Dear Stella Quilt

I am not a quilter…I made a quilt for my mother a few years ago, and it took me 9 months to finish! So, when the lovely folks at Kollabora contacted me a few weeks ago and asked if I would like to receive a fat quarter bundle of Dear Stella fabric, and post some photos of my project here and on their site, I almost said no.  I mean, I mostly make clothes, and what would I make with a bunch of fat quarters?  BUT…you all know I am on a fabric fast, so the lure of free fabric turned out to be too much for me 🙂  Plus I LOVE Dear Stella, I think their prints are fabulous, and so unique.  I think it would be wonderful if they would print some of their designs on apparel weight fabric (I have already bugged them about it, ha).  So I said yes, and figured I would make some little things for around the house: coasters, hot pads, oven mitts, and maybe a couple of pillow covers.  But somehow when I took a trip to Joann’s to buy some supplies, I ended up coming home with quilt batting instead…I was going to make a quilt in less than 2 weeks!  When my last one took 9 months!  Was I crazy?  It turns out, no.  I decided to keep it simple, and let the fabric be the star.  And it came together without any drama!DSC_0089My inspiration for the design came from here.  The prints are the Ravena collection from Dear Stella, from their site: “An enchanting mix of medallions, florals, stripes and paisleys, Ravena is reminiscent of vintage textiles and hand-stamped patterns from India.”  I love the look of all these blues together.  DSC_0093

The solid fabric is Robert Kaufman’s Essex yarn dyed linen/cotton in Denim, you can find it here.  I had it in my stash to make pants but it looks very similar to the hemp/cotton denim that I used for these pants, so I decided to use it here instead.  I do have enough left to make some shorts or a skirt though!  For the binding I was going to use some store bought quilt binding, but it is kind of stiff and polyester-y, and I could make my own for the same price.  Did you know you can get enough binding out of 1 yard of fabric to bind a queen size quilt?  I chose one of the Ravena prints, and used this tutorial for making continuous binding.  It was so quick and easy, much better than sewing each individual strip together!DSC_0147 (1)For the back I purchased some solid Dear Stella fabric in navy, and pieced it with a strip of the prints.  I really like how it turned out, I think I like the back as much as the front!DSC_0117 DSC_0106 (1)For the actual quilting I just sewed straight lines, 3 inches apart.  Easy and quick!  I wanted to stay away from any dense quilting, partly because I was short on time but also because I wanted it to stay really soft and snuggly.  I made this to keep on our couch, I am always cold and it will be nice to have something to cover up with when we are watching movies 🙂  Also, our couch is looking kind of sad and old these days:DSC_0055It is quite faded, and really needs a new slipcover.  I thought I could spruce it up a little with this project though, so I also made some pillows to match the quilt!DSC_0075Gah, I didn’t realize how wrinkly the slipcover is until I saw these pictures!
DSC_0012DSC_0017They are just simple envelope covers (tutorial here).  I didn’t add any seam allowances, as I wanted a snug fit.  I just serged the seams, which would be a 1/4″ seam on a regular machine.  This was such a fast and easy project, and very satisfying results!  It literally took me about 15 minutes per pillow, so fun.  I added a little contrast strip to the envelope back, just to make them a bit nicer.DSC_0043Now that I know quilt making does not have to be such a long process I might make more!  I would love to try one in all solids, and try some appliqué, like this one.  But for now I have a couple little girl dresses to finish up, and then it’s back to sewing clothes for meeeeeeeeeee 🙂   See you soon!

  • I am impressed! I have never made a quilt (even though I come from a family of quilters). It always sounded so mind-numbingly boring, but you make it look so easy that I might actually attempt a baby quilt!

    • Kelly

      Oh, a baby quilt would come together fast! If you use bigger blocks of fabric it takes no time at all…I cut and pieced the top for this in one evening, easily. That being said, I don’t think I’ll turn into a quilter anytime soon 😉

      • I think I’ll do it! I bought fabric for a quilt to coordinate with crib sheets months ago, but hadn’t been able to work up the motivation to attempt it. Thanks to this whole “nesting” instinct, I cut the pieces for a basic strip quilt last night and hope to tackle it very soon! I may never make another quilt, but it would be nice to use this stash fabric for its intended purpose.

  • Suzanne Williams

    It turned out beautiful!! I love it!! The back is so pretty also 🙂 Good work!!

    • Kelly

      Thank you mummy!! 🙂

  • beautiful quilt! i keep saying how i need to do this with my random scraps but it never happens… some day!

    • Kelly

      I started sending my scraps to my mom, since she actually quilts…

  • that is one happy couch! beautiful quilt, and i would like to jump on that couch immediately!

    • Kelly

      Haha, it is comfy! I have been snuggling up with that quilt every morning while my girls eat their breakfast (they get up waaaaaay too early!)

  • Debera

    You made a quilt! It’s perfect. I literally have an unbustable stash of quilting cottons, including some Dear Stella pieces. I’m trying SO HARD not to add to my stash but, with this post, you’re not helping! Now I want these…. I’m playing a stash busting trick on myself, by pretending the quilting stash doesn’t exist while I whittle down the garment stash. Whenever someone asks me what I’m making, I tell them I’m making a beautiful closet, full of fabric.

    • Kelly

      Haha, nice! I recently gifted my mom with a bunch of my quilting cotton stash…she makes a lot of quilts so I know it went to a good home 🙂

  • WOW! Very nice work on your first quilt – I as a fellow clothes sewist am most impressed 🙂 And it really transforms the couch – the pillows are adorable! Love kollabora 🙂

    • Kelly

      Awwww, thanks! It was fun and fairly quick- and I didn’t have to make a muslin, ha!

  • This is beautiful! I had a similar experience with a quilt – it took so long! But in my heart I want to be a quilter as well as an apparel sewer. I’m going to take a page out of your book and keep it simple. Two weeks to finish a quilt is inspiring, and of course it’s such a lovely quilt, too!

    • Kelly

      Thank you so much! I knew there was no way I would finish in time if I did anything complicated…I would say I only worked on it for 7-8 evenings, so it is definitely do-able! Here is a great tutorial for a simple bed quilt- she made one over a weekend, wow. And so pretty!

      http://www.noodle-head.com/2011/06/inside-scoop-my-quilt.html

  • This turned out so beautiful!! I’m impressed you made this in such a short time! I’ve got a couple of quilts that my hubbys Grandma gave me to finish. I haven’t even looked at them. Maybe one day I’ll get around to finishing them.

    • Kelly

      I don’t think I’ll make another any time soon, but it was fun! And I love it, I am using it all the time when it is chilly in the morning 🙂

  • Kate

    Great job! It looks wonderful!

    • Kelly

      Thank you! 🙂