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Guest blog: Creating the Paisley Pastel Dreams Quilt

My beloved Husband of 54 years passed away suddenly as lock down started and I was completely isolated from family and friends. As a means of coping I decided on the challenge of a quilt  – because of my fabric addiction and living in a small country town, I had everything I needed. I also did not want my children to worry about me as they were not able to be with me. I needed them to see that I was able to handle this unprecedented lock down and all that went with it.

I have been doing machine embroidery for about 20 years and I own Pfaff Creative Icon.

You can see the 10.6″ x 10.6″ outline block which has been added to the outer 8×8 blocks

I choose the Almond Silk Paisley Collection as well as the outline block for the 260 x 260 new hoop and did some test stitch outs for the pastel colours I had in mind.

I used 100% cotton, iron on batting and flannel for the backing.

I decided on the size – Queen size bed – worked out how many blocks I would need and then cut all the blocks 15 x 15 inches – after the embroidery was completed I quilted round the outside and then cut the blocks down to 14 x 14 inches. Each block was sashed with my contrasting colours. 

For the centre four blocks I used some elements from the set of designs and added some of the built in designs on my machine to bring it all together.

I used the “quilt as you go” method which I found really great.  To make the quilt a bit bigger I sewed strips of the fabrics I used in the quilt, cut them down to sew round the 3 edges of the quilt – two sides and bottom. I am not a traditional quilter but love embroidered quilts, so essentially this is my way of making quilts that I love.

 To prepare the sashing I cut the required length – the width of my sashing was 4″ for the front and 6″ for the back.  I drew a scant 1” line on each long side of the 4” sashing using a fabric marking pen. Then I pressed the 6” sashing in half lengthwise.  Taking the trimmed quilt blocks I joined them together along the sides.  Taking one of the blocks, on the right side I pinned the 4” sashing – right side to right side and then the folded 6” sashing underneath, sewing the raw edge on the underside of the block. It is essential to mark all the sashing as you join to make sure the joins all match. The beauty of doing your quilt this way is that as you go along your quilt is being completed and there is no need to lay it all out and quilt later.  I then attach the binding or add more sashing to make the quilt bigger.

It took me approximately 2 weeks because I was on my own and had no one to cook or care for.  I was inspired by many books and also by browsing Pinterest – it really is a combination of ideas that worked for me. I also did not want it to be too complicated.  The most challenging part of the project was definitely the hand work- when attaching the binding- not my favourite part.

I would suggest that after choosing your designs, the first thing is to decide on your fabric and then choose the thread.  Don’t have too many colours.

I was really pleased with my finished project – half way through I thought it was going to be too busy but I am glad I persevered. A rough estimate of the cost would be about R 350.00 ( I am using South African currency) This converts to around US$22.

 What did you learn from making this project? Doing something you love and choosing happy colours was very therapeutic for me.

I am going to use it for my bed unless one of my granddaughters falls in love with it – this happens often.

Well done Monica! The finished quilt is amazing.

See all the Almond Silk Paisley designs she used for this fantastic quilt.

Happy embroidering from Hazel

16 thoughts on “Guest blog: Creating the Paisley Pastel Dreams Quilt

    1. Sorry for your loss, 4 years ago I lost my husband of 50 years and hard to be
      Alone I put my heart into sewing and knitting which helped a lot. I just recently
      Found Graceful embroidery and I love it inspiring me to embroider more.
      I plan on doing the Tree of life which I love

  1. Monica, I too, lost my husband of 40yrs around the same time, so I understand your thoughts and feelings. Seeing what you have done really inspires me. What a project and beautifully done.
    Hazels designs never fail to impress and you have REALLY done them justice.
    Well done, be very proud of yourself.
    Best wishes for the future.

  2. This is an amazing quilt, love your colors, great job!!!! I am so very sorry for your loss, but you made something beautiful shine through!

  3. So very sorry for your loss. All you can do is pray to the Lord & keep your mind & hands busy, Bless you!

  4. You are an inspiration! Keeping busy during difficult times has also helped me, but your focus and creation are amazing. Thank you for sharing.

  5. I joined a fb group for widows on fb Embroidery Widows Support and Advice . Graceful embroidery has kept many of us happy and able to enjoy embroidery I hope Monica knows that she is loved and I thank all who show beautiful work they do

  6. You are the most talented woman! Everything you create is stunningly beautiful. Please accept my condolences for your loss.

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