Friday 6 September 2013

The Jeanie Quilt

Ok, I hope you're in the mood for a long post. There are lots of lovely quilts for you to look at so you won't get bored, but feel free to grab a cuppa before you start!

Earlier this year a group of my friends and I took a class through Capital Quilter's guild, taught by fellow guild member Jeanie O'Sullivan.  Jeanie is a very talented quilter who combines a flair for colour with incredible technical skills and a level of attention to detail that I really admire.  Jeanie's quilts often have a traditional vibe with a playful touch that makes them really appealing, plus they are always beautifully beautifully made.

Jeanie was teaching us to make her Majoring in Botany quilt, the pattern for which has been featured in NZ Quilter magazine.  Majoring in Botany is a great name, but it's a bit of a mouthful, so we ended up calling this the Jeanie quilt (as in "how is your Jeanie quilt coming along?"). 

The general idea of Jeanie's Majoring in Botany quilt is to choose a feature fabric that is a large scale print with lots of colours in it.  Then you pull other large scale print fabrics in those colours to create the large borders, and choose a contrasting print for the narrow borders.  One of my favourite things about this pattern is how different the quilt can look depending on your fabric choices - it really lends itself perfectly to personalisation.  Happily, I've got photos of lots of different versions of this quilt to show you so you can see what I mean!

Jeanie O'Sullivan's original Majoring in Botany Quilt

Jeanie was kind enough to give me photos of her Majoring in Botany quilts and answer a few questions for the blog.  My questions are in bold and her answers are below.

How long have you been quilting?
I have been quilting for about 15 years but have always sewn (clothing, furnishings, embroidery).

How did you come up with the idea for your Majoring in Botany quilt?
One of the themes in my work is using big pieces of large scale patterned fabric in medallion style quilts. These are usually antiquey looking but I decided to try a more modern look as I had a lovely collection of large scale modern fabrics. Botany came out of this and was quite a restrained colour mix to suit the tastes of the recipient. I had so much fun making it that I soon made the second quilt in a much more exuberant colour mix. What I love about this quilt style is that you get to play extensively with colour and pattern without worrying about a detailed construction.

How many different versions have you made?
I have only made the two Botany style quilts but they are related to a number of my other medallion quilts. I am currently planning a red themed one.

What's your favourite part of quilting?
Its a bit hard to pick the best part... but probably that point where you have made part of the quilt and start to play with the blocks/sections - often I find at this bit that the quilt will start to tell me what it wants to do!

I totally relate to what Jeanie says about the quilt telling her what it wants to do!  I've definitely had that experience before.

I think the second version of this quilt that Jeanie made really shows the versatility of this pattern. It's so different to the original but still works with the same idea.

Jeanie's second quilt

My friend Anne made a version of Jeanie's quilt a couple of years ago.  This version is called A Rose in Grandma's Garden and was given to Anne's mother when she became a grandma.  I really really love the Anna Maria Horner print in the centre (I am hoarding some of this fabric) and the grey polka dot borders are very Anne (grey is her signature colour!).

A Rose in Grandma's Garden 1
A Rose in Grandma's Garden by Anne

Anne made a second version of this quilt in the class this year.  I really adore this version - it manages to be soft and punchy in a way that is very beautiful.  I think the central fabric was an excellent choice because it gives so many colours to work with in the borders.  Plus Anne's (very) extensive stash means she has been able to incorporate lots of absolutely gorgeous fabrics.

Anne's Quilt
Anne's second version of this quilt
My friend Helen also took the class this year and she has created this beautiful quilt top (it's not quilted yet because it's waiting in the queue of...well, let's just say many, quilt tops in Helen's closet).  I love how Helen really made the most of all the subtle colour variations in her feature fabric.  It's very fresh and light but looks totally at home in this warm and almost mediterranean feeling quilt.  Helen also did an amazing job of bringing in fabrics from both sides of her stash - both modern and traditional.

