I have a dear friend who has recently added to her family by the addition of a new puppy, a black Labrador rejoicing in the name of Elvis.
Elvis joins another dog they own, a golden Labrador called Lincoln. (And yes Lincoln is named after one of the US’s finest presidents and they really wanted another President name but couldn’t find one that had the reputation they wanted and sounded good as a dog’s name so went for another US icon). My friend sweetly bought me matching baby quilts for my twins 14 years ago which are still tucked away somewhere so I’ve been meaning to return the favour with this new addition.
The plan had been to make a couple of flannel quilts similar to the ones I made our cats but in golds/creams and the other blue/black to match their colouring. But I found it really hard to find flannel in the U.K. that wasn’t child oriented or pastels. I could find grey/blue flannel fabric but not yellow or cream that is until yesterday.
I went to the Quilt and Stitch show in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire. If I’m honest I didn’t find it very inspiring with the notable exception of a couple of modern quilts and a textile art display by Eclectica, a small group of textile artists in the West Midlands. Abigail of Cut and Alter had entered a quilt I’d been watching coming along on IG. It was absolutely stunning and was attracting a lot of interest (and won a ribbon). As the quilt is hot off the press (or the long arm more accurately) I didn’t think it was right to include a picture ahead of Abigail doing that but here is a pic of her other quilt that has been shown and won ribbons elsewhere and picked up another well deserved first yesterday.
But the rest of the quilts? Well they didn’t do much for me, beautifully and very skillfully executed but too trad for my taste as were the trade stands. But I did find some flannel. This is the grey mixture. These are Moda Primitive Gatherings and were perfect for my purposes.
I suspect that flannel is more popular in the US not just because of the size of the quilting market there, many multiples of ours, but simply the harsher climate in large swathes of that country. I accept visually it’s not as attractive but oh the comfort and softness. Perfect for pets and quite possible me!
I went for a very simple 9″ square patch work design backed by fabric cut from fleecy blankets. They make a very practical, warm and cosy quilt. Ideal for covering furniture or lining baskets or carriers.
These were simple quilts and quick to make even with the dreaded fleece backing which I hate using because of the mess but does make for a lovely cosy quilt. This is my attempt at styling these as if you would find quilts draped over trees but the blossom is pretty.
Skye as ever cross that I’m not petting or feeding her makes her protest clear…
The quilt show is a bit unusual as it’s spread across a number of buildings. Trying to work out where to go I spied on the map a Men’s Crèche!! It reminded of this rather entertaining blog post by Abby Glassenberg of While she naps about a similar set up at a quilt show in the USA. There the issue was the gender stereotyping around the existence of a Husbands’ Lounge – the inference being that quilters are women, heterosexual and married. Now I strongly suspect that yesterday the vast majority were exactly that. There were a few men in tow. I am always impressed by this as I’m sure my late husband would have found any excuse not to join me. But if I were an accompanying spouse/partner I’d rather have a ‘lounge’ to retreat to than a ‘creche’ with its demeaning baby connotation !! But it was interesting when I went to check it out it was locked and empty. Somebody else perhaps had realised that it wasn’t quite the right tone.