Thursday, 31 March 2011

Flowery Love

A strange thing has happened: the sun has come out! After a decidedly dismal start here in the capital, there have been some pleasant spells for the middle of the day, I ventured outside to find it was really warm. I was also beyond pleased to see these beautiful little blooms...

Way back last Spring, I picked up a little pack of auricula plantlets from the sale section of the outrageously gorgeous Sarah Raven catalogue. They looked pretty sorry for themselves when they arrived in the post but amazingly enough, I actually managed to separate the plantlets out and plant them. I say this as I have been known to buy plants and bulbs and never get round to planting them. I found just the right collection of old terracotta pots in the garden, already looking suitably interesting, vintage-y and adorned with lichen. I did as I was told and put a smattering of gravel on top of the soil but Mr Squirrel Nutkin has upended the pots many times over the Winter so the floor is now littered with little stones, as opposed to the pots.

Despite this and the fact that they have looked very uninteresting indeed for a year, and that a lot of snow sat on them in December, these auriculas are hardy little devils and seem to quite like neglect - the perfect plant for yours truly! I adore these plants, gaze at them lovingly at the Chelsea FlowerShow every year, and who would ever have thought, now I have some of my own!

Well, sorry about all that over-the-top auricula love, back down to earth and here is this week's quilty ta-dah as it feels like it's becoming a weekly thing.

I started this quilt waaaay back. The idea for the pattern came from a magazine but I changed it a bit and added borders and corner stones. The blocks in the centre are a mixture of full-on blowsy roses, little nine-patches and rail fences. I finished the top but then left it languishing for months. I had thought about giving it a soft microfleece type backing, went so far as to buy it, but it just didn't feel right. One day, I found Vorey-Puss had made a bed in the pile of fleece which sort of seemed like a sign! I see other people make quilts in this way, without batting but with a fleece blanket backing, joined envelope-style and without binding, I truly think they look very nice but something of the purist in me can't get away from traditional quilt making.

Sometimes all that sandwiching and taping and pinning and hand binding can seem laborious but in truth, it's mainly a pleasure.

This quilt top has been made largely from Jennifer Paganelli fabrics, she produces fabulous fabric ranges in the most delicious of colour palattes. I have added a Tanya Whelan rose border which I love and think goes well.

I was in my local fabric shop recently when I spotted a new bolt of pretty ditsy floral cotton and bought a few metres on impulse, but in the back of my head, this quilt top was in my mind. I think it looks really beautiful on the back, with a feature panel of the pretty rosy fabrics.

The binding is from the Jennifer Paganelli range and is just the ticket, I think, hand sewn of course, no cutting corners with machine sewing!

It is quite a sizeable quilt at about 52" square and has a cosy batting inside. I spent some time quilting it, both in a criss-cross pattern through the centre of the quilt, then outline stitching in the ditch around the borders. The problem is that I have pretty much fallen in love with this quilt but I'm sure my intention in making it was hopefully to sell it!

Oh dear!

I was tidying in my den and fortuitously came across the name patch which as you can see, I made last October. Just shows how long I have dithered over this project but I am glad, as the end result is worth it.

I have decided to see if anyone else loves this quilt and wants to re-home it as I know I have many more quilts in my mind that I want to make and will probably fall in love with too, and it really is such a pleasure to have people buy and enjoy my quilts as they do. Therefore, it's waiting for a great new home here .


  1. I have to confess that I'm not really a New Quilt sort of person- I tend to fall in love with them when they've reached the end of their "intended" lives and are tattered shells of their former glory!

    I have one quilt which I use wrong-side up, as so much of the backing has disintegrated that you can clearly see the Georgian invoices used for the hexagon templates which were never taken out (gives the quilt a quirky rustling sound when moved!!)

    This quilt that you've made is just divine and for some reason really appeals to me- the colours are so fresh and modern but with a girly twist- you are just SO clever, I'm full of admiration.

    Also full of admiration as to how CLEAN your garden bench must be after the winter to be able to rest the quilt on it!!

    I sort of hope you sell it, and sort of hope you get to keep it if you really want.

