Whole Cloth Silk Quilt Update

It seems I blinked a couple of times and 2016 was gone. How did that happen?

Since my last post, there has been very little activity on the Seams French assembly line. Several nasty versions of flu bugs have kept me pretty much out of commission for most of December and the early part of January. Preset goals and deadlines became meaningless when the only thing that mattered was having enough cough meds and tissues in the house. Vulnerability should never be underestimated.

With some wind back in my sails, I decided to start up 2017 by pulling out my whole cloth quilt design that had been shelved since last April.

For a quilt like this, I like to preplan and draw in fairly detailed FMQ lines for focal motifs. I love this part of the process and can get completely lost in it.

Completed FMQ butterfly design.

When designing, I rely on a lot of different resources. Our collection of photos is fairly large and is my first source for ideas and inspiration. Books, art, the internet, etc. are all great references as well and I use them all.

For this quilt, I seem to be drawn to the Arts and Crafts Movement (1880's Britain), to Art Nouveau (1890 - 1910) through to Art Deco (1920 - 1940).

The butterfly got a touch of the diva from Erte, a fashion illustrator from the Art Deco period.

"Erté: Art Deco Master of  Graphic Art and Illustrator", by Rosalind Ormiston: Flame Tree Publishing, London 2014

Another illustration from the same book.

Alphonse Mucha inspired this little hummingbird.

Here she is in progress.

Completed hummingbird.

Below is a trial run of FMQ on some gardenias, inspired by William Morris and the Arts and Crafts Movement

"William Morris: Artist, Craftsman, Pioneer" by P. Ormiston and N.M. Wells; Flame Tree Publishing, 2010 London

The general design layout of the quilt has been printed out to full size, 100" x 100". It's basically a map of all of the elements, with details to be reworked individually

My Notre Dame Rose Window design has found it's way into the background of this quilt along with a scattering of shamrocks.

I have not set many "SeamsFrench" goals for this year, but finishing this quilt this year is a priority for me. It has been on the back burner for far too long so it's definitely time. Updates will be posted.


  1. I am so excited to do this journey with you Elizabeth. At least a visual journey. Can't wait.

    1. Hey Cherie. This is by far the most fun I've had working on anything. I'm really hoping it will get done this year. You're most welcome to join me on the journey anytime.

  2. This is going to be magnificent! What an undertaking. And to think that you do this on your home machine...and it's SO BIG. I can't wait to see the progression of your quilt. Post often!

    1. Thanks Karen. 100" x 100" is bigger than I've ever had in my machine, but by adding the batting in stages, I'm hoping it will work OK. It will still be a while until I'm at the quilting stage though. I'm hoping to do regular posts on the progress.

  3. This will be spectacular! What a great idea to use so many difference motifs and inspirations. I hope you will stay healthy now, I know Vancouver had an early winter. Happy quilting!

    1. Thanks Monica. Although I've designed and made quilts for others through the years, I have never done that for ourselves. It's about time. Thanks for the well wishes. Still on the mend and going to keep going in that direction.


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