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  • Nicola

From my Sketchbook: Heavenly Honeysuckle

I have a deliciously summery quilt to share with you today and it's a little bit different for me. Although I consider myself a devoted machine-piecer, this project is a dainty dance between chain-pieced setting blocks and hand-appliquéd motifs, pairing appliqued honeysuckle vines scrambling around a pieced trellis.


It became such a special quilt to make and I'm enormously touched to see it on the cover of issue 116 of Today's Quilter.



I first had the idea for this quilt when I made the pieced Dresden plates for my London Town and Vintage Circus samplers (the London Eye and Noble Lion blocks) and saw how I could create the long, slender petals of honeysuckle blooms which curve inwards at their tips.


I adapted the technique for making the Dresden's pointed petals to make the leaves, leaving two straight edges which could easily be turned and pressed with an iron before they were appliquéd in place. And I never need much of an excuse to break out my bias tape maker (such a clever little gadget).



I used a jelly roll of Lovestruck by Vanessa Goertzen for Moda fabrics to make my honeysuckle blooms, substituting some additional 2½" strips from my stash when I needed a particular shade of pink.


Vanessa is always generous in sharing the solid fabrics that pair well with her collections on her blog and I chose the soft blue Mist Bella Solid for my background, which allowed the alternate petals of the Dresdens to fade into the background, giving them a proper 'honeysuckle' look.


Fabric prints with a light, creamy background - or indeed a richer, darker background - will give the finished quilt a completely different look.


The quilt has a traditional frame - or medallion - setting, with the appliquéd honeysuckle and pieced trellis border surrounding a pieced centre. I picked out one of the green print jelly roll strips to give the centre some subtle emphasis without detracting from the belle of the ball, the honeysuckle.



I made this quilt back in a cold and rainy January during the painfully difficult days of my darling Mum's last illness. Appliquéing the honeysuckle and then hand-quilting this project kept my hands busy and my thoughts engaged through some unbearably hard days.


So many of you have written to me to share how important your creativity is to your well being: it can't ever make problems disappear, but it can give us quiet moments to contemplate and come to terms with the difficult times in our lives. Which is why I'll always treasure this quilt.


With my love,


Nicola xx


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4 Comments


sally.heilinger
Jul 06

Nicola, I am so sorry to hear about your Mum. It's unbearably difficult to watch a person you adored go through the process of dying. We did that with my mom, and although I didn't have a quilt project to work on I had my sister and brother with me. That helped tremendously. Again, I'm so sorry.

About your quilt. I absolutely love it. My favorite quilts are when I get to combine applique with piecing. I can't wait until it comes out in the magazine! I will have to make it!!

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Nicola
Nicola
Jul 07
Replying to

Thank you, Sally, I’m sending my condolences to you too (and a gentle hug) xx

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Rosemary B
Rosemary B
Jul 03

this quilt is incredibly beautiful. I love it so much!!

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Nicola
Nicola
Jul 07
Replying to

Thank you so much Rosemary xx

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