My Quilt Stories

Welcome to my Quilt Stories. Some of the quilts I've made and the inspiration, fabrics & techniques behind them

Jewel Coloured Butterfly Quilt (2010)

26-07-2021

This quilt was designed and made in 2010, the inspiration for the colours are Emerald, Ruby, Sapphire & Amethyst. It is 60" square and made using the quilt as you go method. Not the method that I use now, but the older, and to me more complicated to use one, with lots of opportunities for it to go wrong!

As a general rule I tended to teach in those days to make a quilt as a top, whether pieced or applique and then when completed size, to layer it with wadding and a backing and then quilt it. Creating the top is fairly straightforward but quilting a big quilt, either by machine or hand is fairly daunting, especially to any one learning to make a quilt.

I occasionally taught quilt-as-you-go, you make each square and quilt it, with a good extra wadding and backing fabric. Then when all your pieces are made, you stitch the squares together - just the front fabric. Then working from the back, you have to trim the wadding and ladder stitch it, by hand together, without catching the front of the quilt! If you pulled it to tight the front would be uneven. Then you had to trim and carefully stitch the backing together! There was so many chances for problems. This butterfly quilt was the last quilt that I made using that method of quilt-as-you-go, not long after I came across the method (with a few changes) that I use now.

In so many ways this quilt is the last of an era in the way I taught. It is all hand appliqued and also hand quilted with sequins embellishments.

Soon after this quilt, I started to use machine applique instead of hand and also machine quilting, most of the time. I do still teach hand applique and hand quilting as I think it's important to learn all the skills, but many of the class members prefer to do machine work, I do still have a few that enjoy hand work more than machine!

Looking at this quilt after not having seen it for a while, it's folded up in a unit in our bedroom, I realise how much I have changed in how I work!! May be I should revisit this design and create it with machine applique, quilting and embroidery!!!

No Name Bedrunner (2012)

19-07-2021

This bedrunner quilt doesn't have a name!!

I made it in 2012, to show the use of different fabrics - there are silks, satins and also cotton mixed together, it measures 23" X 85".

The silks and satins were given to me, they were off cuts from wedding dresses and waistcoats, some are plains, others have embroidery on them.

I have then used applique to add the butterflies & hearts and added lace (some are samples of bobbin lace my Mum made) and also pieces of ribbon.

I also added on some hand embroidery and pearl buttons, these came from my Granny's tin of buttons & the hearts and stars from a shell necklace from my paternal Aunt.

I have also included prairie points on a few squares and around the edge.

The main quilting of all the squares and the pattern on the border has been stitched on the machine and then I have done the odd piece of hand quilting.

Country House Botanics Quilt (2014)

12-07-2021

It was inspired by all the visits to National Trust Houses and the textiles and wallpapers. It isn't one style but many, Chinese wallpapers, Jacobean crewelwork embroideries and Arts & Crafts works, everything distilled together.

It is a big quilt at 95" square, as you can see it completely covers our double bed. It isn't a quilt we use, I really like it but it just doesn't fit into our bedroom style.

Like all the quilts I have made for the last number of years it is made in sections - quilt-as-you-go. Although I have made it large, as sectional it can be made smaller, just the centre area makes a topper quilt, the side panels can be used for cushions or runner, it was designed to have lots of different options.

It is appliqued, with lots of hand embroidered details on the flowers and birds tails. There are flowers, birds & butterflies. It can be hand or machine appliqued & the same for the quilting, so it worked for all those I was teaching.

This wasn't a quick project to make, but very enjoyable.

The Birdcage on its own, I created into a cushion design which was published in October 2014 Popular Patchwork Magazine, and there was a floral cushion based on the quilt which was in the January 2015 magazine (which must be somewhere in the cupboard but I couldn't find it!!! There is a photo of it on published works section of my website).

The centre panel I made into a wall hanging which I entered into Malvern Quilt Show in 2014.

Sorry all the bits are a bit creased but I just pulled them put of the drawer and cupboard they live it!!

It is one of those quilts that I had thought about creating into many items, smaller quilts, runners, cushions, bags...and making up a book!

Double Wedding Ring (2012)

05-07-2021

I had forgotten about this quilt!!!

It was in the drawer under our bed with the hexagon quilt and another quilt.

