• Nicola

Colouring Quilts: Vintage China...

This is the first in a new series of posts that explores the easiest way to make a quilt truly your own: your choice of fabric. There may be lots of reasons that we are drawn to different fabrics for our quilts: the decor in our home, the favourite colour of the lucky recipient, or the season.

Do you make any seasonal changes to your decor? As quilters it’s a fair bet that we have more quilts than we can display, so changing them with the season is a lovely way to rotate quilts that are in storage and to launder quilts that may have received a bit too much love and attention from muddy dogs or sticky hands.

Last year I set myself the challenge of picking a posy from the garden every month and posting a photo of it on Instagram in my favourite spotty aqua jug. As well as having a lovely record of the year, I realised how different the same jug looked when paired with different coloured posies. It’s much the same in a room: the colour of existing furnishings will dictate the starting point for a scheme. As this is the first in the series, I’m going to pick four of those posies and base my seasonal quilts on the same soft aqua.

What else could I pick but my Vintage China quit? As Vintage China has a strong, graphic design it’s perfect for showcasing seasonal colours. You can download a Vintage China Colouring Sheet here to play along and both Paper and PDF Vintage China patterns are £5 all this month.

Let’s start with our current season: Autumn. The thing that always strikes me about autumn leaf colour is the subtle graduation of shades as each leaf turns from green to gold, making the whole tree shimmer. So I decided to keep the 'stand' half of each block the same colour - our soft aqua - and mix the colours in the 'cake'. Time to dig out your richest coloured scraps of gold, green, copper and claret, offset with a few charcoal greys...

Winter was challenging last year as we had more snow than I can remember. My always reliable Camellias waited until almost the last day of February to flower, but for most of that month I had an empty jug. And then I remembered that there is an alternative 'Last Scrap' option with the Vintage China pattern and I couldn't resist mocking up this elegant two-colour version. I envisioned faded, low-volume prints on the feature block, because in winter every tiny Snowdrop is treasured...

Our next scheme is inspired by the yellows and blues of early spring bulbs. I have cheated slightly and added the clear, bright blue of Grape Hyacinths and Scillas to my Daffodil yellows, as I love to display my Daffs in my Granny's Willow Pattern jug...

And so we come full circle to Summer. This is pretty much as I made my original quilt, which is still a favourite and hangs on a quilt ladder in my bedroom. I have tweaked the colours slightly to reflect the apricot roses and bright pink peonies in my posy and I can imagine how gloriously pretty floral prints would play against the geometric lines of the block...

I hope you've been inspired to make a seasonal quilt for your home, or at least had some fun trying out different schemes with the Colouring Sheet. If you'd like to share your colour schemes - and fabric pulls - on Instagram, use the hashtag #colouringquilts to connect with your fellow colour addicts :-)

Next time we'll be looking at palettes for Christmas. Now, which pattern should I choose?...

Nicola xx

#fabric #inspiration #colouringquilts


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