Finished quilts and embroidered name tags…..

Peggys quilt

 

To the sound of an imaginary trumpety fanfare (and not one supplied by the cat’s bottom)..after many weeks spent in designing block patterns and choosing fabrics and soaking pricked fingers in cups of cold tea….may I present the finished star quilts for Peggy and Pearl.  Sadly it was really overcast when I took these pictures so the quilts don’t look quite as colourful as when I photographed them the other week on the washing line.

This post has seemed an age in coming…..and I must confess the quilts have taken me somewhat longer to make than I had first thought or expected…in part because I got a bit stuck I suppose at the start when I was designing them.  The brief was deceptively simple…”make them different, but the same, and maybe something to match Olive’s quilt“…….hmmm and then the rest of the design was left up to me, including colour and fabric choice.  At times I felt I was running round in circles and was worried lovely Darren (who is the owner of the best coffee shop in Norwich) who had commissioned the quilts may well end up sleeping in the coal shed if his wife didn’t like what I came up with…. once I’d designed a pair of patchwork tops I then spent more time than you’d believe looking at suitable fabrics to use for the quilts…….

The other year I made Miss Olive a simple quilt, made up of an array of small reproduction and vintage prints sewn into patchwork squares, so I wanted to use if not the same fabrics from that quilt, but ones which would compliment it.  The only real specification I had on colour was “not too pink” and I think my overall rainbow choices have made up for the few splashes of pink I’ve popped in there.

I used a beautiful pale grey floral print by Lecien for the backing of Olive’s quilt, and although I couldn’t source enough of the same again this time, I found this floral print by Tilda and thought it echoed the grey/rose bud combination rather nicely.

 

A star quilt for Pearl

 

I wanted something that was really soft in hue and colour for the back and pretty much fell in love with a dainty yellow print from Pretty Fabrics and Trims.  I also bought some beautiful feedsack inspired prints from them as well for the patchwork blocks.  When I was choosing fabrics I found it easiest to create a pinterest board of all the fabrics I really liked, and then I had to whittle it down to real favourites….I tried to limit myself to buying fabric from as few shops as possible (it didn’t make sense to only buy two fat quarters from umpteen different shops)…..so some fabrics didn’t get chosen this time, but I’ve made a note of where I saw them.  The other two shops I purchased from were Sew and Quilt, and Tikki. All three shops were lovely to order with and had a great selection of fabric so I’ll definitely be shopping with them again.

For the binding, I used wool wadding from the Tuscany collection by Hobbs.  It’s not a cheap wadding but as I hand quilt I find it the nicest, it doesn’t stick to or resist my needle so it’s lovely to sew, and it has a great drape.  I’ve used this wadding for nearly all my quilts and it’s well worth worth it (just because you can’t see the wadding doesn’t mean you should forget about it and scrimp on the quality…….I’d rather put a patchwork top to one side for a while and just save up for the better quality wadding than use something cheap and synthetic).  I find it works out a bit cheaper if you buy a king size bag and then you can cut it to the size you need.  And as for all the little off cuts of wadding, I’m somewhat thrifty so they get saved, and I’m happy to overlap them a little and sew them together, perfect for doll quilts or for very small projects.

 

handwriting for Pearls tag in water erasable blue pen

 

On the back each quilt has a hand embroidered name tag.  I’ve tried to keep the tags small so I just used my regular handwriting and wrote something very simple in a blue water erasable pen on a piece of cotton fabric.  (I’ve written about this striped fabric before and it’s more precious to me than gold…where possible I try to incorporate a small piece into most quilt projects that are very dear to my hear)

 

Embroidered using back stitch

 

Some years ago I bought a huge reel of grey thread from a charity shop and it’s a lovely weight for embroidering writing, I’ve used a little back stitch for Pearl’s name, for Peggy’s name tag I used a stem stitch….I wanted to incorporate as many different details in the quilts as I could, but at the same time appreciate they may well be sharing a bedroom so the quilt tops compliment rather than clash.

 

pinned into place and slip stitching along the edge

 

The last stage….finishing off with tiny stitches.  I always feel a bit sad, saying goodbye to something that’s been part of my life for the last few months.  But sitting sewing, my work table dappled in sunlight and shadows makes for a happy parting.

Both quilts have now gone to their new home, but if you would like to commission one for yourself or someone precious then both styles will soon be listed in my folksy shop or you can contact me directly if you would like something even more bespoke.

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25 thoughts on “Finished quilts and embroidered name tags…..

