Some time last year my mother suggested we embark on a joint quilting project. Not to make a quilt together, but to make the same pattern without telling each other anything about it – no word about colours or themes or anything. Do you know how hard that was? When we spoke about the quilts over the months it took to make them, I’d find myself biting my tongue to avoid saying anything about colours or design. But we both managed to keep quiet about our quilts – it really worked because when we finally had the big reveal a couple of weeks ago, we were both utterly surprised.
The brief was this: a scrappy quilt, made from random strips turned into blocks and made as much as possible from your stash. Buy what you have to for the backing etc, but stick with stash scraps for the bulk of it.
Here we are, early on a Sunday morning, holding up our ‘Mother Daughter Scrappy Quilts. Coco, my parents’ dog is helping out.
Now even though we were following a pattern, we both decided early on we didn’t have to be strict about it. I chose to make mine smaller – I just knew I didn’t have the skills yet to go much bigger, in terms of the machine quilting I’d have to do. I made it lap size. Mum quilted hers by hand so went larger.
Our fabric choices are really very telling about our preferences. Mum is always drawn to small print, florals in elegant and pretty colours. I’ve got more a solid leaning, with some bolder prints although small florals aren’t absent from my stash either. They’re in there. We loved looking at our squares, made up from loads of little strips, and picking out scraps from different projects.
Here are some closer shots of mine.
Thanks must go to RoseRed for her suggestion of the blue and yellow borders. Early on when I was piecing the strips I was really unsure what colours I’d go for and I sent a photo to RoseRed, who really should be adopted as my colour consultant. She came up with denim blue and a pale yellow. These were the closest I could get. They pick up the colours in the blocks nicely.
The back was always a certainty for me. I knew I’d go for something printed but neutral, something to pick up the creams and bones in the front pieces, in contrast to the dark blue that featured so much in the front.
And finally, the nice little finishing touch – my mum made labels for both our quilts.
She has the same label on hers – except hers says ‘1 of 2’ instead of the ‘2 of 2’ on mine.
I started this quilt before I did the patchwork class I took a few months ago. I learned better piecing skills in the class and I know I can look at my piecing on this quilt and see how far I’ve come. It was never meant to be a show piece. It’s meant to be a simple, fairly plain, a way to use up scraps. I know that when I sit with it over my lap I look down and see the little pieces sewn into it and remember their stories. I see a scrap from a dress for Alice I made in the first year, a dress from the second year, a piece from a cushion I made or project bags I made when I took first tentative steps into sewing.
Those memories make me happy, which is exactly how you should feel under a quilt you made yourself.