If this is the first time you’re seeing this series, My Sister’s Quilts is the mini quilting memoirs of my sister who is a fantastic quilter and has made baby quilts for each of her 17 nieces and nephews.
If this is the first time you’re seeing this series, My Sister’s Quilts is the mini quilting memoirs of my sister who is a fantastic quilter and has made baby quilts for each of her 15 nieces and nephews. (But none for her own 2 children, so I hear…) Here she is to tell you about making this 1920s Inspired baby quilt for our nephew A.
This quilt was inspired by some vintage patterned fabric I found in a little quilting Boutique in East Molesey, England, called Creative Quilting. (You can find them on the web here: creativequilting.co.uk) This little quilt shop was also only a 1/2 hr walk away from where our flat in Thames Ditton.
East Molesey is the tiny little village that is the across the river from Hampton Court Palace. Henry the 8th lived at Hampton Court during much of his reign! East Molesey has many houses and buildings that have plaques on the front of them stating who lived there during much Henrys era. Many of them housed support staff that worked in the castle, as well as famous authors, etc. East Molesey is also where I got my one and only lucky glimpse of the Queen as her motorcade passed on the way to Epsom Horses racing track one day.
So, nestled in the middle of so much extraordinary history and culture, I found Creative Quilting. It seemed bizarre to me that in the midst of all this amazement, this little group of British ladies had a fascination with a much younger culture and art/sewing form from across the pond! When I first moved to England, I was quite surprised by the fact that quilting was not a popular hobby! It made finding little corner shops like this one, particularly special. The ladies there thought I was somewhat of a novelty, being American and all. They would ask me to bring in and share all my projects, and tell about the massive fabric stores back home. Many of the fabrics they stocked were imported from America. The Creative Quilting shop was a place of warmth, and there was a familiar comfort about it. I could duck-in and have a little solace there when I was feeling home sick…
I enjoyed working with these 1920’s-1930’s inspired patterns! There is something that is unique, untouchable, and mysterious about the 20’s. Art, music and fashion took brave new twists and changes which were much more daring than changes made in their preceding decades. Then came the great depression and all of this new found flamboyance was traded for practicality. I remember being fascinated listening to my grandma talk about the harshness of the times, the simplicity of life, and also about the flour sack dresses! It was this grandma that also taught me how to hand stitch and make my first doll clothes. During the depression, quilting was one activity that a woman could do to fulfill her desire to be creative while still making something practical for her family. Warm bedding was welcome on cold nights and the lovely patterns and fabrics brought a simple beauty to the home. The quilt could be made from sewing scraps and from out-grown clothing, so very little expense was involved. Sounds to me like us ladies could still use these reasons to indulge our sewing urges….
Anyhow, I have a little flare for the arts and for nostalgia, and so all of the above influenced me in the making of A’s quilt. A is my bright little nephew, and I can’t wait to see how he will channel and develop his talents of precision and accuracy! I actually thought of him recently when cutting out a quilt for his new baby sister. Well matched quilting corners depend on the most precise and accurate cutting measurements! I love hearing stories of A’s attention to detail, order and organization. These things will make you great A, and by the way, we all love you exactly the way you are!
Thanks, Aunt Fessy, for another fantastic quilt, history lesson, and memories of your time in England! Who else wants to go there and visit this little quilt shop now? We’ll see you next month for another installment of My Sister’s Quilts
If this is the first time you’re seeing this series, My Sister’s Quilts is the mini quilting memoirs of my sister who is a fantastic quilter and has made baby quilts for each of her 15 nieces and nephews.
One of the series which is back in full force for 2017 is My Sister’s Quilts.
If this is the first time you’re seeing this series, My Sister’s Quilts is the mini quilting memoirs of my sister who is a fantastic quilter and has made baby quilts for each of her 15 nieces and nephews. (But none for her own 2 children, so I hear…) Here she is to tell you about making this Moon Glow baby quilt for Aria.
Maybe you will have seen a moon glow quilt before, or a pattern for one. They are beautiful! I saw a pattern for one in a magazine in the year 2000 and fell in love with it. I had big ambitions! I went right out an bought all the material for the quilt and that is as far as I got. Then the fabric just sat in my material stash.
