I must confess. Quilts used to seem like the most boring, old-lady things to sew once upon a time. This despite having some amazing homemade quilts from friends and family when I was young, and loving them for their colours and patterns. But I have seen the error of my ways, folks! Quilts are AWESOME! The reason for my change of heart? A beautiful Autumn Quilt in South Africa that I wish I could take more credit for.
After following a few quilters on Instagram and getting to see their “makings of” pictures, I developed more respect for the amount of planning, time and skill it takes to make these things. I also saw some incredible quilting patterns that got my inspiration levels dangerously high; because come on, if I say the word ‘quilt’, you picture square blocks all neatly arranged, right? Never again for me though, with the amount of creative and innovative ways some of these Instagrammers combined their shapes, textures and colours to make brilliant patterns.
And as fate (or highly significant coincidence) would have it, right at that point I was asked if I could help out with sewing a quilt. The client was a lecturer of mine and an amazing person who offered support and long chats even after I stopped being a student, so there was no way I was going to turn down this offer. As it turns out, she had already pieced all the blocks together, and just needed the three layers sewn together and finished off. All the hard work was already done for me, hooray!
The fabric and colour scheme
You would not believe how in love with this quilt I was from the moment I saw it. The material embodiment of autumn, it was. And so much texture! The blocks were made up from a number of different satins and taffeta and interspersed with blocks of suede (I know, right?) and a thick tapestry-like cotton/canvas. The golds and browns were just so well combined, I wish I could take credit for it myself!
The client had already picked out and purchased the backing fabric and the batting. The backing fabric was a muted solid orange sheeting cotton. It turns out the padding was thicker than is normally recommended for quilts. To be honest it actually made lining everything up a bit easier, and the weight of the finished quilt made it as soft and flopsy as any other.
I am very lucky that my lounge floor is big enough to lay a gigantic quilt out flat. This allowed me to line everything up properly and pin along all the seams. Every single block got a minimum of four meticulously pinned pins – I was taking no chances. This made the whole process take quite a bit longer than I initially estimated. The client was wonderfully understanding and patient. When sewing it up I “stitch-in-the-ditch”-ed along every seam. All on my little domestic machine. I employed the trusty Swiss Roll Technique of rolling up the excess fabric as tightly as possible to make it fit through the machine.
Look at my lovely mitered corners! The border was about 10cm wide, folded over.
Unfortunately I didn’t take many “making of” photos – I was too busy enjoying myself! This project has instilled in me a burning desire to make all the quilts. And what’s nice, my mom got me two quilting books so I’ve got plenty to start with – thanks Mom! And thank you Bev for bringing me such a cool quilt, being such an inspiration and being so patient!
The final product
If you liked this Autumn Quilt Creation Chronicle, contact us to arrange your own Studio Brinnjal custom sewing in South Africa.