Category Archives: scrap quilt

16/10 :: #myfirstquilt :: #tbt

#tbt or throwback thursday is such a good excuse to delve deep into the archives of our lives – there’s the really precious moments we’ve forgotten that are great to remember and then there’s the moments we’d rather leave lurking in the deep recesses…

Here’s a great one – my first ever quilt…

It’s such an appropriate throwback because it’s when my quilting journey truly began. Although I’ve sewn my whole life, since I was a small girl at the knees of my dressmaker mother, it wasn’t until one of my high-school besties was pregnant with her first bubba that I decided to teach myself to quilt.

It’s been so satisfying to discover this quilt again and to recognise that I really am an improv quilter through and through – it’s how I started and how I still work. Even when I’m not improv piecing, I definitely design by improv! I started this quilt with no plan in mind, just a sea theme – it grew from there. I appliquéd some blocks and pieced the rest and then hand quilted bubbles and outlines with stranded embroidery floss… It was a simple start but oh so effective – I enjoyed making this so much, I’ve never stopped!

Since making this quilt almost 15 years ago, I’ve learnt so many new skills and techniques but remembering the process of this, the improv design, I feel contented that I’ve remained true to my own creativity (and oh so grateful for all the lessons I’ve learned along the way).14-10-16-Procrasticraft-MyFirstQuilt

The other lovely thing about this one? Until a few days ago, I didn’t have a photo of it. I sent of a quick note to Chookie* and asked if by some chance she had a picture of the quilt somewhere. I never expected her to say that she still had it and that it is still a treasured item in her home. She snapped a quick shot and emailed it to me. That there is the reason I make for people. This quilt, so many years on and so much water under the bridge of our lives, is still valued and valuable.

* definitely a strange nickname for a woman I admire for her strength, courage and unbreakable spirit. We lived next door to each other for a few years as teenagers, and she was a stalwart of my teens and twenties and definitely my partner in oh so many crimes (figuratively speaking of course!). Even though we are now, ahem, grown-ups, I still can’t call her anything but this.

I’d love to see photos of your first quilt. Post them on your blog or over on Instagram with the hashtag #myfirstquilt – let me know in the comments if you’ve blogged it so I can come and have a gander.

And this week, I’m linking up here:

Vintage sheets and solids a quilt will make…

These
DSC_0595

and these
DSC_0585are going places together.

Where? Well life’s all about adventure so let’s just let them take me for a ride for a while…

I’m not such a planner, what about you? Do you plan?

The fabrics are vintage sheets from op-shops and etsy and various Michael Miller, Freespirit, Kona and Art Gallery Solids from the stash.

Faraway Fields :: A Finished Quilt

IMG_6122

So I had a finish! Some of you will have seen this quilt on Instagram and Facebook – I’ve been rather slow to getting it here!

This quilt feels like one giant material representation of my online experience, a place I’ve made incredible connections to inspiring, funny, kind and generous people. I am in love with it for its symbolic nature as much as for its beauty.

So, it’s a bit of wordy story but I’ll try my best to stay on track. I began making this quilt in a Denyse Schmidt class at QuiltCon in February 2013. The same class in which I met dear Charlotte. We were volunteering and it being the last day of QuiltCon, some participants left early to catch flights home. Fortunately for us, we were able to make a few quick blocks. I left thinking I might have just enough to make a lap quilt if I was careful about how I joined them. I was clearly overly optimistic about how much I’d done that day!
Procrasticraft_Improv_DSWhen I got home and tried to piece the blocks together, I discovered a mini-quilt, maybe a baby size, was all I would get if I was to make a top from blocks alone. Given that’s all I had, I popped the blocks on the design wall and pondered the placement. For many months, I fiddled around with it almost every time I went into my sewing room but I just could not commit to stitching it up, something was missing. As we were about to move house, I posted a picture of my (lack of) progress on Instagram:

Procrasticraft.com

A photo posted by Jules McMahon (@procrasticraft) on

That proved to be a fortuitous move on my part. The ever inspiring Cheryl Arkison (have you seen her gorgeous book, A Month of Sundays) saw that photo. Cheryl is one of the lovely friends I have made online who I met in person at QuiltCon. She was also in the DS class and had grabbed a couple of orphan blocks at the end of the day and she was willing to share her leftovers! They arrived along with the most generous parcel and sweet words I think I’ve ever received. When I opened the box, I was super thrilled to see that Cheryl had made some of the blocks into inset circles (check out her Craftsy class to see how to do these, it’s pretty clever). So, those circle blocks up there came to me via Calgary.

As soon as I had those extra pieces, I knew exactly how to make the quilt. I pulled out my Essex linen, laid out a king size piece on the deck and literally threw the blocks and fabric scraps into the air to see where on the quilt they landed. Of course, some landed on top of each other and some were either too far apart or not far enough so I played around with placement just a little and then stitched them up.

The impetus to finish was the Modern Quilt Show held on 3 & 4 May. Thankfully, another gorgeous friend I’ve made online (who I also now see regularly in person) is an AMAZING long-armer and she agreed to getting this one done in record time for me. Heidi has done the most incredible job with the quilting on this. My photos simply can not do it justice, it is spectacular

In the end, I have a king size quilt for our bed in our new home. It is spectacularly large, the biggest quilt I’ve ever made and I’m so damn proud of it!

Procrasticraft_improv_binding2

The Quilt
Blocks :: Scraps provided by Denyse Schmidt and Free Spirit, made by Julie McMahon with blocks contributed by Cheryl Arkison.
Background :: Essex Linen (purchased at QuiltCon from the lovely Tammy of Marmalade Fabrics who supplied me with a whole bolt to bring back to Oz)
Quilting :: quilted by the uber talented Heidi (Jeanette)
Binding :: Shot Cotton (from Addicted to Fabric)
The Name :: Started in Austin with fabrics from a studio in Connecticut (USA) and sewing time with a friend from London (England), blocks from Calgary (Canada), made in Canberra (Australia), quilted in Bombala (Australia) :: truly an effort from Faraway Fields.

Procrasticraft_Improv_Back

** I do not accept payment for any promotions in my posts, all opinions and recommendations are my own and are genuine. I am however an affiliate of both Amazon and Craftsy and I work for Addicted to Fabric **