When I heard I had a new niece or nephew on the way, I adapted the pattern into a baby quilt. I was a college student at the time and the thought of saving money and using something I already had seemed like a good one. I lucked out when it was a niece that arrived and not a nephew. The colors matched her perfectly.
I adore the fabric combination in this quilt. Interestingly enough, I never did make the moon glow quilt that I originally fell in love with. Instead, yard-by-yard I continue to use the remaining fabrics in my other nieces and nephews quilts. It’s as if there is a little glow in every quilt… and together they represent all of my auntie love… a little ray shining on each one.
I remember thinking this baby quilt was beautiful when I finished it, but my niece Aria was again that much more beautiful. She is now a young woman with a beautiful glowing countenance!
If I had to pick only one of the 7 quilts “Aunt Fessy” has made for my children as my personal favorite, this one would be it! When we received it after Aria was born, I remember being struck by the color combinations…I had never seen or imagined black fabric being used in a baby quilt before, but it was absolutely, stunningly perfect!
This is the fifth entry in a series about baby quilts made by Aunt Sarah for her 15 nieces and nephews. We talked her into sharing each one here on Skirt Fixation. The next one in line is for Thomas, my fourth child. I asked Sarah (who her nieces and nephews call Aunt Fess or Auntie Fessy) to share what she remembered about making this quilt.
Like almost all the quilts that I have made for my nieces and nephews, I started this one before I knew that Thomas was a boy! Red and white quilts were quite popular at the time, and I really wanted to make one. Then after Thomas was born I decided to add the ships to make it more boyish :-).
Its fun looking back on all these quilts because when I see each one of them I say “oh wow, that was my favorite one!” But I guess maybe it’s okay to have more than one favorite :-).
If I’m honest I don’t remember very much about the construction of this quilt. But I do love the end result. I always think it makes it more interesting when a quilt backing has some character as well.
I marvel at the time I used to have to make these quilts. And now that I have my own kids and I’m busy running around after their hobbies it makes me long for the time when I got to focus on my own!
I hope there is mostly smooth sailing in his future, but I also predict that this nephew will be able to navigate the sometimes stormy seas of life with ease!
Love Aunt Fess
Thanks Sarah for sharing. One of my favorite things about this quilt is the red, white & Blue variegated thread used for quilting! I think this nautical baby quilt would be perfect for any baby, and the color scheme is perfect for sewing a baby quilt before you know the gender! We’ll see you next month for the next installment of My Sister’s Quilts.
This is the fourth entry in a series about baby quilts made by Aunt Sarah for her 15 nieces and nephews. We talked her into sharing each one here on Skirt Fixation. The next one in line is for Tessa, our brother’s second child. I asked Sarah (who her nieces and nephews call Aunt Fess or Auntie Fessy) to share what she remembered about making this quilt.
Tessa’s quilt was made when I myself was pregnant with my first child. I think for this reason, I was inclined to sew a much more soft, tactile, and nurturing quilt than my previous ones! Put it down to hormones, or nesting instincts, but I remember sewing stitches of LOVE into this sweet soft quilt in anticipation for my own little bundle of love! (I actually never made my son his own quilt, but I DID paint a TinTin mural on his bedroom wall, so maybe that counts. 🙂
As I was living in London at the time, and quilting isn’t as big of a hobby over there, I remember scouring the shops all across the city looking for just the right fabrics! There are a few specialist boutiques dotted around, so it was a fun adventure to research their locations and then go on little adventures trying to find them. Keep in mind, these were the days before GPS on smart phones! It was fun, and gave a lot of Saturday outings a fun purpose.
I was delighted when I found the soft sheep’s wool fabric, and also the nursery rhyme themed flannel for the backing. The ribbon and other embellishments were a fun addition.
I like the little lambs on a quilt, so one can count sheep if they can’t fall asleep! But I also like to think of how I unknowingly created quite a fitting quilt for Tessa who has such a gentle lamb-like nature!
Wether she is counting sheep, counting kittens, counting chickens, or counting her siblings, I love to think of how my sweet little niece will be someone others can count on as she grows into a gentle young lady!
