My grandmother could pull any quilt from her closet (that’s where she kept them) and tell you something about it. One time she pulled one down for me and told me where each fabric had come from, some were clothing that her children had worn. She remembered every piece. Every quilt maker has a story to tell. I want to collect those stories and share them with you.
A Quilt Maker’s Tale is a series featuring stories from my readers about their experiences with quilts. The stories are in the quilt maker’s own words and uses their own pictures. If you’d like to be featured in this series, please have a look here.
Today’s story is from Julie all the way from New Zealand.
Of all the quilts I have made, my very first quilt, still holds a special place in my heart, There is nothing flash or fancy about this quilt, no amazingly special designer fabrics, but it is still much loved and used by my family.
Way back in 2009 and 2010 on the way home from our summer camping holidays, my husband would stop at a lovely little quilt store called The Apple Basket in Kaiwaka, New Zealand. I would very carefully select 3-4 fat quarters, always in an aqua or a lime green shade, with no idea what I was going to do with them. One day I decided it was time to turn them into a quilt. I visited a local store and added more fabrics and some deep rich chocolate browns and reds to go with some other scraps I had acquired.
With no real plan, I cut 4 ” squares and stitched them together, Some of my seams didn’t match properly so I fudged them a little here and there. Then I folded it up and put it away for another year. Fast forward to a wet summer Boxing Day in 2011, I pulled out this top, and an old unused white vintage cotton sheet of my Gran’s, the batting I had sitting in my cupboard, and basted and quilted this thing. Nothing flash, just stitch in the ditch on every seam line.
My binding was a textured deep claret colour, which I didn’t double, it bugs me sometimes, but not enough to unpick it and re do it.
This quilt lives on the back of a sofa, it’s a little faded, and has a couple of ink marks on it from my children, but it still gets pulled over us when we are cold or ill, or dragged off to my son’s bed in winter, cos it’s his second favorite quilt in the house.
3 Questions for Julie
This is something my sister (also a quilter) and I have tried to answer before, we think it must be something to do with watching and reading American movies and books, where there was always a homemade quilt to snuggle in or wrap around yourself when watching a sunrise/sunset or draped over a sofa or bed. I guess I wanted to recreate that in my life, and make something unique to be treasured by my family.
Do you have a favorite fabric designer?
I would have to say that Anna Maria Horner is my favourite, I love her mix of colour, those clashy bohemian jewel toned flowers and prints, that always seems to go together. (See photo below) In fact probably most fabrics from the Freespirit Collective speak to me. I am definitely not afraid to use lots of colour in my quilts. Liberty is also a favourite.
What’s your favorite thing to do in New Zealand?
I can’t pick just one, so here’s a few of my favourite things.
- visiting the beautiful beaches – wild west coast ones, or the calmer golden sand east coast ones.
- I love hiking, and am slowly starting to enjoy overnight tramps, where I carry a pack containing, what feel like all all my worldly goods.
- I love gardening and am so glad we don’t have snakes or any other real creepy crawly critters I have to worry about in my country.
- everything else I blog about, sewing, reading, cooking, stitching, camping, yoga.
Connect with Julie