I always said I would never teach the Double wedding ring pattern. I had learnt it when I went to classes, every bit was hand sewn and trying to get it - the small pieces to make the curves then join them to each segment was a nightmare! It was a pattern I liked and I had seen some beautiful examples but it wasn't some I wanted to ever make again.

Over twenty years later, in 2012, one of my afternoon class came in and said she was going to make a Double wedding ring quilt for a golden wedding anniversary using the Eleanor Burns method. She had the book Egg Money Quilts that had the templates and instructions and she had got the fabrics on a holiday in America. Everybody was really interested, both the afternoon class and then the morning when I was explaining about it, and they asked me to go through with them and show how to do it. I went home, got the book and all the bits and decided as it was our 20th wedding anniversary later in the year, I would create a quilt for that.

The Eleanor Burns method is so much easier than how I had learnt but it involves a lot of different steps and time!! It's not something you can rush and frankly I find doing so many pieces rather boring....you do the same thing over & over!! But it does create a lovely quilt and everything goes together well. Unfortunately it isn't a pattern that you can make in sections and quilt-as-you-go. You have to make it as a whole quilt top then quilt it.

I chose to use blues, purples and a bit of green. Blues - sapphire is a colour that makes me think of Tony. His birthday is September so sapphire is his birth stone and it's a colour that suits him. Purples - amethyst is my birth stone and favourite colour. The green - peridot is Laura's birth stone. Round the edge I quilted words - love, forever....that I felt had meaning, I did them in white to blend in, you have to really look to see them. And then it's been machine be quilted on the white background to highlight the rings. Finally I hand quilted two hearts in the centre of each square. The whole quilt is about love from the double wedding ring pattern, the colours, embroidered words to the hearts.

If you do want to create a double wedding ring quilt, I can say that the Eleanor Burns method is very good - there was a number of very lovely quilts made by the classes...but it does take time and patience!

Hexagon Quilt (1997)

28-06-2021

Hexagon quilt - this quilt was finished in 1997 - so that makes it 24 years old!!! We used to have it on our bed every winter as it is really warm, but we haven't used it for the last few years and it is folded up in the drawer under the bed (hence the creases!)

This was the second quilt I started to make, the first was the Sampler learning quilt I made in the classes I went to. I can't really remember but I think it took me about seven years to make - it's all hand stitched!
Each 'flower' has nineteen hexagons, with a side length of 1". There are eighteen fabrics the same in each one and then one different fabric and because they are all randomly stitched together it gives it a scrappy quilt and the white 'path' keeps it fresh and clean looking.

I have no idea how many hexagons are in the quilt - a lot!! & I am not going to count them! The quilt measures 85" X 90" (216 X 229cm). It has 4oz polyester wadding because at the time polyester wadding was what we commonly used. I can't remember cotton or natural fibres being around much and if you did see them at shows they were hugely expensive. Polyester waddings all those years ago weren't like the ones we have today - these were bulkier and slightly uneven. I tended to use a 2oz wadding if I was quilting and even then it wasn't easy - it all needed tacking in a grid to hold the layers together!

I decided not to quilt this one, it is layered with the wadding & a white cotton fabric (probably a Dorma sheet as I used thisee a lot for backing on quilts) which is folded over to the front to make the binding. And then it's been tie quilted in the the centre of each 'flower' and about eight other places on the 'flower' and it's taken the years of use & washing.

It has been folded away for the last few years and I had forgotten how much I loved it! It's a quilt for snuggling in very cold winter nights!!!

I don't have a hexagon quilt on the go at the moment - and haven't for a year! Up to now I have always had a hexagon quilt on the go - this one first, then I made my best friend one, then Laura's as well as a few others in between starting & finishing Laura's!!! I love hexagons.... they link us back to the women that created quilts and coverlets in the past - they have been used for centuries! Plus they are a lovely shape & are great to take anywhere. I had a small pouch with fabric hexagons waiting to be tacked over papers and I tacked and sewed them together in tea & lunch breaks, in the evenings at home, on holidays & later when Laura was growing up waiting for her to come out of swimming, music & French classes!!! I have also stitched them in hospitals.

I really shouldn't start anymore quilts but.....after seeing this I so want to make a scrappy hexagon quilt!!!