Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Medieval Quilt: a daughter's desire finished!

     Beware giving your children a choice of what quilt they would like you to make! Times have changed. Many of us still love traditional quilts with patterns to follow. Now that more painters and the art world have moved to quilts, the love of freedom to design one's own is liberating. It is sometimes tiresome to quilt another person's patterns.

Click to enlarge.
    Nevertheless, Donna Jean, good friend and mentor, just completed daughter Nicole's beautiful quilt (fragment above, with the book). Nicole, a college student, several years ago was intrigued by the possibilities in the book U is for Unicorn: Medieval designs for applique by Eileen Campbell. Who wouldn't be!

     I bought the book immediately on seeing it.  I remember young son Jim's looking in the local library for Beowulf in the Old English. Such designs might be something he would take to...a comforter or throw after a hard day at the office. I found this paperback book of designs at Amazon (probably "used-very good"). So beautiful, I wanted to possess it! I love applique and looking at the letters of the alphabet, the animals worked into the patterns. Although there is plenty to trace or to copy, there is also inspiration to make it your own. DJD survived and finished. D for Dragon could have motivated!


  1. I love your interesting writings on all topics. Thanks!

  2. This is a lovely quilt, that's for sure! I totally agree with you that many of us, though chiefly spending time making art quilts, still love on occasion to make a traditional one. Agree, too, though that making another's design can be tiresome! I love to tweak and improvise on others' basic designs. You say you love to applique. What method of hand applique to you use? Needle turned/ THAT I have never had the courage to undertake. Another interesting post! I'll look for that book, which looks super!

    1. I try to do things in the simplest way possible. I freehand cut out the shape to be appliqued to the backing. Rather than use a knot, I back stitch a time or two and then turn under the quarter inch allowance on the edge of my cutout as I meet it with my needle. I return the needle to where it last came up and the stitches seem to disappear as I tighten with needle and thread. It is easy to make allowances in needle turn and saves time. Beware, however, since some quilters say appliqueing leads to a clicking of the jaw!

  3. Superb! Please could you bring this book at the next meeting, Francoise

  4. Hi
    I love the Unicorn quilting. Made me think of the tapestries at the Cluny Museum. Your friend is really talented. Sarah

  5. Hi Linda and Donna Jean.

    Thank you Linda for sending me the link to your blog to see the wonderful quilt. Donna Jean, what a fabulous quilt. I look forward to seeing it in person.


  6. Even though I don't quilt I think this would be a lovely book to have. I love medieval designs. The quilt is lovely, lovely.

  7. No comparison in quality, of course, but I used "animal" letters to teach the alphabet when I taught 1st grade. It was so much fun (for me) until I came to X...What animal could start with X? It had to be an alien--the "xanimal?" or some such. If I EVER quilt, I think that would be a cute theme to make for a youngster. Gotta dig out some of my school stuff someday and see what's what.
    Thanks for sharing your talent, dear Linda! Love U