Monday, January 21, 2013

Charlotte's Quilt

Kaffe Fassett fabrics. Some of my favourites. When I began working on something special for my dear friend Charlotte's birthday, I knew that I wanted to use my Kaffe collection-delicious looking colours and prints, loaded with 'wow factor'!

When I worked at The patchwork shop, it was quite common to hear, especially from a well meaning husband, "why would you cut up perfectly good fabric only to sew it back together again?" Silly silly question! What fun would it be if we couldn't bust into beauty fabric stacks like this one, sort through and pick favourites, organise colour schemes, decide on the perfect pattern and finally, begin to cut it all up? All the while knowing we are in the process of creating a one-of-a-kind quilt, beautiful and practical, for someone we love?
Charlotte's quilt is for her tv room. It will grace one of her comfie black leather sofas, and I wanted it to suit her contemporary home and be something that even her all-grown-up boys and hubby could use and enjoy. Anna Maria Horner's new feather bed pattern offered the look I was after and the sewing and design challenge that keeps me interested and sparks my creativity.
And doesn't it seem fitting that a quilt made by Mary Bird would be covered in feathers?
To my eye, these feathers just look so pretty all laid out and stacked up!
Now begins the job of sewing the feathers into their backgrounds so they can be set out as blocks.
Six background colours were chosen, quite purposefully, to match Charlotte's wall paint and her room's decor.

Of course, the feathers cannot all point upwards, no, no. Nor can they all be laid out vertically! Mix it up and change it out.

And now another kind of magic happens. Donna Lawrence, of Calico Quilters (click on WA) takes my quilt top and my wadding and backing, pins them onto the long rollers of her industrial quilt machine (keep scrolling down), and quilts the layers in a beautiful pattern. We chose a modern chevron design which turned out to be a perfect compliment for the pieced feathers.

Thank you kids for helping with the photograph and for the delicious coffee!

The Gammill Statler Stitcher and Donna with Charlie.

One final photograph of Charlotte's feather quilt nesting nicely in the bush. We were driving home from Denmark and I persuaded Rob to pull over so that I could take some pictures of a couple of quilts I had in the car. There was a perfect blue sky and really, any part of the route provided a beautiful backdrop.

Just before I left again for Indonesia, I presented Charlotte with her (belated) birthday quilt. I believe it will be going to a good home where it will be well loved.
So there you have it-patchworkers love to cut up perfectly good fabric and sew it back together again. We love the creative process. We enjoy the fellowship of other like-minded women as we work together. We thrive on the success of the 'practice makes perfect' aspect of our art form. We feel a sense of accomplishment as our labour takes shape-busy hands making something to mark and celebrate a milestone, like a treasured friend with a significant birthday. Happy Birthday Charlotte! I wish you health and longevity to wear it out!


  1. That is beautiful Aunt Mar!!!! What wonders you can create!

  2. Thank you SO much! Bek, I got my first 'commission' this month! Very excited