Sunday, 19 May 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Highland Star, a quilt for Anne

The second quilt I'm entering in the Blogger's quilt festival is very different to any other quilt I've made for a couple of reasons.

The fabric would not be my normal choice and the process of making it stirred very different emotions than usual and I'd like to explain those differences.

We start with this man

This is my Uncle Eric.  He was a wonderful man, kind and gentle with never a bad word to say about anyone.  He loved his family, his friends and was always there for anyone who needed help.  Unfortunately a few years ago he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and despite the best efforts of his doctors he died in September 2012.

Understandably my aunt, Anne, was devastated and I felt at a bit of a loss to know how to help.  We are a close family and as a child I was at boarding school as my parents were expatriates and during half-term holidays I would stay with Anne & Eric but I now live in Cambridgeshire, some distance away from the Scottish Highlands where my aunt lives.

So I asked my Mum if she thought Anne would like a quilt and I suggested I could use some of Eric's shirts.  Anne said she would so I got going.  I wanted to use a traditional quilt block and I found a tutorial by the fabulous Bonnie Hunter called Smokey Mountain Stars which seemed to fit the bill perfectly.

It wasn't plain sailing as some of the shirts were polyester cotton blends and one was lyocell and as a result the fabric shifted much more than I was used to with quilting cottons but it all turned out well in the end.

I've made quilts for babies, for a wedding, for my kids, because I wanted to try something new or just because I loved the fabric and I've always enjoyed the process but the making of this quilt allowed me time and space to reflect on my uncle's life in a way that I don't think I would otherwise have done and for that I will always be grateful.

I called the quilt 'Highland Star' as everyone used to say that Eric was a true Highland gentleman.  I'll be delivering it this weekend when we are up in Scotland.  Hopefully my aunt will like it.

Quilt stats:
Name: Highland Star
Size: 56" by 64"
Quilting: Free motion loop by me
Fabric: Shirts and various Kona & Makower solids
Category: Throw quilt

Thanks for stopping by


  1. Having a wee tear here, what a beautiful piece for your Aunt to treasure and a lovely written post. X

  2. This is a lovely quilt with a lovely story behind it. Your Aunt will be over the moon. What a lovely way to remember a very fine chap!

  3. beautiful story, and beautiful quilt. There's something about a quilt made with men's shirts. It just brings a snuggliness. I've been collecting shirts, this is a good pattern for such a quilt. Thank you for sharing it.

  4. Lovely! And such a thoughtful gift for your aunt. A beautiful way to honour your uncle.

  5. I am sure your aunt will love your quilt. What a great way to remember him by.