A little while ago, I volunteered to make and donate a quilt to the Yorkshire Cancer Centre at St. James Hospital in Leeds, for the silent auction at their Autumn Ball. It has been such a busy summer and it had been buzzing around in the back of my mind for most of the holidays. I wanted to design something new and thought this would be a great opportunity. The result is my new quilt pattern 'Daisy... Daisy'. I just cannot tell you happy I was when the first Daisy quilt was made - it is just the most cheerful quilt EVER and turned out way better than I ever thought it would.
I always loved daisies and the idea for the quilt came when I saw a smattering of them across the garden and I thought it was perfect for a patchwork project. This quilt is super fat quarter friendly, so it is easy to buy a pack of co-ordinating fabrics and just a small amount of yellow and white solid colour fabric for the appliqué daisies. This quilt pattern is all about letting the fabrics do the talking and I think it works best with small busy bold prints and strong colours, so that the daisies can stand out. I used a mixture of Bonnie and Camille fabrics, by Moda for this quilt and there is just something that makes you smile about it.
The pattern includes the templates for the daisies. There are many different ways to do appliqué and over the years I have tried and tested various ideas. In the end though, I nearly always revert to my two favourite techniques - one using fusible web and machine stitching and one using the freezer paper technique and hand or machine stitching. You can find a tutorial on these by clicking the tutorials section at the top of the blog and finding the tag 'appliqué workshop'. I think that appliqué is rather relaxing and it can add stunning effects to your quilts. Once you find the way that you like the best you will get quicker and it won't seem so daunting.
It is simple enough to quilt too - you could easily just quilt straight lines across, leaving the daisies stand out and if this is your first quilt, this would work well. I chose to do a simple free motion squiggle pattern all over and outlining the daisies so that it looks pretty on the back. I'm nearly ready to quilt my second one and I might do something different this time - there is loads of potential for different quilting designs.
Of course the day came this week, when I had to hand the quilt over to the charity. I confess it was hard...just for a minute. When you spend weeks, designing and making a project you cannot help but become a little attached. However, the hospital in Leeds does so much fantastic work and I was glad to contribute in some way. I hope it brings a good price at auction on September 27th.
So when I returned home feeling a little empty inside, I thought that I would simply have to make another one to accompany the pattern and within half an hour, was at my cutting table. My next Daisy quilt is in Liberty fabric and it is all pieced and appliqued and just needs quilting. There are some glimpses on Instagram and Facebook if you want to see.
The quilt pattern is available in my Etsy shop as a pdf download, so if you are interested, do please hop along there - just click on the Etsy badge at the top of the blog and it will take you straight there. I hope in the future to be able to offer some kits, so keep an eye out for these too. If you have never made a quilt before - this is a great place to start.
Oh and PS. The hospital invited me to spend a day in their wonderful modern Atrium on Thursday 17th November, to display some quilts and sell my quilt and embroidery patterns and I will have some mini kits and fabric bundles too. If you are around, please do pop in and see me - I'd love to meet you. It will be the first time I have done anything like this and as I am hoping to do some craft fairs next year, it is a chance to try out setting up a stall.