I have been a big fan of Emily Martin aka The Black Apple for many, many years. She was one of the first people I came across when I joined Etsy way back in 2008. In fact I even wrote a little blog post here professing my love and own some of her artwork.
Since Etsy Emily has become a best-selling author and has turned her prints into magical stories which I read to my daughter every night! It is always so special sharing a love of something with her, especially when it is something that has a special meaning to me. So imagine my excitement burst when I found out that Riley Blake Designs were releasing a licensed fabric line of her artwork!
I am a bit nervous about sharing this, it is quite different to what I usually make, well the boldness of the navy is certainly a step away from my usual colour palette as is the improvised nature of it all, equally I am excited to share.
I didn’t choose a pattern or go in with a plan, which is something that is totally alien to me. Instead I let each block “speak to me”, I knew I wanted to use the panel – the pictures were some of my favourite from the book and would be instantly recognisable to Mabel. I can see us snuggling down together under this quilt to read the books.
I put a lot of pressure on myself to get this right. I wanted it to be perfect. So this took a lot of thought, procrastinating and that ultimate fear of cutting into precious fabric. In the end I bit bullet and went for it cutting each block down to size. I have never worked with a panel before, I assume the point of the panel is that it is a ready made quilt top and all you would need to do is add a border if you wanted it bigger and then quilt? However I really wanted to put my own little touch to it and add a bit of magic.
The theme of the prints/stories are dreams, so I thought making some of the bigger squares as stars would give it a lovely night-time, magical effect.
Fun fact; there was some confusion around the navy fabric which is a Riley Blake Basic called Blossoms. I had intended to use a navy blossom on white but instead ordered the white blossoms on navy, what a happy accident! I think it was meant to be, they look like little stars in the night sky! It also meant I stepped out of my comfort zone of a low volume background.
As a contrast I mixed up the blocks and did some with a slightly paler/ low volume background.
Then there were some blocks where I just improvised adding pieces of fabric that suited me until they were a similar size to the stars. This was fun, but stepping back and showing it to the world does make me nervous. Will people think “what was she thinking!?”. I think in this block it looks like this little bear is trying to catch the butterflies.
Another “improv” block. Some of the pieces on the panel were smaller, so I decided to piece them slightly differently, again something that is so against my nature!
Here it is in full! Very different to any other quilt I have made, not just because of the colours but because it is so very random! Not uniform or a repetitive pattern!
Of course I have to add a quilty ruffle picture!
Now as always my dreaded task of quilting! I am hoping to hand quilt as much as possible and add some embroidery in places as I think it will add a beautiful dimension to the quilt, however I think it will need some machine quilting too. I always worry about this stage, I really don’t want to ruin it, especially with all the thought that has gone into it and the meaning behind the illustrations.
I hope you have enjoyed this post. I do apologise for all the pictures, I think each block deserved a special mention. I hope in the not too distance future I will have a quilted quilt to show you, I can’t wait to snuggle up with Mabel in this quilt so I won’t be leaving it too long.
Dream World fabric is available in shops now.