The moment I saw Liberty’s Deco Dance collection a whole of range of feelings and emotions came over me. Excitement of course, lots of love for it, but lastly a slight sadness and yearning too. Let me explain..
It’s all to do with my beautiful Mum. She loved the Art Deco period ( a love she has passed down to me) and her favourite designer of all was Charles Rennie Mackintosh, her favourite colours were purples and blues, in short she would have loved this collection. I can imagine her excitement at seeing this collection, her ordering a huge bundle of it and us chatting over it, stroking it and making plans with it. Although sadly as her cancer progressed she found it very difficult to sit and sew at the machine, but I reckon she would have jumped head first into some hexies.
With this in mind you can imagine how important this collection felt to me and the pressure to make something perfect was absolute. I knew early on I wanted to make a quilt, equally I knew I wanted a shape that in my mind represents the period perfectly – the Clamshell. Except this time rather than going with my usual English Paper Pieced (EPP) clamshell. I wanted to go big and bold, something that would not easily be achieved with EPP. So I had a play with my Drunkards Path template and came up with a Clamshell shape. Possibly there is an easier way to achieve this shape with machine piecing but it worked well for me.
To really highlight these stunning fabrics I used one of Riley Blake’s Confetti Cotton’s – ‘Riley White’, I think it does a beautiful job of making the clamshells pop as well as giving it a modern feel.
I would have loved to have gone full size with this quilt. It would have been a beautiful addition to our bedroom, but seeing as I am notoriously awful at finishing quilts I figured I best keep it on the smaller side, so this quilt measures a sweet 40″ x 46″, each block is 8.5″.
For the quilting I opted purely to hand quilt it, and went big stitch style! It is a lot more fun doing the bigger stitches, and certainly takes the pressure off having to get teeny tiny stitches nice and neat. It was done in a couple of days!
I used Aurifil 12wt in colour #2730 and was so pleased how it matched some of the blues exactly! I love the soft, crinkly effect this sort of quilting gives.
Would you like to know a little secret? I almost gave up on this quilt! I was about halfway through and became so doubtful of my idea, that I honestly decided to put it to one side and make something else. Like I say this fabric is special to me so I wanted to achieve something that is not easily achievable – “Perfection!” Beautiful fabric deserves nothing less after all, we all know that fear of cutting into pretty fabric! It wasn’t until towards the end that I was happy I continued.
Of course it had to be a stripey binding. I did consider making a binding with the scraps from the collection but after putting the Stripes fabric (RBD stripes in Denim) next to it I loved the effect.
I really felt my mum with me when I made this quilt. I even placed my favourite framed picture of her when I was hand quilting. With Mother’s day coming this Sunday I wish I could gift it to her, I know exactly the reaction I would get, she was my biggest fan. This quilt will be staying with me, so when I see it I can think of her.
Riley Blake Designs is the official wholesaler for the USA, and it is them I would like to thank for the opportunity to work with this gorgeous fabric. Liberty Deco Dance is available in shops now!