In May 2015 Hans and I stayed in a summer house in Sweden at a place called Kärshult (pronounced Shashult). We stayed there with Hans’s family and it was a wonderful holiday. While I was there I was inspired to make a quilt so this is the start of that project. I’ll also be doing the same as I did with my Christmas quilt and record the time is takes to make it.
I’d already made some notes so I’ll include any which are relevant in this first post. The quilt itself will be a combination of designs. I have the idea of what I want it to include but am happy if it evolves differently. That’s part of the fun.
My initial inspiration was to have Log cabin blocks. The house was made of wood and so is a log cabin. This this the central part of the whole design. I’m not 100% certain what size blocks I will do. I have bought some Log Cabin rulers and have an option of 4 sizes. I think I’m going to go for the larger size to reduce the number of seams. That will make the quilting part easier. I’ll be arranging them in a starry night formation. This is because one night we stood outside and looked up into the sky and saw the magnificent stars. As there was very little light pollution the sky was twinkling with lights.
I pondered the design all the time I was there. On the last day I sat outside on my own. At this point I knew I wanted the log cabin blocks in a starry night grouping but I needed a border. At that very moment there was a squawk overhead and, when I looked up, I saw two geese flying over the house. If this was in a book or a film I’d groan with the cliché but it actually happened. So flying geese as the border it is!
I also want to include some applique but as yet I’m not sure of the designs. I have some ideas (Danish and Swedish flags/hearts) but this is something I’ll be more certain about when the quilt takes shape.
I’m also going to do this as a quilt as you go project. Probably sewing each starry night block (so four log cabin blocks) together then quilting these. I’m not certain about that though so let’s see.
I took many photographs and selected those which inspired me the most. Finding fabric was a little problematic as at the point I hadn’t located High Street Quilting at Birtley so I have purchased it from the internet. That said I am happy with my choices. I have matched up a photograph with each fabric but in some cases it is less what the photograph shows and more my recollection of the item I want to represent in the quilt.
The heart of each log cabin block is the central square to represent the hearth of the home. The house actually did have wood burning fires which was very cosy and atmospheric, The room Hans and I spelt in had a beautiful fire and it was especially romantic to turn off the lights and lie in the dark watching the red and orange flames.
The light half of the log cabin blocks will have less of a variety of fabric (mainly as there were less things that were light) so I’ll be using each one more than once in each block.
There were beautiful white flowers everywhere. When I came back I looked them up and they are called Wood Anemone (Anemone nemorosa). I have a pure white fabric as their petals.
In the area we stayed there were many silver birch trees. I tried to find a fabric that represented the colour of the bark but all the silver fabric I looked at was too silvery. I decided to use a white fabric with a white leafy pattern which I think I’ll also use for borders as it has a leafy/foresty theme.
Dotted in amongst the trees were large and small lakes. They were almost all a pale blue colour. Quite delicate and light.
So these three will make up the light section of the log cabin blocks.
The darker half will have five colours.
I have no photo for sky as I am representing it on the quilt. It was just before dusk and the sky was a dark blue colour.
Hans has told me many stories of the times he spent at the house. One of those stories told of a moose who wandered near the house one year. I said I’d love to see a moose too but he told me it was rare and in all the times he had been to the house moose were rarely seen. On the drive to the house we told Sara and Michael I wanted to see a moose and again I was told they are shy, reclusive creatures who hide away. Then out of the woods appeared a moose. Just a few metres away! It stood for a while and watched us. We got out of the car and took photos. It was quite unconcerned. So I’m using a brown fabric for the moose.
As it was a forest I wanted to represent the trees so have a darker green for the pines.
All around, on rocks and the trees, was a very pretty moss. It gave the whole forest a fairy tale atmosphere.
The lovely Wood Anemones had bright yellow stamen which stood out against the white of the petals. I wanted that colour too.
So these are my five dark colours.