The inspiration to start this quilt came from the pantone colour of the year quilt challenge on Bryan house quilts and No hats in the house (there’s nothing like an initial idea and a little bit of time pressure to spark inspiration!). I wanted to make a small wallhanging for the girls’ bedroom, using the little story squares of fabric I designed for this foldable book. There are nine squares in total, featuring my oldest daughter’s stuffed rabbit, and we like to tell stories about the rabbits inspired by the different illustrations. A quilt featuring the illustrations combined with my own fabric designs seemed like the perfect thing to hang above their beds for bedtime stories.
Since I had recently started a colourwash quilt using all of my fabric swatches, I had a good idea of the colours I wanted to use to complement the story fabric squares. I love the living coral colour, and wanted to use the same fabrics for a coral-yellow-turquoise-green colourwash as I had in the larger quilt, but with more structure: arranging the picture tiles in a nine-patch across the quilt. I was also inspired by my favourite rose (william morris rose by David Austin) which was just finishing blooming in the garden, and has such a beautiful gradation from yellow to pink.
I started by sketching a lot of different layout ideas, finally settling on a lattice idea using coral as the dominant colour, as well as all the fabrics I had that combined coral with yellow, blue or green. I did some initial calculations for the size of the squares and triangles, and then started cutting out fabric. I find it much easier to design a quilt when I have actual pieces of fabric to work with, so this is where I played around a bit more with the layout, adding more pieces of fabric and white squares to offest the lattice structure.
Its a bit of a challenge to sew something like this together with little kids in the house (who love playing with bits of fabric), but thankfully the quilt top came together over a few evenings and I was able to store it wrapped between sheets and reconstruct any moved blocks with my reference photo of the layout.
I quilted this by machine (because I was still hand-quilting my other quilt) and decided to try a zig-zag border. Because the squares of the lattice are sewn on the bias to the story fabric squares, I ended up with a jagged border. Originally I had planned to trim it, but decided to try this instead. With the batting in place, I sewed the quilt to the backing inside out, leaving a small opening before turning and top-stitching around the edging.
I’m happy with how this turned out. Its so much fun to make a quilt with my own fabrics, I love designing something using fabrics with a story behind them and look forward to finding out all the stories we can tell with this story quilt.
ps. most of the fabrics are available in my spoonflower shop.