Tuesday, January 21, 2014

In the hedgerow – a quilt finish

I recently finished the quilt that I made for my mother in law. It is (almost) a wholecloth quilt and quilting this one took forever.

Hedge Quilt Kopie

My MIL loves nature, especially birds. But I knew from the beginning that I wanted to make a rather reduced quilt, not a “bold statement”. She has browns and blue-ish greens in her appartment and I didn’t want to add more colour.

Believe it or not: I tried some paper piecing! After Lynne’s class in London 2012, I only made on other block (during a Modern Quilt Guild Bielefeld Sew-in). And then I went crazy and chose this block:

Hedge Bird pp

A blue tit (pattern bought here). Let me just say, Lynne’s class helped a lot and despite of all those little bits and pieces, it came together rather smoothly. The seamripper came out once or twice but within three or four evenings I was able to complete the paper pieced block.

Hedge Bird Block

I later embroidered the eye in black DMC floss.

I “extended” that branch to both sides and added only white kona as background.

I then free-motion quilted leaves all over the background. I started with these easy leaves - until I ran out of this variegated (Aurifil) thread.

Hedge leaves 2

After some muttering and swearing, I chose another green-ish variegated thread and quilted some other leaves – a bit more difficult, I admit.

Hedge Leaves 1

I am sorry, but I found it very hard to take photos of that “light-green and white variegated thread” on white fabric. Here’s another shot of both kinds of leaves together:

Hedge leaves 1 and 2

For good measure and to add some interest, I added a dragonfly (in a gree-blue variegated Aurifil)… (inspired by this book)

Hedge Dragonfly

…and a caterpillar in the same colours.

Hedge caterpillar

I pondered on the bird’s quilting for a long time and in the end, I simply stitched in the ditch around all the larger pieces. That meant a lot of thread changes, though…

Hedge Bird Threads

I am however happy with the result. The stitches are almost invisible and the bird is crisp and radiant compared to the (almost) white background.

Hedge Bird

I used some white-brown-blue large scale print for the back and machine-bound my quilt in more kona white, stitching the binding down with a triple zig zag stitch.

Hedge binding and backing

Here’s one last shot where you might be able to see the scale of the leaves. I did not want to quilt it too densely and it came out of the dryer very soft and fluffy.

Hedge Bird from afar

I hope that this quilt brings some joy and comfort to my MIL who will have to undergo a major surgery in a few weeks. I am happy to report that she liked her quilt and I sincerely hope that she will use it often: she remarked that it was “too precious to use” (o:

Does that happen to you, too? And how do you persuade the presentee to actually use his/her new quilt?



  1. As a non-FMQ-er (for now, anyway), I'm very impressed with your leaves! It's something for me to aspire to :-). As for the using, I try and include washing directions in the card in the hopes of encouraging use. I've also been known to say, "see? It's washable! Please give this quilt lots of love!"

  2. Wow I love this - the bird is amazing and the near-whole-cloth quilt is so minimalistic and perfect! I know I would love a quilt like this :)

  3. What a fantastic original quilt, very beautiful work. I tell them that if they dont use it I wont make them another one!

  4. This is gorgeous!!!! Awesome design and quilting especially. I know a lot of people are too afraid to use quilts they have received but I tell them- if you wear it out- I will be SO flattered and I will make you another. My SIL wore out a patchwork bag I made her and I simply made her another- it totally made her excited and happy.

  5. So very cool. Love all that negative space. Sigh...

  6. It´s so beautiful, Christine. You do miracles with your hands. Kisses

  7. This is so unique and beautiful! For considering yourself a "confident beginner" (scoff!) that block turned out absolutely stunning :)

  8. Das ist ja Super süß. Es wunderschön geworden mit der großen freien Fläche, das quirlten sticht dann besonders hervor. Tolles FMQ...

  9. This quilt is absolutely stunning! I love all the white around it, it really makes the bird stand out. The FMQing is fabulous. I would love a quilt like that, that's for sure.

