Quilted Appreciation

Ruby and I have had a thing for quilts for quite a while. Maybe its because we both like to sleep for long periods of time.

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Wee Ruby, still a baby.
This lovely little piece of patchwork was something that I picked up a few years ago, when I was living near Red Bank, New Jersey. The quilt is handmade, and has traveled with me, every where I’ve lived since I bought it, though it is literally starting to fall apart because its been loved so much. The quilt is something that nearly everyone who walks into our home will ask about immediately. The palette fits so perfectly into our bedroom, and it looks like something I would have picked out and sewn myself, because it seems so personal to me.

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Here is Ruby disregarding Rory’s personal space.
When I started dating Rory, and met his family, I found myself in the company of experienced quilters. His mom and her sisters created the gorgeous quilt below for Rory’s brother and sister-in-law when they got married, and I’ve since spent lots of time with them, chatting about fabrics and peeking through his aunt Joyce’s vintage fabric collection. (Both of his aunts are also librarians, and I can think of nothing better.) Needless to say, they’ve planted seeds of interest in my mind that have really started to take root.

Amber’s wedding quilt.
Up until now, I really haven’t felt like a quilt was something I could work on successfully. I used to sew “baby doll quilts” in third grade, by cutting squares from the rag bag and sewing them together by hand. They always turned out crazy-looking and lopsided, but I didn’t really care, so long as the quilt covered my sleeping, plastic children. Year before last, I got the book In Stitches by Amy Butler, which features all kinds of home-sewn decor that suits my taste. After reading through the book several times, I felt confident that I could design something I liked, and I’ve kept it in mind ever since.

It seems like this season, quilts have continued to weasel their way into my heart, and I’ve begun to notice my eye drawn to quilts posted on blogs and in design magazines that I read regularly. There are so many neat ways of creating a quilt, without heralding the hippie era, and I wanted to highlight a few of my very favorite examples of this traditional and practical art form.

Since we are without need of crib bedding at this point,
I think this would be a great wall hanging.
This amazing vintage hand stitch crib quilt was featured on Reference Library, a blog that makes me smile with nearly every post. I love the neutral creme color with pockets of bright fabric peeking out. The intricacy of the design is well defined, and I like the way the layering effect allows for the mix of patterns to feel pleasing to the eye, more so than if the squares of fabric were left untempered. I also happen to like the colors chosen for this piecing. Let’s call it Hipster with a twist of Country Living.

Touches of vintage green, and a darling red phone
play off this nuetral-friendly cover.
The next quilt is in the home of Zee from homebug. Zee lives in Ireland, which I happen to be visiting this summer, and so I was doubly interested to read her blog. Though not the focus of the post, I think this quilt helps pull the room together, along with what looks like a felted wool blanket in my favorite shade of green. I really love the neutral palette (again) as it is used here, under a pop of color, and the fact that the contrasting pattern in each piece allows the quilt to avoid falling into the category of pastels, which just aren’t my thing. I first saw this quilt featured on design sponge.

Gather up the fragments, let nothing be lost.
Another gem I found on design sponge was this amazing quilt in a post about Brooklyn designer, and part-time Parsons professor Paul Loebach. Though not “quilted” per say, the felted wool is striking and historically literary in tone. Who wouldn’t want to go to bed with an amazing bit of typography like this? This is also such a delicious shade of red, that its hard not to fall in love.

Tiny quilts are becoming a near-obsession for me.

Syko carries her quilting sentiments into a quirky scarf design.

Etsy seller syko also seems to adore a nuetral palette, pop of color (red, again, in this case), and a charmingly folky sentiment. She’s working on new top stitching patterns, like clouds, and words (dream, above). I fell in love with her 7 birds scarf, for the same reasons, and wouldn’t mind having a flock of these across my bed, or my neck.