  2. Hi Bunny! I actually spent a very manky hour cleaning the bench today, think I was wetter than the bench thanks to a broken spray gun on the hose. It's clean now but "weathered" which is a bit gutting when I think how long it took me to paint last year! Thank you for your kind quilty words. Wow, the Georgian quilt sounds wonderful.
    hen x

  3. Oooh loving those pinks, turquoise and yellows together - nice and fesh for Spring. If only we had some of your warmth down here. It's been a bit of a dreary day in Dorset!

  4. The colours of your quilt are beautiful! Really fresh and happy! Cx

  5. As you know I don't do pink but I do appreciate the hard work and I do love the roses.
    More to the point I love auriculas, especially lined up in a theatre, similar to your etagere! I also love your old apple? tree.
    See you next week
    T x

  6. Oooooooooooh! Another gorgeous quilt
    Julie xxxx

  7. Luscious!
    Auriculas and the quilt equally lovely.
    I know what you mean about fleece backings,I tried it once, it just isn't right.

  8. I love the quilt and you have use my favorite fabric designer too. Jennifer Paganelli's fabrics are so colourful and full of joy!

  9. Your new quilt is beautiful! I love the fabrics you choose!

  10. I too was out gazing lovingly at my auriculas earlier today, the sun was out but the wind was really, really strong.
    Another beautiful quilt, I'm sure it will soon find a new home but it must be very hard to let any of them go.
    Carol xx

  11. I love the close up photo of the auricla - beautiful colours, worthy of being printed on a greetings card. Auriculas are one of my favourites too, the colour ranges are astounding and I like their funny musty smell too - am I odd?!

    Super quilt, you've used really zingy colours - that turquoise is stunning.

  12. Stunning!!! That quilt is just stunning! I am about to begin hand quilting my first ever is a little baby one so is more manageable. This is an inspiration! x

  13. Gorgeous flowers and quilt! I so admire quilters. Wish I could learn.

  14. Every new quilt you post on here I think I like more that the ones that have gone before, but I really love the colours of this one. It's so sunny! x

  15. Hello from New York, Hen.

    Your quilts continue to amaze me. I cannot quite imagine how I would ever complete one myself, and this is mingled in with my memories of beauties that my grandmother made (all by hand of course.)

    What I really want to comment is how much I also love those strangely beautiful, somewhat artificially so, ...the auriculas.

    Wonderful that yours have gotten through whatever interim seasons might have been needed to ... bloom!

    As ever, let me say how much I love visiting your site. xo

  16. Yet another beautiful quilt Hen. Love the flowers too :) x

  17. oooohhhh such beautiful fabrics and soooo very pretty and girly i really like this one no wonder you would like to keep it, but i am sure it will be snapped up as soon as it goes on sale. Love your pot shelf to. have a lovely weekend, dee x

  18. The flowers and the quilt are really pretty!

  19. That is such a pretty quilt. I amazed how quickly you get something put together AND QUILTED!! How can you bear to par with it though !!

  20. Serious auricula growers never top dress with gravel…the argument being you can’t see when the soil needs watering. Perhaps the squirrels knew this and were doing you a favour :-)
    As I’m sure you know they originate from alpine plants so they actually love a bit of snow and thrive in the cold.

  21. I love your quilt its very beautiful. I love quilts and whenever I find a cute one I try to snap it up. Quilts add so much love and sunshine to our surroundings!!
    Have a wonderful week and enjoy your sunny weather!!
    Chris :o)

  22. Oh what a (nother!) lovely blanket! Makes me think of summer eves when it is still too nice to go indoors - but you need something to take off the chill.

  23. What a lovely blog! I love the auriculae. Are they a member of the primula or primrose family? I want to plant some primroses this year.

    Check out my blog if you like!

  24. Lovely quilt! I just adore those prints and how you've put everything together.

  25. Love this darling quilt and the pretty fabrics you chose! You have such a good eye for color. Honestly, your quilts are all so wonderful, I don't see how you part with them. But I guess you know you can always make another one! Bess


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