for your Grandma. Love the quilt label too!

    I think you were incredibly restrained in your use of exclamation marks!!! So here's a few extras to celebrate your first quilt!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Josh, loved reading about your first quilt, it is beautiful. I made one for my nanna and it was on her bed when she passed away. Now it has come home to me to be passed down the family. It was all made by hand, had no sewing machine at the time and she loved it. I so wish she was still here with me. Your block bought tears to my eyes, the love you have for your grandma always let her know. Thank you Josh. Linda.

  6. audrey says:

    Congrats! This quilt is so fantastic! I love the yellow, and the pops of color in the binding are maybe my favorite part! Yay!!!!

    PS-The label is so adorable! I changed my mind. The label is my favorite part!

  7. Yes I was going to say that your photography is lovely. Can I also say that I think I love the back more than the front? I am a BIG fan of grey though. My favourite part is your wonderfully hand stitched message to your grandmother. When does she receive it?

  8. Your 1st quilt is AMAZING and you should be so proud! I love yellow and black and your finishing touches (label and backing) are wonderful. GREAT job!

  9. Pip says:

    Gorgeous!!!! I am not a big fan of yellow but you just may have converted me, your grandmother is going to love this quilt, there is so much love in it.

    Can't wait to see your next couple of quilts, I bet you have even more quilts planned now.

  10. Lis Martion says:

    Oh! You bring a tear to ones eye reading about you and grandma…I must say I was very close to my grandma too.
    Beautiful Josh…

  11. Julie says:

    How awesome and exciting! Congratulations on your first quilt.

  12. It's beautiful Josh and I love the label too! And it deserves lots of exclamation marks! Well done for quilting it yourself! Will Santa be bringing you a new machine? That's another whole universe to learn about lol well done and welcome to a fabulous addiction! I look forward to seeing more fabulous quilts in the future! Hoorah!!!

  13. M-R says:

    Yay! Yay! Yay! Congrats on your first quilt. You did a wonderful job! We're so honoured that you shared with TGIFF!

  14. Oh Joshua, it's fabulous!! Congratulations!! I bet it makes your grandma cry 🙂

  15. Waverlee says:

    There are no words!! It's fantastic. You have done such an amazing job for your first quilt. Looking forward to continuing with you on your quilting journey.

  16. A beautiful story. I'm glad you are part of the quilting community.

  17. Auntie Pami says:

    Beauty and high five!

  18. Am L says:

    That is a truly fabulous first quilt! I love the yellow and gray. Often postage stamp quilts are a little too traditional for me, but yours just pops. How lovely that it is for your grandmother.

  19. manybooks says:

    What a wonderful quilt and an AMAZING tribute to your grandma.

  20. My first quilt was yellow and black too! But yours is way more impressive. I agree that there is not enough yellow in quilting, and I'm looking forward to seeing what you do next.

    (I'm pretty sure I'm a NRB, but I'm not quite sure what else I can do about it besides give an address — melintheattic(at)gmail(dot)com.)

  21. Its awesome, great work.. Its a crazy addiction this fabric/quilting journey. It makes me happy too.. your enthusiasm makes me smile!!.. love it!

  22. Cath says:

    You have captured the sun! Your eye for color is devine and it certainly caught mine as I was trawling for yellow and black quiltspiration. Thanks for sharing.

  23. Quiltefeen says:

    I sooo love your quilt! It's really beautiful.. 🙂
    Thank you for sending your inspiration to Norway 🙂 I needed a kick in the … Hihi.. 🙂

  24. Ro Ando says:

    I'm glad you quilted it yourself. Its lovely, like sunshine in the window when there's snow on the ground.

  25. Casey Kiley says:

    I love that you hand stitched the quilt label on the back, what a great idea. Beautiful quilt! I drive a yellow Mini – I definitely agree that the world needs more yellow. =)

  26. liz says:

    Fabulous! And I love your embroidered message to your grandmother!

  27. This is an amazing first quilt. New follower! Had to stop and say how beautiful this first one is. 🙂

  28. Carmen says:

    I love your quilt! Putting the scraps into the binding is genius and making it reversible…perfect! The message on the back to your Gramma is priceless…I just love it.

  29. Ang says:

    This is gorgeous Molli – I have a new-found appreciation of yellow & I love 'Walking on Sushine'! So, with the back & binding featuring your scraps, did you use everything up, or still have scraps left over?

  30. WOW! That’s impressive for a 1st quilt. I’m a little intimidated, not yet having finished my 1st. Condragulations!

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