This is another quilt I’ve never seen before! Special thanks to my sister in law, Anna, for photographing this quilt! And of course, thanks Sarah for sharing. I think this baby chick quilt would be perfect for any baby, and I can even see myself snuggling up under it! We’ll see you next month for the next installment of My Sister’s Quilts.
This is the second entry in a series about baby quilts made by Aunt Sarah for her 15 nieces and nephews. We talked her into sharing each one here on Skirt Fixation. The next one in line is for “Kalvin” my second child and oldest son. This is the same son for whom I sew really big shirts now. At age 15 is is 6′ 7″ tall. I asked Sarah (who her nieces and nephews call Aunt Fess or Auntie Fessy) to share what she remembered about making this quilt.
This Quilt is one of my favorites! I remember working night shift as a CNA, and working on the embroidering during my down-time.
It was a fun quilt as every block was different, and so there was nothing monotonous about it!
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE quilting, but some quilts require an assembly line of piecing that is enough to make even the most patient of quilters bang their heads against a wall!
Not so with this quilt! My aunt Mary helped me pick out the pattern for the embroidered blocks at a little quilt store in Wisconsin, and I beleive the pieced blocks were from a book from the same shop.
The piecing was a great way to help me learn how to do “real quilting,” as every other quilt that I had made up to this point was just something that I had put together in my head.
I took a chance by going with blue, as I started the quilt before “Kalvin” was born. I guess I lucked out there!
He’s a big guy, with a big heart, and I can’t wait to see the big impression he will make in the world!
This is one of my favorite quilts too! This type of quilt would be a great quilt for a quilter looking to improve their skills. Thanks Sarah for sharing. We’ll see you next month for the next installment of My Sister’s Quilts.
Today we have the first entry in our new series My Sister’s Quilts. My amazing sister Sarah has made a baby quilt for each of her 15 (I think) nieces and nephews. We talked her into sharing each one here on Skirt Fixation. Allegra is her oldest and therefore first niece, so we’re starting with her baby quilt today. I asked Sarah (who her nieces and nephews call Aunt Fess or Auntie Fessy) to share what she remembered about making this quilt.
This was one of the very first quilts that I made I think! Of course I was inspired by my very first niece, but also I was inspired by my very first real job! I was age 16 I think. I had a summer job at House of Fabrics. House of Fabrics was one of the two fabric stores in the town where I grew up. Over the summer the store was actually closing down. A lot of the time I was putting fabric underneath the desk to save to buy on the liquidation sale! I saved up a lot of fabric that summer, but not a lot of money! :-).
So the fabric in Allegra’s quilt was from that summer job. The quilting method was self-taught on this quilt, as it was before I had gotten my formal training from my aunt Mary! My aunt Mary is an amazing quilter… Of professional standard… Her work is amazing! And she now owns a long arm quilting business. She spent a winter vacation teaching me how to REALLY quilt probably when I was about 17. It was a priceless gift, that I will always use and value.
Anyways, looking back, I un-knowingly used the “fussy cut” technique to make a little rectangular square for an animal in each square of Allegra’s quilt. I used neutral colors as I did not know the sex of my new niece or nephew! In later years, my own critical eye sees it as a pretty sloppy job, but it was the best I knew at the time! Years later, I remember Audrey bringing the quilt to me to repair, and this was after my formal quilting training, so I was able to reinforce a lot of my stitches and do a meandering quilting pattern to hold the whole thing together a lot better (originally I had just done the stitch-in-the-ditch method).
Making this quilt was a great experience in anticipation of my new first niece and an even more amazing experience being at her birth months later. I cannot believe that that was 17 years ago and that now this quilt belongs to an amazing young woman full of opportunity and anticipation as she approaches her adult life.
Allegra, always remember that even when life seems like a zoo, you are a patch holding a very important place. Others rely on you and, you are part of something much much bigger than yourself, a patchwork stitched together with love!
Allegra cherishes this quilt so much! This type of quilt would be a great 1st quilt for someone to sew. Thanks Sarah for sharing. We’ll see you next month for the next installment of My Sister’s Quilts.