Well I did say I wanted to finish a few projects and here’s another finish! This was a UFO that has been sitting in my sewing room for a couple of years…
This is actually the quilt that got me back into quilting, so it’s a bit ironic that I’ve only just finished it. I was at the Knitting & Stitching show, probably three years ago, when I saw a beautiful quilt on display on the Hannah’s Room stand, I loved it and it didn’t look too complicated. It was made from one of their batik layer cakes and four fat quarters and the pattern was in the ‘Layer Cake, Jelly Roll and Charm Quilt book by Pam & Nicky Lintott. I bought the lot!
The pattern was called Charming Flowers and the instructions were great. It did go together pretty easily, my main problem, as usual, was arranging the squares in a random fashion. It did help that with Hannah’s Room layer cakes they are completely different fabrics, rather than one fabric in several colourways. Once the main top was complete I felt it needed a border. It took til the following years show to find the perfect border, again from Hannah’s room. I played with it against the top and whilst it went perfectly colourwise, I felt it needed a narrow plain border in between, and that’s where my problems began…
I had the perfect green in my stash, it just wasn’t big enough to do the border. I tried ordering on line, but it was too dark, too bright, I bought a couple on spec but they inevitably the wrong shade, I just couldn’t find the shade I wanted. In the end I took my quilt to last years knitting and stitching show and found a green I was happy with, it’s not as perfect as the one I was looking for, but it will suffice!
I went to Harrogate to find some backing. The remnant shop has a good quilting department upstairs and they also stocked double width batiks but nothing was quite the right colour. The assistant suggested I looked downstairs on the sale rail as they had some dress-making weight batiks. I knew which fabrics she meant as I made a top and a skirt from them last year. They are beautifully soft and also 60″ wide so with one seam I could back my quilt. After much rummaging I found the perfect colour, a soft pinky peach. It feels lovely and snuggly.
I sandwiched it with 505 spray baste and then started to quilt. I decided to quilt with the pattern, rather than doing an all over design. I stitched in the ditch around each star and then stitched a second row about 1/2″ further out, it helped to accentuate the stars. I then chose one star in the centre and stitched in the ditch one square out, I continued with the ever-increasing star shape to the edge, it took a lot of concentration to work out the pattern round the other four stars, it was definitely a job for day time concentration rather than evening sewing! I felt the star centres needed a bit more quilting so I stitched a double cross in the centre, joing all the corners.
Round the border I did a general meander, my meanderings are improving though there still a few wobbles! All that was left was to bind the edges in the green and stitch the name and date on the back.
So why ‘Pimm’s & Lemonade’…
Well here was my train of thought, bear with me as the train does wander!!!…the quilt was very flowery but with stars, I remembered there was a flower called the star flower, though I couldn’t remember what it was. I wondered what it’s other name was, maybe that would give me a name…I googled it…Borage! I love borage, but it’s not exactly a pretty name for a quilt! I remembered the time when I picked borage flowers from my garden and froze them in ice cubes, I think it was for James’s christening as we had a summer garden party. I put the ice cubes in a glass pitcher , I can’t remember if the drink was elderflower cordial or Pimms & Lemonade, but it looked really pretty.
I hadn’t realised how much Pimm’s & lemonade is a British drink until last year. It’s a classic drink for a hot summer’s day, a garden party, a summer wedding, a day at the races. It is traditionally served with cucumber, strawberries and mint in the pitcher. It’s one of those drinks that just goes down a little too easily, last year we went to a wedding where half the guests were American, Pimm’s and lemonade was served as we arrived at the reception. We didn’t realise at first that they were unfamiliar with the drink and presumed it was non-alcoholic, depending on how much lemonade is added it’s at least 5/6%, the bestman was on his third when he said ‘this isn’t alcohalic is it?….’
As soon as I thought of Pimms & lemonade I thought that’s the name for the quilt, the colours are perfect, mint green, strawberry pink, it’s a very flowery quilt and it just reminds me of days sitting in the garden with a Pimm’s & Lemonade, decorated with a few borage flowers.