Intentional crafting: an introduction to quilts


Intentional living sits rather nicely alongside a creative endeavour, for me. This post isn't about converting you to quilting (although I'd happily do that) but about how my version of intentional living includes this. Yours might include something different, but whatever it is I hope you'll be inspired to make time for it.

I’m not actually sure how I came to making quilts. I’ve always made things of one sort or another, and learnt to sew and knit as a child. Somewhere along the line, I think soon after my eldest was born (has anyone not lost that period to a sleep deprived fog?), I moved sideways from dressmaking into hand pieced and hand finished quilts, and it’s this which holds my heart these days. A well made and well thought through quilt is a combination work of art, comfort blanket, interior decor piece, statement of aesthetic intent, exploration of colour and high quality workmanship all tied up in fabric and thread. The perfect quilt speaks of movie nights on the sofa, summer picnics, camping, mugs of hot chocolate, barbecues, bonfires and a hundred other things besides. In short, quilts rock.

Over the past couple of years as my work has become more intense, my children more numerous (hey, three feels pretty darn numerous at times) and my time therefore less free, quilting has fallen by the wayside a little. This journey of intentional living has meant making the effort to carve out a little more time for things I love, and one of those things is making quilts. My aim every day, although I don’t always achieve it yet, is to spend a bare minimum of 30 minutes solid doing something I love, whether it’s quilting, knitting, reading or some other hobby of the moment.

The half stitched pieces of fabric above are destined to become a quilt for my eldest, who has not had a new quilt of his own since he was two, a whopping seven years ago. The whole process, from concept, design, fabric selection and layout through the sewing and on to hand finishing, is a fairly epic task even for a modest single bed quilt. I hand piece almost all of my quilts, a personal preference, which doesn’t improve the efficiency one iota, but adds a huge amount to the process for me. And the process is really what it’s about - slowing down, contemplating colours, textures and prints and putting the whole thing together in a way that feels 100% right.

I’d love to inspire you to take up (or restart) doing something you love, maybe something that’s fallen by the wayside in the tumble and tangle that is family life. My main instagram feed is found over at @appliedstyle, but if you want to follow along with my sewing process a little more you can also follow me @lifeinlists, where I share a little more of the quilt making process. You can also find a link there to my other business - an etsy shop where I put together beautiful Liberty print fabric bundles, in case you’re harbouring a secret hankering to sew your own unique piece of craftsmanship. And if you have absolutely zero desire to take up quilting but you still want to lay your hands on a one off unique handmade quilt, I do sell a couple of quilts a year, so keep your eye on my main instagram page for an upcoming finished piece.