Category Archives: Embroidery

Boro Keepsake Quilt: Eve’s Garden, finished

Well, finally!!

I’ve been a bit quiet lately, and for that I apologise … I needed to have surgery on my knee and it made sitting at a desk for any length of time very uncomfortable … thankfully, things are getting much, much better now, although full recovery still looks a way off.

The upside is that, being confined to feet-up-on-the-sofa, I’ve been able to spend a lot of time working on the embroidery for my Eve’s Garden boro keepsake quilt – and it’s finished!! YAY!! Almost a year since I started on it, working in the quiet times between, and around 100 hours of work later, it is DONE. Finished. Bound. Closed.

boro keepsake quilt

Am I happy? Yes, oh yes.

I love the way the stitching runs at a diagonal across the boro, drawing the eye across the fabric ….

And the colours, the colours, so soft but still vivid and cheerful. And the chameleon perle no 8 thread is perfect. Even the names are wonderful – blackberry, hydrangea, misty mauve, silver birch, sugar and spice – and help add to the atmosphere of vintage cottage garden – formally structured, but soft and loose within that formality.

I had my doubts, initially, about the little sprinkles of paprika-hot orange, but I think now that the contrast works well and I’m glad I left it.

And the back is almost – almost – as lovely as the front.

I am glad it’s done and dusted …. but I’m going to miss working on it, in a perverse sort of way. It looks great on my burlap-covered chair, though …. I’m just enjoying it at the moment, looking and remembering that this strip of blue-and-white checked was once my eldest daughter’s baby dress, or that strip of amethyst satin came from the remnants of a princess dress I made for her, that the pretty, fragile, aqua floral was my youngest’s dress, that my son’s ripped-out-knees jeans made up most of the denim.

Keepsake Quilt … ’til death us do part, block 3

I have been working quietly on my Sunday project for a while now, and my memory cloth is starting to take shape. This weekend I finished the hand-embroidery embellishment on the third block of this highly personal keepsake quilt …

memory cloth ... white hand embroidered quilt block

This is the first of the children’s blocks …. and has pockets at the bottom for these little darlings ….

white knitted baby boots

My grandmother knitted them for my daughter … and – especially now that she’s no longer with us – I dissolve into a sentimental puddle every time I see them.

hand embroidered embellished white quilt block

I’ve kept to a relatively simple palette of stitches here … french knots, buttonhole, cross stitch, back stitch and lazy daisy for the most part, but I’ve thrown in a little satin stitch and some webs as well … keeping the colours neutral, too – white, the palest of baby pinks, and a soft stone colour … most of these are vintage perle threads I’ve acquired from here and there.

hand embroidered embellished white quilt block

I’ve included lines from the W H Davies poem ‘Leisure’ onto the block …. I’m not going to use the whole poem, just lift little sections of it out into the different blocks as I go along (and don’t quibble over misquotes …. I reserve the right to change things up to suit myself). I’ve got her name and date of birth on the block, too …. all the important dates will be in the finished piece.

hand embroidered embellished white quilt block

I love the layers of old linen and lace …. I’ve tried not to interfere with them too much, just to use the stitching to echo, emphasize and enhance the underlying patterns and textures ….

hand embroidered embellished white quilt block

I think this is my favourite block so far …. and I love the way the three blocks hang together …. I’m planning on using rouleaux loops and chinese knots to hold them all together, maybe some mother-of-pearl buttons, if I can source them – when I get to that point.

hand embroidered embellished white quilt blocks

It may be some time before all nine blocks are done, but the process itself is such a joy, that I’m in no rush to finish it.