Wednesday, 2 November 2016

St Catherine's School Quilt

I have a couple of different quilts on the go at the moment which aren't for publication so I can share some WIP posts about them. This first one is quite exciting as it's the first public commission I have ever had.

One of my students, Morag, is a teacher at a local catholic primary school, St Catherine's, which is coming up to it's 50th anniversary. An ex-head teacher gave them some money to commemorate this event and Morag suggested getting me to make a quilt to hang in their reception area. I was really touched and honoured to be asked and said yes straight away.

Morag and I worked on the design together and I came up with this plan above. Part of St Catherine's logo is the broken wheel that St Catherine was crucified on (not an auspicious start I know but stay with me!). We decided to make the wheel representative of the school year with the broken spokes being the summer break. The different areas between the spokes are coloured to represent the seasons and they will be quilted with images to enhance that. 

There will be an image in each corner to represent different areas of education and the children have a school garden so flowers are growing out of the broken spoke (which I like to think of a nice healing image). The 'C' in the centre is the other part of the school logo and 'Learn, Inspire, Grow' is the school motto. I will also be adding the name of the ex-head teacher around the wheel somewhere in the quilting.

I started putting it together a couple of weeks ago by making a life size template to work out the size of different elements (it will be around 1M square). I then pieced the rainbow stripes and the spokes between them above.

It took a fair bit of 'fabric engineering' to work out how to make the wheel but here it is all laid out ready to be top stitched down along with the drawing to give folks on IG an idea of where I was heading. The outer and inner circles and the broken spoke are all lined and the curvy outer bits have had their edges turned under using a card template and tin foil. I have an abhorrence of raw edge applique with a zig-zag edge so, though this is machine applique, all the edges are turned under :)

Turquoise is part of the school uniform so the background is a pale turquoise Blueberry Park fabric (courtesy of Karen Lewis herself - thanks Karen!), I was going to use a solid fabric but I thought these 'scruffy daisies' worked so well and I plan to quilt around some of them.

All the other decoration will be by hand so I began stitching the leaves using needle-turn applique at the weekend. The stems will be added with hand quilting.

I took the photo below yesterday when I planned to write this post, but I got distracted (by my other project!) and ended up finishing all the flowers in front of the TV last night (see top photo). I LOVE the flowers! I adapted flower patterns from all the seasonal garland cushions I have been making for Today's Quilter this year.

The 'C' looks a tiny bit wonky to me and I am considering unpicking the circle and rotating it a tiny amount to the left - what do you think? But on the whole I am pleased with how it's looking. Though now I am on to the trickier bits in the corners. I plan to use buttons for the abacus and text print for the book but I am a bit stumped by the globe! I guess I will just have to applique land shapes on to sea - any other ideas folks? If only I had some globe fabric!

But I am working to a deadline as the anniversary is at the end of November and includes a special mass and a visit from the cardinal! I am also making a curtain so we can have a proper unveiling!! Very exciting, though I think I am more worried about the technicalities of producing a small working curtain than finishing the quilt!

I will write another post after the event so you can hear how I got on and see the finished quilt in situ.


  1. I found this on the internet - not sure if the scale is correct for your project though!? Love it all - symbolism but pretty with it!

  2. Amazing. Your planning is so interesting and I love your design!

  3. Could you get a globe design (or the land/sea part) printed on to fabric using a printing service such as Spoonflower?

  4. what a wonderful design you have come up with this is going to look spectacular hung in the school, very good motto the school has too

  5. I think the C might bug you until you unpick it, but it's such a lovely quilt - they will be so pleased.

  6. The valentine's day bouquet I sent to my love. I ordered it at 11:00am and it was delivered at 2pm!!! So beautiful Flower Bouquets! Simply stunning! I will definitely be bringing my business back to this gem of a florist.

  7. Very clever. Could be worth an unpick and replace.

  8. How big does your globe need to be? I have some planet fabric that has earth on it. Let me know and I'll measure it xxx

  9. Your design is coming together beautifully!!