My favourite room in the house is our lounge. It’s not grand or particularly big and it’s certainly not stylish, filled as it is with an eclectic assortment of furniture from a cheap IKEA cabinet to a 1990’s music system which is never used. But it’s a place that’s relaxing and where as a family we gather when my teens venture out of their rooms, having raided the kitchen first of course. Although if I’m honest the biggest draw isn’t so much my company as the log burner, the best home improvement I’ve ever done. The room has a resident quilt but in the words of no 2 son it’s too thin and too small and that was when he was a foot shorter! It’s the quilt below, a lovely design by Lunden Quilts.
So a new larger and warmer quilt was needed. And I’m hopeful with this new quilt no one will be complaining! Although they are teens so they will….
The room has a terracotta rug chosen by my late husband which I love and will see me out. So everything colour wise is geared round that and it makes for a warm look. But it’s not the most popular choice of colour for modern quilting fabrics. Last year, however, a range called Soulful by the talented and prolific designer Maureen Cracknell came out. Just the perfect colours of apricot, reddish terracotta and complementary warm neutrals.
The problem was no one in the U.K. stocked it or at least anything like the full range. But I had the bright idea of ordering it to arrive at our holiday destination in the US. Well Hawthorne Threads, or probably their carrier, did us proud as we were staying at a remote ranch in the Rockies that’s only open in the summer. But it was waiting for us. I wish I’d ordered more as US prices are so much cheaper.
Now I know many quilters avoid using complete ranges prefering to mix and match but I wanted an harmonious collection of fabrics and certainly don’t have the skills to get this sort of blend of colours and tones. In fact there is another fabric from a different range snooked in there, Wonderland by Pat Bravo. I wanted the scrappy look but there’s only one cream neutral in Soulful so I wanted another to blend in.
I particularly like Maureen’s fabric designs. She tends to have warmer palettes which in my multi beige home go well. This is a mini quilt using her Fleet and Flourish range.
As to design I decided to use my Accuquilt half rectangle die. So easy, so accurate and makes sewing up the blocks a cinch to the point you don’t even need to trim them as the dies cut off the corners so no dog ears and the sizes are spot on.
It is an expensive bit of kit at c £250 and the dies £30 plus but for a stress free quilt you can’t beat it. I know some guilds buy one as a shared resource.
One quilter who recently bought one was expressing on her blog her disappointment that she hadn’t got the dies to cut for a particular quilt design. I think with respect that’s the wrong approach with an Accuquilt. The die sizes are what they are, so unless you buy them all and that would be very, very expensive, then your design needs to start with what size dies you have. This quilt is a perfect example. I wanted a quick and straightforward sewing project for a quilt destined for a friend’s child but eventually it went to the collection of quilts for Grenfell Tower. With accurate sewing and helpful notches these drunkard path blocks needed no trimming. Such a time saver.
I searched around for some half rectangle designs and settled on this one by Melissa of Happy Quilting. The multiple pegs are because we had Storm Eleanor passing through and underfoot it’s a quagmire.
As its been such such an easy make I’ve just been plugging away at it for the last 3 or 4 months. It’s been an easy one to pick up and drop as something else comes along. But this quilt is supposed to be keeping us warm and January and February are often the coldest months. It has a wool batting and a flannel backing and feels very cosy. So having had the top finished a couple of weeks back I grasped the nettle after Christmas and finished the quilt. This one certainly has some heft to it and having had it draped over me for a couple of hours, as I stitched down the binding, it’s definitely warm. I bet we now have the warmest January and February on record….