Bright white and sassy, grassy green.
Now, here is a quilt that’s not quite finished, but still really inspiring. I first found Jodie’s blog via this super-cool sign post, and then happened upon her two-thirds of a green-and-white quilt. Again, its the pop of color that gets me. I simply adore the spots of green among crisp white, and I also love the boxy patterned stitching that she’s chosen for the finished look!

How proud would you be to own this haughty hen?
And, finally, check out this rooster quilt photographed in this set, by Melissa Sue Stanley at the 2008 International Quilt Festival in Rosemont IL. Found via craft zine, this is probably not what you would expect from a quilt, but how lovely are the colors? Red, white, and yellow are such powerful colors to use amid the dark, muted greens of the background. How fitting of a strong portrait like this.

So, have you noticed any amazing quilts lately? Are you feeling the pull of patchwork, like my beloved friend, Rachael? Have you ever attended a quilt show, or scored a sweet coverlet from your local thrift? Working on something now? Is it worth all of the pressing, and measuring, squaring and blocking, or do you think I am crazy for even contemplating?


  1. syko kajsa wrote:

    What a lovely post! And I love how you describe my style! Thank you! I very much love the combination of natural or white with bright vibrant colours. And I have actually planned to make a quilt with birds flying over our bed…

  2. emily august wrote:

    Thanks syko. I would love to see the quilt you come up with! I love your etsy shop, too.

  3. pamela wrote:

    You’re definitely not nuts for trying it! Piecing is fun, and even the simplest piecing can result in a really stunning look. Have you seen the book “Denyse Schmidt Quilts”? Some lovely stuff in there, and with a modern sesiblity.

    have fun

  4. Hyena In Petticoats wrote:

    I love all the quilts you have chosen here – such a variety of styles and colours…..

    I think I’d sleep under that typographic one any day….

    The crib quilt at the top is a Cathedral Windows quilt – I’ve been making one very similar to this for a while now, and I’ve posted a tutorial if you’d like to have a look:


    I just found your blog through bits and bobbins – I’m off to have a peek around!

    Leah xx

  5. Caitlin wrote:

    I actually just posted about making quilts on my blog too. Once I move out of my dorm room in two weeks I’m going to start making a patchwork quilt for my bed. I can’t wait!

  6. emily august wrote:

    Pamela: I love Denyse Schmidt fabrics, so I will have to check out that book.

    I actually jammed up my entire machine the other day, trying to test out some harebrained idea I had for a quilt–I thought I could do a certain stitch without bothering to purchase the quilting foot, but it was such a stupid mistake that I immediately ended up strangling my machine with thread.

    And then it kept happening! (Its not the most professional model out there, as I bought it at Target about five years ago, maybe.) I got so frustrated that I was screaming “I am so frustrated!” over and over. Neither my boyfriend nor my roommate appreciated it, I’m sure.

    I had to take a day away from the machine, and then go back and clean out everything: the bobbin, the shuttle, even the needle. Now its working fine but I’m totally worried that I will kill my machine if I don’t follow some instruction or sit and learn from someone.

    Making things up as you go along: not always a good idea.

    Getting inspiration to persist: awesome.

  7. emily august wrote:

    Leah: Wow! Thanks so much for telling me what kind of quilt that is. I am definitely going to check out the tutorial! I’ll let you know if and when I make some progress.

  8. emily august wrote:

    Caitlin: Keep me posted if you get started! From a quick glance at your blog I can say that I also have been listening to lots of This American Life and found that New York Times article about the Tudor home to be equal parts inspiring and jealousy-inducing.

  9. softspoken wrote:

    i love the wedding quilt that rory’s family made! the other choices are beautiful as well. and i wish we had as much light in our bedroom as comes through your window. ours is so dark right now – i’m trying to spruce it up with linens and paint and color.

  10. emily august wrote:

    light coming through the windows is just about my number one thing when choosing to live somewhere. unfortunately, it makes me sad to think that i am in manhattan all day, instead of lying in squares of sunshine with miss rubykins.

    she lives the pampered life of a sun-splashed house cat.

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