  10. Du bist die perfekte Schwiegertochter :0)
    LG, Karin

  11. Ein wunderschöner Quilt - soviel Zeit und Arbeit... Ist klar, dass Deine Schwiegermutter den tollen Quilt "schützen" will. Aber es ist wie mit den schicken Kinderanziehsachen - dann zieht man sie den Kindern nie an, weil sie ja schmutzig werden und kaputt gehen könnten und dann sind die lieben Kleinen ratz-fatz rausgewachsen. Man MUSS die Sachen einfach nutzen! Und wenn man dem Quilt die Nutzung irgendwann mal wirklich ansehen sollte, dann nähst Du halt einen neuen :-) Vielleicht kannst Du Deine Schwiegermutter damit überzeugen?

  12. Wow, eigentlich bin ich gar nicht so ein großer Quilt-Fan, aber dieser haut mich um!

  13. Was für ein wunderschöner, toller Quilt. Fast kann ich es Deiner Schwiegermutter nicht verdenken, dass sie ihn nicht benützen will ... aber vielleicht kannst Du sie ja damit überzeugen, dass ein Quilt, der zum Kuscheln gedacht ist, nur dann wirklich glücklich ist, wenn er auch genau dafür benutzt wird ?

  14. Que cosa más linda!! Felicidades por tu mami, toda una master en esto del patchwork

  15. So lovely! :)
    Greetings from Finland!
    Hugs, Ulla

  16. Meine Quilts werden alle benutzt. Daher habe ich damit kein Problem. Meine Tochter wünscht sich auch einen weißen Quilt. Vielleicht kann ich sie ja auch zu einem klitzekleinen Motiv wie deinem Vogel überreden, das würde es ein wenig anders und besonders machen. Dein Quilt gefällt mir sehr gut.

  17. Your quilt your quilt is absolutely gorgeous Christine..... You must be No.1 Daughter in Law... It's not just your sewing skill... It's your vision & design ... Clever you....

  18. This quilt is lovely, your mother-in-law will be very happy ;-)

  19. This is beautiful, I love it! Your bird is lovely. I have been studying paper piecing and I'm going to try it soon. I never thought I would want to do paper piecing but such pretty things come from it!

    1. I forgot to add, the quilting is wonderful too!

  20. AMAZING! Your little bird is stunning and the leaves he sits amongst are so impressive!!!

  21. Wow, ich dachte beim ersten Blick, dass du den Vogel appliziert hast, aber das PP sieht mir nicht weniger kompliziert aus :)

  22. This quilt is so inspiring! The leaves are very well executed and I love that you added in the little caterpillar, dragonfly and stitched around the bird.

    Quilts are made to be used you could tease her and say that it would make you sad if she didn't use it:)

  23. Beautiful in it's simplicity - very fresh and spacious. the quilting gives it a lovely texture. Hilary Florence

  24. Wow... I love the idea and the bird looks so real, amazing!

  25. I love this quilt! Beautiful concept and execution!

  26. Your quilt is really wonderful. Love this kind, it is a wonderful idea just the bird with so wonderful quilting.
    Grit from Germany

  27. Just saw this on flickr - love it! For people who don't want to use a quilt with a lot of white, I always point that white is easier to clean because you can use a bleach pen or whatever and that it will look better the more that it's washed. But it's hard!

  28. toll, toll, toll!!! So ein kleiner Vogel, und so wirkungsvoll! Ein wirklich gelungener Quilt Christine, ich bin hin und weg.. Ganz liebe Grüße von

  29. Wow! I have just discovered your website via VictorianQuiltDesigns and I have to tell you that I love your quilts. I really enjoy the use of grey together with a mass of scrappy colour - your Dare to Be Different (elephant) quilt was the first one I saw. WHich lead me to check out your blog and I have had a wonderful time looking at your lovely work - such an inspiration you are. I too am very fond of using striped fabric for binding and I see that you do too. This year I have resolved to try paper piecing, and I hope that one day I will be able to make a gorgeous bird (blue tit I think it is on your MIL's quilt) like you have. Your MIL's quilt is absolutely fabulous - my other resolution is to try FMQ and your amazing quilting on this quilt is such an inspiration to me - I really really want to be able to do that. The coloured thread insects were such a great idea. I have found a new blog to follow and I am really looking forward to it.
    perry94022 at hotmail com

  30. So beautiful! Greetings from Arizona!


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