I’m enjoying making this quilt so much, it’s a design by Kathryn Whittingham and all the instructions and patterns are in a book, called, unsurprisingly, The Cottage Garden Quilt. The instructions are great, leaving lots of room to make it personal, it’s just a gorgeous design! Three weeks ago I was about half way across the top row…
The next block to embroider was of a beehive. There’s flowers around it’s base and bees buzzing overhead of course. I stitched similar flowers to Kathryn on the left, but I decided to put foxgloves on the right. Having stitched the flowers I realised that Kathryn’s stem stitched narrow leaves just weren’t going to work as big foxglove leaves, so I drew a clump on the bondaweb paper and cut it out of a soft green, I could then just back-stitch some outlines of leaves, it works pretty well. The bees are cute! They’re stitched with back-stitch, satin stitch, a couple of french knots and lazy daisy for wings. As Kathryn says, they’re not anatomically correct but they’re cute! I’m really pleased with this block.
With all the embroidered blocks stitched I could start making the various pieced blocks and put the row together. The beehive just had two narrow borders. I chose a darker green for the inner one which I think frames it nicely. The hand fork has a similar 1.5″ simple border too.
The two flowers are centred in star blocks made with flying geese blocks. I picked two similar olive green fabrics for the stars. I love the daisy one in particular. A third star was needed, I chose a pretty rosebud fabric and fussycut the centre square.
My chicken block, everyone’s favourite so far, needed a second border. I prevaricated for a while, eventually using a mid green fabric. I laid everything out on my design wall and it did look very pretty, if a little busy. I then noticed in the book that Kathryn has four blocks, including this one, with an off white self color patterned fabric. Using the almost plain fabric just brought a bit of calm to the quilt. I unpicked my green borders and replaced them with a soft cream fabric with pretty oak leaves on. It works perfectly.
The filler in squares are just 2.5″, it’s a useful way of getting some balance with the fabrics. For example, I’d used some pretty blue fabric on the flower block and one chicken, but no where else, with the squares I could spread it around a bit more.
I started to look then at how she had spaced her main colours, so now I know which ones need repeating further down to get the balanced look. I need to keep enough of the red and the green bordering the flower and the hive to border two more blocks at the bottom.
I love this quilt so far, the colours are working out well, it’s just so pretty, it makes me smile every time I look at it. I’m even thinking of hand quilting it, only six months after I said never again when I finally completed my Down the Rabbit Hole quilt!!!
If you like this style but not sure about the theme, Kathryn is apparently just about to release her second book, a seaside quilt, you can pre-order copies from Fabbadashery in Halifax.
Hand Quilt Along Links
This Hand Quilt Along is an opportunity for hand quilters and piecers to share and motivate one another. We post every three weeks, to show our progress and encourage one another. If you have a hand quilting project and would like to join our group contact Kathy at the link below.
I’ll also be linking up with Kathy’s Quilts for Slow Stitching Sunday, please follow the link for more hand-stitched inspiration.