Welcome guest blogger and quilt designer Audrey Wright. Audrey’s new quilt, Quaker Lane, is a traditional throw quilt. This design features two chain variation blocks that can be quickly and easily made with strip-piecing techniques. You’ll find this quilt in the McCall’s Quick Quilts June/July 2017 issue. We’re happy to have Audrey here to talk about her quilt!
I am happy to be writing another post for the McCall’s Quick Quilts blog. I have been lucky enough to work with McCall’s on several of their publications.
This is my first quilt in Quick Quilts. Quaker Lane was made using my fabric line called Forget Me Not from RJR Fabrics. When I start working on a concept for a new fabric line I like to tell a story. When doing my research I came across this true story from the Civil War.
The 116th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment, which was part of the Army of the Potomac’s famous Irish Brigade, fought hard and saved thousands of lives in the Battle of Chancellorsville, Virginia, April 30-May 6, 1863.
Ironically, after a year of fighting elsewhere, the 116th marched towards Spotsylvania Court House, Virginia, to fight in the May 8-21, 1864, battle that took place there. On their journey, May 4th, they made camp near where they had fought exactly a year before. What they found there was a surprise.
The Chancellorsville House still lay a mass of unsightly ruins. Battle debris lay scattered on the ground. Broken wheels, shattered poles, bursted shells, bones of horses, canteens, etc., were still visible. The shallow graves of the men were discovered and much to the delight of the men, found overgrown with wild flowers and forget-me-nots.
Lieutenant-Colonel Dale was so moved he wrote a letter to the Pittsburgh paper of the scene and it was published. “I gathered a few flowers as mementoes…the battlefield is covered with wild flowers, nearly all of a purple color, as though the blood of our brave soldiers had so drenched the soil as to darken the very flowers that grew upon it.” Dale died May 12, 1864, leading the charge at the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House.
(adapted from The Story of the 116th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers in the War of Rebellion by St. Clair A. Mulholland, 1903)
The purples and blues in the line represent the wild flowers and forget-me-nots. The blues and grays represent the North and South during the Civil War. The blacks, grays and purples also represent the mourning clothes worn by so many widows and mothers during and after the war.
I used the grays, blues and blacks in Quaker Lane to create a soft peaceful feel. For those of you who like to save the selvage I used doves for the color windows. I also wrote a thought that came to me as I was working on the projects. It says “Be at Peace now with Fields of Flowers” (click image for a larger version).
This picture is the main floral print in the fabric line. Several prints in the line were designed with an aged look to represent the changes fabric would make after many years.
I’ve also designed this pattern named Parlor Quilt made with my Forget Me Not collection. It made me think of the large plantation houses that had a formal parlor to entertain guests. I can just picture this quilt draped across a loveseat in the parlor. Visit my website to see more of my designs.
Thanks to Quick Quilts for the opportunity to share my story.
Thanks so much, Audrey! Leave a comment below before midnight June 1, 2017, and you’ll be entered into our random drawing to win one of two copies of Audrey’s Parlor Quilt pattern. The two winners will be notified by email with subject line beginning YOU WON.
Thank you for participating — a winner has been picked! Keep an eye out for future guest blogs and your chance to win a giveaway!
If you’d like to make your own version of the Quaker Lane quilt, and don’t yet have a copy of the McCall’s Quick Quilts June/July 2017 issue, you can order print and digital versions in our online shop. The Quaker Lane quilt pattern is also available separately as an instant digital download. The pattern includes an alternate size chart with yardages needed to make Quaker Lane as a crib, twin or queen-size quilt, as well as inspiration for using alternate color palettes, such as a patriotic version.