Ann Ferguson Quilts, Patchwork, applique, sampler quilt, Quilt care,

The Pink, Red and White Sampler Quilt and Caring For Your Quilts

I have just added a new page Quilt Care. It features my daughter’s quilt, because it’s such a tricky quilt to care for,  and I thought I’d write a little bit about the quilt here as well. It’s my daughter Amelia’s Pink, Red and White Quilt.

Ann Ferguson Quilts, Patchwork, applique, sampler quilt, Quilt care

Amelia’s quilt was a tricky one to wash. It has red and white, a combination of different fabrics including delicate vintage silks and laces, Thai silk, African synthetic bends as well as different techniques with hand and machine work. The white background was stained and it was time launder it. A quilt like this need delicate care and was dried flat to avoid tearing silks and fragile stitching, and breaking handmade porcelain buttons. There was a little bit of colour run, which I could have removed by re-washing using a commercially available product, but I decided the pink tinges added to the heirloom quality of my daughter’s quilt.

When I was looking through my photos to find one to add to the Quilt Care page, I realized how long ago I made this quilt for Amelia, my daughter. I scrolled through 2014, 2013….and back to 2008. The image quality certainly varies over that time, from my first little digital Ricoh through my current little Canon and iPhone. I made this quilt for Amelia’s 10th birthday after being given the brief that she’d quite like a quilt with red, pink and white. She wanted one with “pictures” meaning a sampler quilt. I’d been teaching a few of those around that time and she liked the different block designs. She also wanted it to be soft and not too quilted. At the time, I had discovered heavy machine quilting and liked it so would have quilted it like that. But, she asked for hand quilting and not too much. She picked a few fabrics herself – the outer floral border, a strong red and white checker board, a pink swirly blender and a red with little gold hearts are the ones I remember.

Ann Ferguson Quilts, Sampler Quilt

Amelia’s quilt on Christmas morning 2007. Queen size, 25 different blocks and hand quilted with white Perle 8 thread. All the blocks were chosen for their names, as wishes from me, or because she liked them. They contain fabrics from family, friends and special places to go with her through life, a bit like the wishes bestowed on Sleeping Beauty by the fairies at her christening.

I wanted to make the quilt with lots of meaningful block names and fabrics from her past and loved ones. It really was fun to search out just the right the blocks for the quilt, and they come from a wide selection of books, magazines and films. The blocks from top left to bottom right:

  1. School House for success in her school days
  2. Blossoming Tree for blossoming into a woman
  3. Hearts with Timmy for love and in memory of her little cat
  4. True Lover’s Knot for finding true love
  5. Joyce’s Selection for my mother
  6. Log Cabin for a warm home life
  7. Crazy Heart for love, and because the heart wants what the heart wants
  8. Card Trick because Amelia loved the puzzle blocks
  9. Bear’s Paw for Canada and her Canadian heritage
  10. Shining Brighter for my father
  11. Friendship Garden for friendship and family
  12. Africa Patchwork for travel and our African adventure
  13. Mariner’s Compass in the centre of the quilt to guide her through life
  14. Drunkard’s Path to keep her safe on her life path
  15. Grandmother’s Flower Garden for her Canadian Grandma
  16. 9 – Patch and Hearts for love
  17. Intertwined Squares another puzzle block and for true love
  18. House for her own home one day
  19. Snowflake is my block from my red silk dress
  20. Trip Around The World for many happy travels and adventures around the world
  21. Sukey’s Choice for my sister, her Aunty Susan
  22. Maple Leaf for Canada, a part of her past, present and future
  23. Hen and Chicks for me and my little chicken
  24. Africa Patchwork for adventure
  25. Snail Trail/ Wave, another optical puzzle block and for travel over the ocean

Two of my favourites are the Hearts Block with the black and white cat in the centre and the Crazy Patchwork Heart. Hearts with Timmy The Hearts block was originally going to be just 9 hearts. The fabrics include red Thai silk from a dress of mine, the pink floral chosen by Amelia, a red African Shwe Shwe (we’d been to South Africa shortly before I made the quilt), red and white stripes from a dress her aunty gave her, pink rosebuds from one of Amelia’s favourite little dresses, a red Japanese cat, a plaid from her grandparents and the red with gold hearts Amelia chose for the quilt. The little cat came as an addition when our dear little cat Timmy died suddenly after being hit by a car. He’s the only element on the quilt that is not red, white or pink. Even the zebras are red and white striped. But Amelia wanted him in black and white, and the block is close to the top of the quilt so he would be close to her. Ann Ferguson Quilts, Patchwork, applique, sampler quilt, Quilt care,   The Crazy Patchwork Heart pattern came from the quilt Where Love Resides, in How To Make An American QuiltI had seen the film just before Amelia was born, while I was heavily pregnant, and that was the quilt made me want to make a quilt myself. I had no idea that quilts could be like that, so beautiful and meaningful. I met patty McCormick who designed and coordinated the making of the quilts in the film and used some of the ideas from blocks in her book Pieces of an American Quilt for this quilt. This block has little bits and scraps of fabric from everyone in Amelia’s family including some Brussels lace from my mum, a scrap of her dad’s shirt and a tiny Dalmatian button for her favourite movie at the time, 102 Dalmatians. It was really fun to make.

Ann ferguson Quilts, Sampler quilt

Dolly curled up on the quilt. You can see the red Thai silk Snowflake applique block (difficult to prevent fraying and the red runs terribly) and a bit of one of the African ones.

Ann Ferguson Quilts, Sampler Quilt

My little girl’s bedroom with the quilt on the bed back in 2008. It’s very different now.

The quilt is actually on her bed now, after quite a long time stored away after I washed it for the first and only time. This is one of those quilts you launder as rarely as possible because of the hand quilting, white background and fragile and non-colour fast fabrics in it. Amelia will be leaving home for Canada in less than a month, and I’m guessing she wanted to use it for a little while before she goes. It makes me happy, and sad at the same time. I hope it stays clean till I pack it up again in a few weeks time!

Ann Ferguson Quilts, Sampler Quilt

Amelia’s Pink, Red and White Quilt as it is today, 8 years later.


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