Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Vintage Fabric in a Modern Quilt

Happy New Year to you all!

At our family Christmas gathering, I was able to hand over a welcome quilt I had been working on for our gorgeous 5 month old great-nephew, Lachlan.  When his great-grandmother, Mary (my sister-in-law's mother) down-sized, much of her patchwork stash was passed on to me, for which I was very grateful.   It included some of the most beautiful scraps of liberty fabrics as well as a large assortment of hexagons of different sizes: some single basted to paper, some in flowerettes and a long chain of mostly red flowers joined in a strip.  When Lachie was born, I knew I wanted to use these in a quilt, that would therefore be the shared creation of both his great-grandmother and great-aunt.

It took me quite some time to work out how to effectively use the hexagons.  I wanted it to be suitable for a boy (despite the florals), and, because I hope it will become a keepsake, I didn't want it to be too babyish, such that he would grow out of it quite quickly.  However, I still wanted a childlike naivity.  His mother, as a florist, has a very artistic eye, and I hoped that using the vintage hexagons with large areas of neutral, pure linen background in the style of a modern quilt would appeal.

The quilt reminds me of a small boy's blocks strewn across the floor - some are connected and some large construction is beginning to take shape.  I deliberately made the quilting irregular, like doodling, by free-motion quilting around the shapes, rather than using a walking foot and ruler, and the quilting is designed to create a visual connection and reference between the scattered hexagons.  The fabric is a real mixture, mostly cotton, with some batik, dress fabrics and linen.  My sister-in-law recognised some of the fabrics from her mother's dresses or a cushion cover, which was lovely!  To my very inexpert eye they look around late 60's / early 70's, but I would be very grateful for any insights or opinions.

And while Lachie may be too young to really understand the provenance of the quilt, I think he still enjoyed it!


Ineke said...

Very nice done and what a lovely boy!

Kathryn said...

Thanks for your comments, Ineke! He is indeed a very lovely and happy baby, and we were lucky enough to spend a few days together with 4 generations of the family over Christmas / New Year.

Lynn Cohen said...

How precious to come here and find this adorable baby! Pretty quilt too of course!

lisette said...

that is a beautiful quilt - really lovely and thoughtful.

he is a cute baby too :)

Kathryn said...

Thank you Lisette and Lynn for dropping by my blog, and taking the time to comment. It is wonderful being a great-auntie - all the pleasure, none of the pain!

Quilts on Bastings said...

Hi Kathryn,
What a gorgeous baby and wonderful quilt - I love the way you have used the hexagons.

Kathryn said...

Thanks Karen (although I can't really take credit for the baby!), and congratulations on your feature in P&Q magazine!