A Liberty lawn and Oakshott quilt

My children have returned to school after the long summer holiday this morning and so it feels entirely appropriate that, as I'm feeling discombobulated without their lovely voices around the house, I'm beginning work on a quilt for my daughter's birthday. Making a quilt with a particular person in mind always feels like spending time with them and with this one, as my little boy has been enthusiastically co-conspiratorial in its planning, it doesn't feel as though he is so very far away either.
You may remember that I'd admired the Oakshott pastel bundle that I'd seen at the Festival of Quilts and said how well I thought they'd work teamed with Liberty prints in a future quilt for my daughter. Shortly after Lynne read that she sweetly sent me over a spare bundle of fat eighths that she had in her own stash (thank you so much, Lynne xxx). When I saw how well the colours went with the hand-pieced miniature tessellations that I'd recently made and been pondering over what to with, it felt serendipitous and as though it must have been intended all along to go at the centre of her birthday quilt.

A few evenings ago, I cut the oakshott into half-square triangles and chose Liberty prints to match their colours.

Sewing them together felt odd and slightly thrilling: it was the first time I'd used my sewing machine for over six weeks! I don't think I've ever parted company from it for such a length of time over the last six years, but the hand-sewing bug bit me rather vigorously over the summer. I had wondered if I'd ever want to sew with it again, so it was something of a relief to find that I'm still a creature capable of enjoying both kinds of sewing simultaneously. Although it took another two evenings to sew together the half-square triangles, it felt magically speedy after the slow pace of hand-piecing.

Finally, last night I cut the dog's ears from the pieced squares and enjoyed watching an unexpected confetti of thread and fabric appear on my cutting mat.

Today I'll start work on piecing it all together. I'm planning to intersperse it with some more hand-pieced blocks (yet to be pieced), which will mean that it may become something of a time-nightmare to get it done in time for her birthday. We'll see.

This holiday has been a time for de-cluttering. We decided to buy a large table-tennis table for our garage, which meant clearing it of years' worth of hoarding and saving. Three full car-loads to the charity shop, one 5ft skip and several trips to the recycling centre and not only is our garage now a spotless games room, but our whole house has been de-cluttered. Some things it's hard to let go of though. My daughter no longer wanted this shoebox house in her room (which she'd made  with her brother several weeks ago) and yet it seems too lovely to part with. Sometimes taking photos of things before giving them up can help (and perhaps writing about them too!) as then they don't feel entirely forgotten and abandoned.
They'd made a wood burning stove, complete with orange flames, smoke funnel and wood basket beside it (I'm unsure where they'd collected the miniature bark chippings from), a rug from a velvet fabric sample and decorated the walls with their own posters, which I adore, because they are entirely of their own inspiration as we have neither a 'keep calm and carry on' poster or a portrait of the Queen in our own house.

They also created a partition wall and papered it in purple to create privacy for a double bed, again with its own wall decoration hanging above it.

Writing about it hasn't helped in this case. I love what they've done so much that I'm going to have to argue the case for putting it up in the loft.

I have sewing things stacked up to keep me busy for the next two months, what are your plans for autumn?

Florence x


  1. Ahh, I do so love when your posts appear in my blog reader! The liberty-oakshott quilt will be utterly delightful, I can't wait to see it. I too have been consumed by hand-sewing hexagons in recent weeks, yesterday was the first time I'd had my machine out in at least three weeks.
    Congratulations on your decluttering, that is impressive. We are preparing to move out while our house is extended and are decluttering in the process - our garage, also full of years of junk, is to become my sewing studio!
    Finally, thank you for using the word discombobulated. One of my favourite words (though not the best feeling, necessarily). Xx

  2. Slow decluttering going on here this summer, too. I'm very bad at it... Plus my grandmother's doing some major decluttering and I've acquired a bunch of her clutter (very high-class clutter, I must add, largely fabric-based and some of it originally my great-grandmother's) to add to my own. The shoebox house is too cute to go, I agree. Bring it out when one of them moves into their first flat! The quilt looks like it's going to be another lovely one. x

  3. I can already see the quilt in my head, and it will be beautiful. Those pastels really do blend in well with the liberty fabric. You have one very lucky daughter.

  4. I'm so pleased you've found a fantastic use for your hand-pieced centre block and given how often you write of your daughter's love for Liberty I'm sure that she will be blown away by the entire quilt! We've also been doing some decluttering - must be the summer for it?! And I love the shoe box room - have you seen the Cath Kidston design a room competition, I think there's a childrens category. Let me find a link.....http://news.cathkidston.com/make-your-dream-room-in-a-shoe-box/ Sx

  5. I'm making blocks from Liberty and Oakshott as well, although I'm using some colours from their Sunrise pack, so a bit of a different colour scheme to yours.

    Years ago, my children made a little model village from cardboard boxes, with a church, a pub and some houses, complete with open fires and chimneys. I couldn't bear to throw it away when they got bored with it, so I kept it and we put it up on the mantelpiece each Christmas. Even though they are 16 and 14 now, they still like to look at it and remember when they made it.

  6. I wish I had the possibility to hire a skip...my attic decluttering has been taking ages. I love the house your kids made. Very stilish.
    The quilt colors look great!

  7. I'm still ploughing my way through the hexy mf quilt with your stash of fabric that i bought. I am so enjoying the hand sewing for a change, my biggest dilemma will be do i start another for my friends christmas present - i find myself already thinking about what colours i would use.

  8. Hi, I may be replying in the wrong section but just wanted to say I have (just!) finished your fab makeup bag tutorial! My finished article is far from perfect but I totally love it! Your instructions were amazing to follow. I've a feeling I will be making many more of these :)
    Karen x

  9. Wait - don't put away their little shoe box room! Cath Kidston has a shoe box room competition on at the moment and your little ones could easily enter it!

  10. We moved and downsized so decluttering is definately on the bill for this fall. I'd like to make a young lady expecting a little girl a baby quilt too.

  11. I'm sure your daughter will love her quilt, plans for the autumn well I'd love to make quilt for my newest 5 week old daughter but my tiara and jewellery making business is quite busy so I will have to see how things happen.

  12. Wow that is going to be one beautiful quilt, I just love the gorgeous pastel shades with the liberty prints. I love quilts that are a combination of techniques, and like you, I love hand quilting as much as using my machine. Your daughter is going to be thrilled and its just lovely that your son had a hand in it too. As for your children's shoebox house, it's so adorable, and I don't blame you for keeping it. I love to de-clutter but some things you just can't let go of. I made a shoebox Anderson Shelter when I was about 10 and I am sure it's still in my parents loft somewhere!

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