A rugby shirt keepsake quilt

I think I mentioned in my last post that I was working on a rugby shirt keepsake quilt??

Well …. it’s all finished and gone home now :-)Rugby shirts

It’s really quite satisfying to take a big untidy stack of shirts and reduce them all into neat little pieces ….

Rugby Shirts (2)


It’s a little bit counter-intuitive quilting this way – normally you’d have a pattern and match the fabric and shapes to the pattern. For these quilts, the starting point for the design is always once the pieces are cut – I try to go with an even number from each shirt, and then balance them all out in a design – but there always seems to be at least one ‘problem child’ – either a colour or pattern that doesn’t work with the rest.

rugby shirt keepsake quilt

plus with these quilt, keeping logos and shirt numbers is hugely important, so you never get to work with regular sizes …. so even once you’ve got a layout, figuring out the order for piecing it all together can be a bit of a challenge!

rugby shirt keepsake quilt

but we generally manage to get there in the end :-)

We decided on a fairly simple quilting pattern for this one – something suitable manly, and with the diamond grid I’ve used here, it echoes the stitching often seen on the reinforced shoulders of rugby shirts. And as there was a strong connection here to the England rugby team, we went with patriotic red, white and blue for the quilting thread.

rugby shirts (3)

And a nice navy blue to finish everything off nicely ….

rugby shirt keepsake quilt

A huge part of what makes these quilts so special to me, and why I love making them so much, is getting responses like this to them:

” still can’t believe it – I really can’t. I have been sitting, in tears, admiring and looking and words just fail me. Fail me. I have never seen anything more beautiful.”
I can’t tell you how amazing that makes me feel … it’s what it’s all about for me and to get a wonderful response to a quilt like that gets me all choked up. I think I have the best job in the world.

Happy New Year? W-I-P and a sorry

I’m probably a bit late on this …  but …. Happy New Year!!!

(and my apologies for not posting for so long, and effectively falling off the face of the earth for a while. My New Year’s resolution is to try to be a better blogger!!)

I’ll try to catch you up on everything I’ve been doing …. there were a lot of quilts last year, and time became my biggest enemy (and failing at my attempt to become superwoman didn’t help much, either 😉 ) Some, alas, may be lost to all but their current owners, as there was an ‘incident’ before Christmas with my SD card …. it was borrowed by the oldest nestling for a GCSE Art photogaphy project, and hasn’t been seen since. I suppose I should take some of the responsibility, since I’d been slack in the uploading-photos-to-laptop department :-(

In the meantime, here’s a quick shot of what I’m doing now ….

Rugby shirts

Deconstructing a stack of rugby shirts ….

Rugby Shirts (2)

Cutting them nicely into pieces – I’m working off a 5″ square grid here, scaling up as necessary to take in important logos, numbers, etc

rugby shirts (1)

and fitting them nicely together ….

rugby shirts (3)

the quilting is going on …. a geometric diamond grid of 5″ squares in red, white and blue. It’s just about done now – the binding just needs to be stitched down.

Elsewhere ….

I have this little nasty to deal with. It’s not the end of the world, more like a curve ball, but it’s still a little scary. Fingers crossed that a single surgery will see it off?


And the dog continues to be horrified by the cat’s outrageous behaviour …


I hope 2016 brings you all you hope for!

Now – I have 25-odd feet of binding to hand-stitch down, so if you’ll excuse me?