Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Spring Quilt (in Autumn)

Everything I make usually finds itself gifted elsewhere- which is fine, it is one of the main reasons I make things- however it occurred to me that my bed was quite bare.  Last year I decided that I was going to make a quilt for myself.  Then I decided I was going to make another quilt for myself.  And then another.  And another.  I reflected upon the four quilts I had in mind and the motivations behind them, which include:
  • the love of a particular fabric (Mirabelle by Liberty in one case)
  • using up scraps
  • loving a fabric collection (Fandango by Kate Spain and Bliss by Bonnie and Camille)
What seemed to emerge from these motivations was a theme- a seasonal theme.  I decided I would make a quilt for each season.

I had a lovely long stretch of time off from my real job over the summer holidays, and I set myself the goal of completing one of these quilt tops by the end of January.  But the story of this quilt actually begins a little earlier than that...

I can't quite recall where I came across the Bliss collection by Bonnie and Camille but from the moment I saw it I fell head over heels in love with it.  Which is unusual for me.  Because it is very girly.  And I happen to not be a girly girl.  I am not so fond of pink (a hanging offence if you ask A2- pinkness is next to godliness in her opinion).  As a child I never much liked dolls.  I very much like jeans and t shirts. My doona covers are usually plain white.  Or white and green and blue.  Or some variation on that theme.

And I really really really fell in love with one particular fabric in the collection.  So I promptly purchased one fat quarter bundle and some yardage of my favourite print.  And when it arrived I looked at it lots and lots.  And thought about what on earth I would make with it.  It was then that the idea of seasonal quilts started to form in my mind.

For inspiration I googled quilts made from the bliss collection.  And I came across one quilt that just made me stop and gaze.  It was absolutely perfect, however I thought it was quite beyond any of my capabilities.  I have only made 9 quilts and none were as complex as Mary's quilt.  I bookmarked it and pondered upon it for a couple of weeks, and then I decided to email Darlene to see if she could send me the pattern.  An encouraging response made me think that it might be a possibility....

There was quite a bit of drama involved in this quilt.  A Great Unpick- when I discovered the triangles I used for the outside were 1/4 inch too short... followed by a Great Re-Sew.

A mad search for the red tulip fabric for the border and binding once I had decided that was what I wanted to use instead of my favourite paisely fabric from the collection which didn't really work as a border or binding (but of course I can make something else with it now!)

The backing is a candy pink and green stripe I picked up at Spotlight late last year- I did have it in mind for the backing for my Spring Quilt when I bought it.

This quilt was too large for me to quilt myself- at this stage I am only quilting cot sized quilts.  So Fran did the honours in a lovely tulip pattern.  She also suggested using a pale pink thread which stands out against the white beautifully.  I made the two cushions when I started cutting out the fabric for the quilt.  There was more cutting involved for this quilt than any other I had made- so I needed some early wins to keep me motivated!  The cushions provided ongoing inspiration while I was working on the Spring Quilt.

And I also happily sewed the binding for the Spring Quilt over the past week or so to the first season of The Tudors- after reading Wolf Hall anything English Reformation is catching my interest at the moment.

I am fairly sure that not one of my seasonal quilts will actually be ready for the intended season.  Right now we have a bit of Spring in Autumn- I should just pretend I live in the Northern Hemisphere!  And I am really happy working away cutting squares out from scraps for the Summer Quilt at the moment.  The Winter Quilt only needs a little more work on it so perhaps I should just get on with that one.  The Autumn Quilt isn't even started...

Oh and I did finish most of the quilt top by the end of January- I did have to wait a bit to do the borders until the post arrived with the red tulip fabric.  And then of course I had to unpick it and put it back together again with the proper sized triangles.  I am very happy with the Spring Quilt.  When I look out my bedroom window in September and see my tulips starting to come up out of the ground it will be time for the Spring Quilt to appear.  I have three other friends who have made or are making quilts from the Bliss collection (including Alice!) and I am so much looking forward to seeing their quilts when they are finished.


  1. oooh Jo! It is BEAUTIFUL! I love the idea of seasonal quilts too! =) xo

  2. Very beautiful. Can't wait to see it in real life.

  3. I love it, Jo. All those squares, your patience and accuracy show in this project!!!! And of course, it's in my favourite colours.

  4. Good Lord Jo! It's spectacular! I adore your quilt and I'm so damn impressed!