Friday, 19 November 2010

Calico Country

Well hello readers, how does this Friday in November find you all? It's actually one of those bright, crisp and sunny mornings here, always gets the day off to a good start.

It's the sort of chilly weather that makes you want a good snuggle indoors though, don't you find (any excuse!) Perfect for catching up on all that reading, hand sewing and perhaps a spot of blog surfing. (Some great books we found in the second hand shop in Bridport last Saturday.)

As we all know, the world of blogging is a constant and never-ending source of inspiration. So too are the many books which proliferate my shelves here in the Den. Maybe it's the weather but I've found that my colour preferences have been changing recently. You would be forgiven for associating me with candy coloured fabrics, 1930's reproductions maybe, gorgeous vintage pinks and greens definitely! But with Autumn has come a new found love of a more sludgy palette (more of that project next week) and from somewhere, a love of reds, blues and creams. How very patriotic!

Many of the quilting books available come from America (books by "That Patchwork Place" being my absolute favourites), where there is of course, a long tradition of quilting and I would say quilting is more popular there today then it is here in Blighty. Maybe there are just more people to be quilting? When I'm mooching through my quilting books, which I do every day even if not until bedtime, I'm often struck by the beautiful and very patriotic offerings within; cosy, cute, homespun. I also, whilst surfing a while back at one of my favourite blogs, was struck by Alicia's gorgeous quilt (and look at that doggy!) So last week, seized by the sudden desire to make a creamy country-style quilt of my own, out came every cream, blue or red fabric from my stash. A bit of pink crept in too. As my sister, then in residence remarked, "Do you ever make anything without pink in it?" Cheeky.

So here it is, what became a rather gigantic quilt top! I sat with a pile of 6" squares and before I knew it, these became a pile of 50 four-patch blocks. Even after making this sizable quilt top, I had a handful left over. This quilt is ready to come together, as you can see. Backing is taped to the floor, batting relaxing on top, quilt top ready to make up the "sandwich".

I loved working with these colours. I don't use a lot of red in my work so it was good to give these fabrics an outing.

But why isn't it finished, Hen?

Well because I was waiting for pins to get that quilt sandwich together. The pins were being used on another quilt. Because I had left over blocks so I thought I'd make a sister red-blue-and-creamy quilt. Naturally, this was a bit of a mad idea as although I had some blocks left, I needed to make many more! But what can I say, it was pure pleasure and because of all those cute ditsy fabrics, which I learned from Alicia are called calicoes, "Calico Country" was born.

It has some delicious vintage fabrics...

..alongside beautiful cute calicoes of course...

..and some retired "impossible to get hold of" Cath K fabric...

Out into the garden then, but the sun is casting mischevious shadows on my quilt!

Jacky-Ginge accompanies me, naturally, never one to be left out of the action.

This is a very cute quilt, warm and pouffey, super-snuggly...

An extra layer on the bed?

Perfectly suited to a good snuggle on the sofa!

Calico Country awaits someone to get cosy with here!

Have a wonderful weekend...


  1. Hen
    They are beautiful, I got a stash of old fabric books from my aunt who is a curtain maker so you have gave me inspiration to make something today when I'm off work. Obviously it will be something small as I'm only learning. Thanks for sharing and hope you have a lovely weekend

    All things nice...

  2. *waving madly* G'day my lovely Hen!
    Such a long time since I've had the chance to stop by and have a visit, but today I am so enamored with your delightful Calico Country quilt, made with so many delicious patchwork squares. Makes me smile!
    Hoping your Autumn days and evenings are filled with warmth and joy :)
    xo, Kali

  3. Lovely quilts, Hen. Love those tiny- flowered fabrics.

  4. Another wonderful quite Hen - love it! I could just jump underneath it and snuggle up with a good book. Have a lovely weekend x

  5. Lovely quilts! I imagine making such big ones is quite hard work - well done you! Someone will treasure that one!

  6. what lovely quilts, and much as I admire your usual palette of colours, I do love those too - the reds look particularly seasonal, and I am now feeling even more in the mood to spend the weekend snuggled on the sofa, not doing very much at all. Hope you have a lovely weekend - are you going to be down in Dorset for the December christmas thing they do in Bridport - am going, so will look out for you if you and the family are going to be in the locality!

  7. That quilt is beautiful and stunning.
    Julie xxxxxxx

  8. Beautiful quilts and I love the amigurumi cat in the first picture.

  9. LOVE IT ! its beautiful- love the colours. wish I was clever like you.

  10. Amazing work - really looks stunning. Hope to treat myself to one of your gorgeous quilts sometime! G

  11. Beautiful quilts Hen, someone is going to be very happy snuggling up under them.
    Carol xx

  12. HI Hen
    Beautiful work again! I managed to find a quilt this morning in vintage 60's fabric.
    Will you be going to Bridport next weekend, I have a stall at the rag market?

  13. Ahh I love Alicia's blog! One of the very first I ever followed! Another beautiful quilt as always Hen! :) xox

  14. wow i love your quilts i am always amazed at how quick the squares seem to come together i love youe colour choice and use of fabric stunning. And it looks like my Timmy cat has come to your house ;-)) They could be twins. Have a lovely weekend. Dee x

  15. You might need your beautiful quilt as I hear snow is on the way!
    I love it,

  16. Your quilts are so pretty - i love the calico quilt you are very creative! love the vintage cath kidston i have some of that in pink and try to use it as much as possible.

  17. I'm finally back with some blog reading.
    WOW, you made such a lovely hearts!
    You will do great at the Christmas fair with them. Have fun.

  18. Your quilts are alway soooo lovely!! Also thought I'd let you know that I nominated your blog for a "One Lovely Blog" award :-) xx

  19. just love the quilt - very snuggly - you are a very speedy worker

  20. It's gorgeous Hen!!! I don't know how you could part with it! I am in love with that pink rose fabric in the first close-up. So yummy!

  21. What a lovely wooly kitty (top pic) - did you make it yourself?

  22. Hello lovely Hen! Thanks for your comment about the Frankie Spaces book - would you be interested in a swap for some British mags? My email is allison at

    Beautiful quilt top by the way!x

  23. Oh that is lovely. I used to wonder exactly what calico was when I read Laura Ingalls Wilder books, but I did work it out. And there are lovely fabric names in Milly Molly Mandy books, too.

    I love it that you spotted the Valley of Adventure in my photo! The Adventure Series were my favourite EB books and I love that edition. But the boys never really got into them - maybe one day they'll pick up that vintage copy and discover it for themselves!


You are warmly encouraged to leave a comment here. Your comments are emailed directly to me so rest assured I read and treasure every one. Thank you for supporting my blog with your comment. X