making

Flower Garden Ramble

To echo the words of Claude Monet “I must have flowers, always, and always.” Having fresh flowers in our home brings me so much joy. They instantly lift a room with their sweet scent and colourful petals. They nod happily at me every morning, greeting me with their showy smiles.

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Monet was an avid garden enthusiast and his garden and home in Giverny is on my bucket list of places to visit. I too love gardening, although I am still trying to find my way and un-earth my own garden. I love watching gardening shows, especially anything by Monty Don who just happens to be my gardening idol. This year I would like to visit more gardens. I want to take leisurely strolls through the plants and flowers, marvelling at the wonders of nature.

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Garden Path at Giverny – Claude Monet. I can picture myself strolling down this path, taking in the sweet scents and colour parade.

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Madame Monet and Child – Claude Monet. Yes, I can think of nothing more pleasant than sitting amongst the flowers and doing some stitching!

Just as I love and must always have real flowers, I also cannot be without the English Paper Piecing kind of flower, the always iconic, hexagon flower. When I received a bundle of Liberty fabrics from Westwood Acres for their Monthly Liberty Club last year, the package was full of so many pretty florals I knew instantly that I had to create something with hexagon flowers.

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I wanted to create a miniature quilt inspired by strolling through a flower garden. I used nine of the liberty floral prints to make the flower petals and three different solid liberty fabrics for the flower centres. I played around a lot with the placement of the flowers before finally settling on the final design.

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I decided I wanted to connect the flowers a bit differently. I wanted the flowers to stand out as individual blooms and not to have their petals touching each other. I used diamonds and hexagons in soft green cotton fabric to separate the flowers. These green shapes both represent the leaves of the flowers, but also the crisscrossing pathway through them.

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I decided to hand quilt, using coloured embroidery floss that picked out a colour from the flower fabrics. I hand quilted around each flower petal, as well as the cross seams of the hexagon diamond motifs between each flower. Lastly, I had quilted around the entire outer edge of the pieced quilt section.

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I used a soft buttery yellow fabric for the border and binding to represent the sunshine that twinkles through the leaves and trees down to the garden below.

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I really love my finished hexie flower garden. It feels happy and calm, and whilst it’s no Monet painting, for me it brings the beauty of flowers and gardens into my craft studio where it hangs.

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Quilt Stats

Paper Pieces Used – ¾” Hexagons, ¾” 60 degree diamonds, ¾” half hexagons, ¾” triangle (diamond cut in half)

Total number of pieces = 123

Paper Pieced finished size = 11.25” x 11.5 “

Border Size = 1”

Finished Quilt Size = 14” x 14.25”

Hours to prep & piece shapes = 18

Hours for hand pieced borders = 6.5

Hours to Quilt = 13

Hours for binding = 1.5

Total hours = 39

Here are some detail photos:

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Hand quilting.

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Border and binding.

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Binding and back.

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Hanging sleeve and ribbon hangers.

Happy stitching lovely makers!

Miss Leela x

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making

A Special Dolls Quilt

Last year a lovely friend commissioned me to make a dolls quilt for her little girl for Christmas. She had been inspired by my large scrappy hexagon quilt and was after a scaled down version. Naturally, I was happy to do this.

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My friend had made a patchwork quilt for her daughter and so I asked if she had any fabric left over from that quilt and I would incorporate the prints into the dolls quilt as well. Knowing my friend was a lover of Liberty fabric, I also included some special floral prints as well as some other fabrics from my stash. I also pulled some fabric from the stash of scraps my friend had given me from her children’s clothing business Ecolier Kids.

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I decide to use ¾” hexagons. This is a nice versatile size, the perfect scale for a quilt to go on a dolls bed, which measured 41 x 26cm. After I had pieced the hexagons to a size that would allow the quilt to hang slightly over the sides of the bed, it was time to quilt.

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I chose simple quilting in straight lines vertically down the quilt that dissected the hexagons in half. I chose fabric from my stash for the backing in a lovely soft pastel brocade floral design.

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For the binding, I also raided my stash to find a plain soft creamy yellow that went nicely with the backing fabric and didn’t overpower the quilt front.

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Of course, I decided that you couldn’t have a dolls quilt without a pillow as well, so I made a ¾” hexagon flower using lovely liberty fabrics and appliqued it to a square of the same binding fabric. I made a two piece overhanging slip back from the quilt backing fabric. I then made a stuffed pillow that was sewn up all four sides to slip into the pillowcase.

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My friend loved the finished quilt and the extra pillow. More importantly, her daughter loved it and has been busy putting her dolls to bed with their new quilt and pillow.

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It is such a wonderful thing to create something so special and to know that it will be treasured for many years to come. I think it is a very true statement when someone explains that an item was stitched with love. I like to add that something was stitched with joy as well. Sewing gives me great pleasure and enjoyment, but the act of sewing something for someone else and seeing the joy on their face when they receive, well that’s one of life’s most beautiful and simple and pleasures of all.

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Happy Stitching Friends!

Miss Leela x