  1. They are so beautiful. I keeping scrolling between the two but just cannot decide which I like the best. I’m sure the Mama will have a huge smile on her face when she sees them! I love the fact that you incorporate fabrics such as that from your granny’s bed linen as well as new fabrics. I’m looking forward to seeing what your next project will be;-) x

    1. You’re comments are always far too kind (but they also totally make my day when I read them x)…..
      Not sure what my next project will be, I really want to get the grannies paperweight blanket all finished this year. I’m doing a small fair in Holt on the 23rd May at Glory Days so for the next few weeks I’ll be busy sewing small items for that. And I’m also writing a couple of pieces about what I think you need to buy if you want to make a quilt…and haven’t forgotten the piece about working with combinations of colours xx

  2. What a lovely finished quilt! And I agree totally with using good batting. I have yet to work with wool, but had purchased a king size piece to try out. Your work is stellar! It will be cherished for generations!

    1. Your very kind words are making me blush xx Thank you. I’m glad you agree about the nice wadding too, I’ve spoken with quilter’s in the past who think I’m daft to use the really pricey stuff but it makes such a difference both when you’re quilting it but also in the over all feel to the finished quilt.

      1. I think that I will save it for a quilt for my bed. I have quite a few projects to do before I will get around to designing something for our bed, however. I have three quilts for our bed currently: A large blue patchwork with rabbit medallions on it, made of beautiful Japanese fabrics, and two red paisley cotton whole cloth quilts. the latter are his/hers quilts so that we can leave it at our feet or keep covered, but they are matched. I might make a matching or coordinating blue set of his/her quilts with the wool batting. I will definitely post when I do.

      2. Those sound amazing, I love whole cloth quilts but I’ve not tackled one of those yet….did you go to the quilting exhibition a few years ago at the V and A? They had a Welsh wholecloth quilt there that was gorgeous…I couldn’t help myself and gave it a little feel with the finger tips…bliss x

      3. Oh, that sounds like a wonderful exhibit! I live in the states, so have only been to the V&A once. The whole cloth quilt I hand quilted may have been different than a lot of the traditional ones. I chose a red paisley and followed the pattern of the paisleys and star shaped flowers in the fabric. I didn’t do one of those medallion designs that are classic. The quilting doesn’t show up well in photos, hence I have not posted photos. I have two close up photos that show, but that is not enough to post about.

      4. There was an accompanying book called Quilts 1700 – 2010 Hidden Histories, Untold Stories and it was written by Sue Prichard. (you may be able to get it out from your local library) Along with the traditional whole cloth with all those beautiful quilted feathers and swirls, there were some beautiful hand pieces patchwork tops with the papers used still inside, most of them seemed to be receipts, invoices and letters. It was amazing. There’s also an amazing museum in England called The American Museum which has an incredible collection of quilts and patchworks from America. It’s always interesting to see the differences in quilts and patchworks between English quilts and American quilts.

      5. I will look for that book! It sounds beautiful. We were last in the UK about three years ago, but, we have extended family in England, and anticipate making it back there sometime soon. When we do, we will be sure to look for the American museum. That sounds fascinating.

      6. The American museum is just outside of Bath, their quilt collection is always rotated so no visit is the same (at least 50 quilts on show at any one time). The rest of the museum is lovely and there is a beautiful garden and they serve very nice tea and cake!

      7. Last October I had the chance to visit the home of Lucy Boston, it’s in Cambridgeshire. Not only can you see the gorgeous hand pieced patchwork tops made by Lucy Boston, there is also a lovely garden. It’s a rare treat to visit the house where a quilt collection was actually sewn. I had a really brilliant day x

  3. These have turned out beautifully. You can see all those hours in the lovely details and you have you have managed the ‘same but different’ remit perfectly. I’m sure these will be much cherished and turn into heirlooms for these little girls and their children after them 🙂

    1. Hi Janine, thank you, your kind words are much appreciated x I’m really pleased with how they’ve turned out (I just wish the day had been sunnier when I photographed them) …

  4. So pretty! Love those colors and fabrics! I so enjoyed your story about your Nanny’s fabric (I clicked on the link you highlighted). How wonderful to have that memory. I have fabrics that belonged to my mother (she passed away 27 yrs ago), and now that I just became a grandmother, I am looking forward to using most of those fabrics for my two little granddaughters.

    1. Well I can promise you, your grand-daughters are going to cherish them so so much. Those scraps left from my Nanny mean the world to me. I’ve been given a lace collar that we think belonged to one of my dad’s great or great great aunts…it’s quite big so I think she must have been quite a chesty lady.

  5. They both turned out so sweet and charming, love these cheerful happy colors and cute prints! Tiny yellow border with grey binding is so beautiful!

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