Thursday, 13 June 2013

First quilt, best quilt

Yesterday my quilt group held a charity evening and, as part of it, we had a 'first quilt, last quilt' session. I'd immediately put my hand up to volunteer but only later realised that I would be in London with work and wouldn't be back in time. To overcome some of the guilt of not being there, I thought I'd show my quilts here instead. However, as you've already seen my last quilt, I'm going to show you my best quilt.

To start though, here's my very first quilt made in about 1991.

Shades of Night was a pattern by Angela Haigh from Needlecraft magazine, which has long since ceased publication. All of the fabrics in the sky were part of a charm pack. I used the rest to make a simple throw of squares which has been on the back of the armchair every day since it was made, and therefore counts as my most used quilt. Both of them are very sparingly quilted (understatement) as I was more interested in the patchwork at that point (and still am really).

As for my best quilt, I think it's Bears in Clover which was started in 2000 and finished 2 years later - I was a much faster quilter in those days! The name comes from the bear's paw pattern of the centre blocks and the clover quilting pattern around them.

The overall design is my own but I used elements from several issues of Quilters Newsletter Magazine to put it together.

The bear's paw blocks are all machine-pieced whilst the flower border is hand appliqued. All the quilting is by hand too.

In the corners I used this birds and heart design and a lily.

Ta-dah! If not my best quilt, it's definitely the one I'm most proud of and it's in regular use on my bed.

Having used so many elements from Quilters Newsletter Magazine, I decided to submit a photo
for the Readers section, and was absolutely thrilled when it appeared a few issues later.

I hope you enjoyed a look at a couple of my quilts and that it makes up for the lack of crafting activity on this blog at the moment. With the recent gorgeous weather and lighter evenings I've been tending to spend more time outside so all of my projects have ground to a halt. I've got a couple of weeks off soon though so am hoping to crack on with a few.


I mentioned at the beginning that I had to go to London with work yesterday. The worst part was getting up at 4.30 for the early train (and getting home at 9pm) and feeling tired the whole day. The best part was having a couple of hours free before my train home and spending them in the British Museum.  I chose carefully and went to see the Sutton Hoo exhibits, the Lewis Chessmen, the Dunstable Swan Jewel, and the Rosetta Stone. Definitely somewhere to visit again.

Today I had a day off, knowing I'd probably still be tired from the long day yesterday, and spent it with my friend, Sue. She loves mooching around charity shops so that's what we did. My only purchase was a jar of glass pebbles which I plan to use in my glass cylinder vase to make a summer display. When I finally get around to it, you'll be the first to know!


  1. Julie, WOW! Your Bears in clover quilt is stunning! You are right to be proud of it. The colour, pattern and skill are all there in abundance. It makes me think of prairies and homesteads and ranches, there's something really traditional and American about it, but you've used such fresh and light colours. Not many quilts make me react like that... x

  2. Your first quilt is very sweet, but the bears in clover is really beautiful and you have every reason to be very proud of it.
    M x

  3. Those quilts are great, I like them all :)

  4. Absolutely stunning quilts- Love the bear claw, the quilting is lovely and the colours are beautiful.:)

  5. Wow, both quilts are so beautiful. You did a great job and should be very proud of yourself.

  6. Wow, I kept going back between your photos, your quilts are amazing, you're so talented, love them both :) xx

  7. Your quilts are beautiful -- especially that bear's claw!! I can tell you right now that would have been a 10 year project for me.