In the shop I always have sample quilts to give inspiration to customers. Over the years there have been some favourites and I am putting some of them online to hopefully inspire anybody who thinks they might have a quilt inside them – bursting to get out. The first quilts I made were made for family and friends and nobody pointed out the missing points or wavy seams – I just made them to fit the person.
It is great to open the Christmas boxes each year and find a treasured item that was made for the family.
‘The Wall’ quilt or ‘Taking a Break’ was made as a prize for a raffle the proceeds of which went towards a new school. One of the ways of raising money was for families and friends to buy a ‘brick’ so the wall was symbolic – the stick man was supposed to be a graffiti artist, I intended to cover the wall with graffiti but ran out of time, I used Markal sticks and fabric paints for the writing. Size approx single bed –
Grandchildren give you the opportunity to stretch yourself (in more ways than one!) The galleon came from a children’s book, I enlarged it to form the centre panel. Everything then was added in squares around the centre panel to reach the required finished size. The portholes were fun to do, I have a treasure chest, a treasure island and a crab crawling out. The quilting was mostly by hand, there are footprints in the sand – templates taken from the grandchild.
When the rest of the class was making a full size Sampler Quilt – I decided to make my blocks 6″ instead of 12″. I love my little wall hanging and, as it is on the wall in my dining room, it brings back lovely memories – of both doing the quilt and of my class mates – every day.
Once more a ‘grandson’ inspired quilt, a bit harder to make when the grandchild in question chooses the fabrics! Another satisfying project with a lot of sampling to get the best volcano lava possible! The dragon was enlarged from a children’s book – crayoning books are great for taking ideas from and the pictures are perfect for enlarging.
This quilt was made for a man for 50 years of friendship. The research was quite fun as it necessitated visiting the UK to take pictures and research old haunts. The blocks were made up accordingly, cartoons were used to represent memories – such as ‘a dustpan and brush’ for a wedding present and an old ‘wind up’ gramophone. Those were the days.
In 2006 I entered this Wallhanging into the Tinahely Show in County Wicklow, it was only for interest’s sake as it is a very basic quilt. I had found some buttons that were ‘bone’ shaped, the quilting around the edges too is ‘bone shaped’. I used Jacquard Inkjet cotton in the printer for the photographs. We had two lovely Norwegian Elk-hounds at that time – I am so glad to look at it now and remember them.
The trouble with getting new fabrics in the shop is that you want to make up ‘another’ quilt – this was no exception. The Holly Hobby fabric from SPX just flew out of the door. The quilt, simply made from strips cut the width of the fabric and joined up top and bottom of the centre panel, was made in a day. The quilting took a bit longer but as the quilt was only 42″x 62″ the backing was simple too – no seams.
We are always being told to use a focus fabric when putting together colours in a quilt. The focus fabric in this quilt was perfect for a ‘neutral’ babies quilt, that is either for a boy or girl. The fabric was Zoo Animals in the multi colour from ‘New Kids on the Block’. Once you have chosen your ‘focus’ fabric try and use up lots of your own scraps – a scrappy quilt is a ‘Happy’ quilt.
When the ‘Floral Gatherings’ Charm Pack arrived I was amazed at how many colours were included in the Collection. I have used just one pack in this example but used a dark background fabric which really shows off the colours well, I think. Customers too love this quilt, which is a bonus.