I think you'll agree with me that there is something quite magical about quilts. They are at their best practical, personal and precious having been made from scraps of cloth usually by a loving hand. A single quilt can tell the stories of a family or person and be used as a visual reminder for generations to come. It's something I wish I knew how to do but up until know have always been too intimidated to try.
Quilt Love Book, The "Because You Know They Need it Quilt"
I have long admired the quilts of designer Cassandra Ellis (I first blogged about her about two years ago) and was excited when I heard she had a new book coming out about her own quilting experience. In her new book, Quilt Love, she admits that she had always loved quilts and what they stood for but she didn't like what was available. She also felt somewhat flummoxed by quilting shops and their restrictive ways of doing things. So she did what any good designer would do and started freestyling. The result is beautiful contemporary quilts that still hold the same meaning and values as any other handmade quilt.
"Because You Love the Fabric Quilt" - for anyone who has stashes of fabric hidden away!
Ellis's new book has a range of projects from simple quilted friendship bracelet's to tote bags to full size quilts. In each case she clearly outlines the steps and materials needed. One of the quilts that Cassandra makes is called the "Because You Know they Need It Quilt". The idea is to make a fairly quick blanket for someone who needs a little extra comfort. It could be for someone on the street that you've never met, a woman or child in a shelter, a family member that needs some extra love or a neighbor who is facing hardship. Cassandra is hosting a special event to make some of these quilts on Monday, October 29th from 10 am -10 pm at Raystitch in Islington, London, England. You can book a space by contacting Raystitch on 020 7704 1060 or email@example.com.
"The Joining Together Quilt" for two people building a new life together - something that represents both of you.
If you can't make it across the pond for the event you could be involved in two ways.
1) You could make your own quilt with family and friends and give it to someone who needs it. Cassandra has provided the pattern and full instructions for the quilt here.
2) You could simply send some fabric. They need pieces of fabric that are around 33cm wide. Anything you could slip into an envelope would be welcomed (low postage too). These can be sent to: Studio, Cassandra Ellis, 44 Crofton Road, London, SE5 8NB. Or if you would like to donate blankets or larger volumes of cloth please get in touch with Cassandra directly.
"The Traveller's Tales Quilt" - a way to document your adventures and piece together your trips.
Finally, I am happy to announce that I have one copy of Quilt Love to giveaway to a lucky reader. All you have to do to enter is tell me a little bit about what quiltings mean to you? Do you have one? Who would you make a quilt for? What you would make it out of? That kind of thing. The giveaway will close on October 31st and I will announce the winner the following day. The giveaway is open to all my readers!