|Spring Maid Founder's House Sampler reproduction fabric|
Most quilts have a main 'thing' that drives the decisions about design and materials. Sometimes it's the piecing or the quilting. This quilt is really all about the fabric. All the decisions that I made about the layout, the colours, the threads and the quilting design were really all about how best to showcase the fabric.
|one of the Springs adverts, my mom's dress was similar|
The fabric for this quilt is a reproduction of a fabric originally produced by Spring Mills in 1951. My mother had a dress made from this fabric. I borrowed it from the attic to use in a Harvest Festival folk dance in 1975. I lost track of the dress during my move to England in 1989, so when I saw the reproduction fabric featured in a magazine advert in the 90's I had to buy some.
|piecing the borders|
I'd been saving it for something special and when my son, Ben's girlfriend Jade admired it, I decided to make her a quilt. Jade shares my love of things retro so I knew that she would appreciate it. I didn't want to cut the fabric so I decided to frame it within a couple of borders. At first I'd considered using a pieced chevron border. I even dedicated a whole pinterest board to the idea. But I wasn't happy with the look. In the end I chose a lovely large Kaffe Fassett rose print against an aubergine background and a small blue print. It was simple. The colours were rich and it set off the central panel beautifully.
|machine quilted with a JUKI TL98P on the 8 foot New English Quilter2|
My next choice was the quilting patterns. I decided to quilt the borders differently from the central panel. I wanted to use Emily's pattern for the large rose outer border. But as I practised it on paper the design morphed into something a bit different. I used a stack of hearts for the small blue border. The central panel is a series of stripes and I decided quilt each stripe differently.
|this #306 Buttercup Kimono Silk thread was perfect for the central panel|
My thread choices also were aimed at showcasing the fabric. At first I chose a dark red Rainbows #832 called Rose Garden. But as I began quilting the Kaffe Rose fabric border it was just too good of a match and I found that I was quilting blind. So I changed to #814 Gypsy, a thread which showed up just enough so that I could see what I was doing. And no I did not unpick the first stitching! It was close enough. I used this same thread to stitch the hearts in the blue border. For the main central panel, I also wanted a thread to blend in, merely to create texture and not to draw attention to itself. This gold Kimono silk thread was perfect.
|subtle stitching that echoes the fabric design|
I've just taken the quilt off the frame and I'm so pleased with how it turned out. Now it just needs the binding! I take some photos in daylight and I'll post about why I should have called the quilt Eight Maids a Milking.