Sunday, 25 October 2009

Old Family 'Birthday Quilts'

One of the results of writing this blog and having my Flickr page is that I have had a chance to capture and archive lot's of older quilts that I previously only had snap shots of (or no image at all). So I took advantage of the trip I made to visit my parents last week to catalogue all the quilts I had previously made and distributed through that side of the family.
Of course it helped that I had my 'official photographer' with me! Dear hubby has an enormous digital camera and is an extremely talented photographer. He does get a bit annoyed with me nagging him to photograph quilts, but then he shouldn't be so good it at and have the best equipment!

I managed to see all 3 of my neices and nephews, all of whom received a 21st birthday quilt from me. Some of these, such as the red and blue log cabin above, were relatively recent and fresh in my mind. Christopher is 23 so I was working on this just 2 and a half years ago. I used quite heavy fabrics in the most 'manly' colours and patterns I could manage. I was trying for a Ralph Lauren Interiors vibe! Very easy, machine pieced Log Cabin, but all hand quilted (which is when I bitterly regretted the heavier fabric and remembered why I prefer a nice light 'Tana Lawn'!).

This next '21 quilt' was made for Sarah, now 32, and I have to say I could remember nothing about it except that it was made of squares! I was quite shocked when I saw it again as I really had no idea that I had attempted a 'colour wash' type quilt before (I actually say in an earlier post, that the double wedding ring quilt was my first attempt at this!).
I made this at a time when I had exhausted my creative energy with more and more complicated 'Art Quilts', and had effectively channeled all my creativity in to writing and our business. Still, a quilt was a lovely and inexpensive gift (and still is!) for a special birthday. And I had a LOT of fabric. So I guess I made the easiest one I could.

It is all machine pieced and machine quilted (something I wouldn't do now).
But the fabrics are lovely and it was nice to be reminded of some, used up now, but preserved forever.

Katie's '21 quilt' was another unambitious affair. This had originally started as a 'charm' quilt (I think that's what they are called...).
The idea was that the whole quilt would be made up of 2 inch blocks each from a different piece of fabric. However, I ran out! So it remained unfinished in the hope I would keep collecting more. When Kate's birthday came round I dug it out and added to it (duplicating some of the fabrics - yikes!) and adding borders to make it big enough. It's still a nice effect, despite the wonky piecing, and really colourful with a wealth of different fabrics to discover.
I feel slightly bad that the 2 girls got the quilts I put the least effort into (and I think the only non-art quilts to be machine pieced) but I think I have made it up to Kate recently with the Hot Air Balloon cot quilt I made for her new baby, Oscar.

2 years ago I made this cot quilt for her first baby, Olivia.
I bought the lovely 'circus elephant' fabric from Cath Kidston to match the nursery when Kate told me that's what she had chosen (she subsequently changed her mind!).
Again, a simple log cabin (and you can see how much more 'into' quilting I have got in the last couple of years by comparing this one with Oscar's), but the elephants and giraffes really make it and it was all hand quilted.

I picked out the images in the middle and quilted round them.

So there you have it, I quick tour round my family's 'birthday quilts'!
I hope you have enjoyed it.

I have saved one very special quilt that I made 11 years ago for an important family occasion (and actually put a lot of effort in to it!).
I'm going to devote a whole post to that one - so watch this space!


  1. Charming quilts! I love the log cabin

  2. Love reading all about my families' quilts, but I have not got one! I am the only one of your family that is quiltless and am feeling sadly neglected - I do have a significant birthday next year - wlll that qualify me for a guilt?

  3. Love, love, love the log cabin quilt!

  4. Well Sis, you will just have to wait and see...

  5. lovely to see your families quilts - lucky people. :)
    looking forward to your next installement.....

  6. Love the way you choose your colours. That elephant one is too cute..

  7. Just popping in to say I found your blog via google - searching greengate quilts - I LOVE this quilt and it has given me inspiration for the Fresh Funky Modern Quilt Bee I'm involved in.

  8. I came to your blog and once again got sidetracked,this time by all these fabulous older quilts - I have to say that the red, white and blue log cabin one is absolutely fabulous - very Ralph Lauren indeed!