Helen's Quilt
Helen's quilt

This is my version of the quilt.  When I came to pick fabrics for this quilt, I realised that I am very inclined to buy smaller scale prints with a small number of colours in them.  Of course, this meant shopping, and I actually think this quilt helped balance my stash out a bit better.  Blenders are very useful but sometimes you want the larger scale prints for interest.  Anyway, my feature fabric is a Valori Wells print on a cotton/linen blend fabric - I really like it and I have more so it will definitely be making another appearance.  This quilt did take me a bit out of my comfort zone in the sense that it is super bright and very high contrast with the black and white polka dot borders, but I love it.

Ring a Ring o' Roses Quilt 

A great part of making this quilt in a class was getting to swap fabrics with other people, and all three of the quilts Anne, Helen and I made have fabrics from the other two in them.

Now, I have to show you the back of my quilt for two reasons.  One, it's minky!  I used batting as well so this is a lovely heavy soft snuggly quilt.  Two, I had to show you the quilting.  I'm not insane enough to try and quilt a large minky-backed quilt on my machine so Sue Burnett did the quilting on this one as well.  I can't remember was the quilting design is called, but it's lovely.

Ring a ring o' Roses Quilt - back

I really had a lot of fun making this quilt and I can definitely see myself making another version (or more!).  I just need to collect a few more fabrics that could work for the centre.

Quilt Stats
Pattern: Jeanie O'Sullivan's Majoring in Botany pattern
Finished Size: Approximately 70" square
Fabric: too many to name - ask me if you want to know what anything is! 
Backing: orange polka dot minky from Spotlight
Binding: Riley Blake Medium Dots in Black
Pieced by: me
Quilted by: Sue Burnett.

Linking up with finish it up friday at crazy mom quilts.

This quilt is the fifth of my third quarter goals that I've finished - yay!  I'll be linking up with Leanne at she can quilt at the end of September as part of the 2013 Finish Along.

she can quilt

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Susan at said...

Love the polka-dots!

Julie said...

What a fabulous idea - I have got a beautiful floral table cloth of my Grans, that would be ideal as the centre piece in one of these quilts. Oh the possibilities ....

Have a fabulous weekend.

Heather said...

So many beautiful quilts - and so many gorgeous fabrics in each one. What a great idea.

Elmosmate said...

Our quilts look lovely! Jeanie is fabulous and this quilt is very addictive...I'm Anne and can vouch for the cupboard of quilts at Helen's. The piecing is always so much more fun!

JB said...

Lovely, what an ace pattern!

Kathleen said...

Your colours are gorgeous. Very clever how the values change for each border, from light to dark, and how each dark corner is bordered by a light corner. Must try this!

Martha said...

Love this quilt! Is Jeanie's pattern for sale??? I would love to buy it!

Camilla said...

Lovely! I probably shouldn't say I like yours best, but that's probably because your style is familiar to me and I can spot some favourite Field Study fabrics in there. I have a lot of old copies of NZ quilter which I'm trying to decide I can cull for the move...

Susan said...

What a wonderful pattern- each variation is so appealing and interesting! Thanks for sharing such a beautiful quilt show to inspire us!

Jill said...

Wow! I love all the flower prints and the contasting colors. What a cool study of flower-printed fabric.

Jessica said...

Um... wow. You've done it again. It's mesmerizing!

Mrs Flying Blind... said...

All the quilts look awesome, but I honestly love yours the most!! I'll be pinning this thank you very much!

Marie said...

Oh my goodness - these are GORGEOUS! Helen's is a particular favourite, but they are all so great.

Sarah said...

What gorgeous quilts and beautiful fabrics.

mtnquiltr said...

I love this quilt! Which issue of NZ quilter is it in? I'd love to give it a try. All the ones you show are awesome!

mtnquiltr said...

I love this quilt! Which issue of NZ quilter is it in? I'd love to give it a try. All the ones you show are awesome!

karen @ badlandsquilts said...

Wow, it is amazing to see all the different variations. It looks like the later versions the narrow contrast is just a bit wider and I do like that better. All such striking fabric too.

jeifner said...

Great job! And thanks for the pattern info and the pics of the others quilts as well!

Megan said...

Gosh, these all look stunning! I have that AMH fabric stashed too! Which issue of NZ Quilter is this in?

Leanne said...

These are all beautiful quilts, I love them all. Yours especially and congratulations on another finish too.

WesternWilson said...

Is the pattern available online?