It has just occurred to me that this is the first time I have shared the background story behind one of my quilts here on the blog! This is the whole reason I wanted to begin blogging in the first place – to tell the stories behind my quilts! So it is with a sense of delight that I share the story of my latest pattern – Cherry Tree Lane…
For me, some days creating is more about the process and less about any specific plan.
This particular design came about after I spent an afternoon ‘playing’ with some new Jelly Roll strips that I had purchased that morning…
I had asked the quilting community on Instagram what I should make with my new ‘Handmade by Bonnie and Camille’ Jelly Roll and received so many awesome ideas that I immediately felt a little overwhelmed! I really should have known better – when I am faced with so many good options it is almost impossible for me to make a quick decision! That is when I decided to forget about ‘what’ it was I was going to make and instead I decided to simply sew together a few strips and see where my instincts would take me.
I really wanted to make something simple and stress free, yet not so basic that it might be considered boring, and so without a plan I began to sew.
By the time I had the block constructed I realised that I had a design with multiple possibilities. As I noticed a pattern begin to emerge, it felt a little magical, and so I began to make some design notes as I went along.
Depending on how you combine your fabric strips and how you choose to rotate your blocks you can create so many different variations of the same pattern. As I lay the original blocks on the floor and began to explore different layouts it suddenly occurred to me that this little experiment was a lot like Jane and Michael Banks watching Mary Poppins reach into her carpet bag wondering what she might pull out next! (Do you think that I may have been exposed to too much Mary Poppins in my youth? – What can I say – to this day the British nanny still holds a cherished place in my heart :).
The minute the idea of Mary Poppins popped into my head I knew I had to watch the classic Disney movie to see what other inspiration might strike. After viewing the iconic nanny flying in from the east as the movie begins I settled on arranging my blocks so they give the appearance of diagonal rows of colour representing her grand arrival at Number 17, Cherry Tree Lane.
The quilt itself is delightfully simple to construct, and ‘as I expected… practically perfect in every way’ (Oh come on, you know I had to say that…;P.)!
The hardest part is choosing how you want to combine your fabric and layout your blocks, but I give you some ideas about this in the pattern. Of course, you can follow my lead and make something similar to the original, or you could try one of the different variations and express your own creativity in its own unique way :).
The quilt requires 1 Jelly Roll, some background yardage, a small amount of solid fabric for the block centre posts and some solid scraps for the cornerstones.
I used a quarter square triangle ruler to cut the triangle pieces, but I have included a template in the pattern if you don’t have an acrylic triangle ruler.
One of my favourite things about this quilt was that it came together without any pins – seriously, NO PINS!! Who knew that was even a thing – I told you it was magical ;).
I indicate the best direction to press your seams to ensure they nest together perfectly, and because the blocks are trimmed to size and the sashing is a consistent measurement, the quilt is assembled with absolute ease.
In the pattern I refer to the layout version I chose as ‘Sunshine and Shadow’. I chose to pair my strip sets into low volume and aqua prints (sunshine), and red, green and black prints (shadow).
Depending on the fabric assortment in your Jelly Roll you may find that you don’t have a clear distinction between light and dark prints but that’s okay – just pair them in a way that makes sense to you, or be completely random and enjoy a scrappy version of the quilt.
The pattern requires 35 blocks, but in order to give you the most flexibility when laying out your quilt pattern I decided to give you instructions to make 40 blocks and make use of the entire Jelly Roll. This means that once you have decided on what blocks are going in your quilt you have some leftovers to either go on the back of your quilt or turn into a mini quilt or pillow top like I did.
I had so much fun piecing this quilt and reminiscing about all the things Mary Poppins has taught me over the years – not to mention the sing along sessions as the pieces were stitched together :).
I am giving this quilt to my daughter as a graduation gift with a reminder of some of my favourite lessons on the quilt label (I can’t show you the actual label yet because it’s still a work in progress – I am trying to decide on the best way to include a silhouette of Mary Poppins alongside the life lessons); and in case you are wondering what a fictional character from a 1964 film still has to teach us – here you go…
- Strive to be practically perfect in every way.
- In every job that must be done there is an element of fun.
- Things are not always as they appear.
- Use your imagination.
- Choose your words wisely.
- It’s all a matter of perspective.
- You don’t always need to explain yourself.
- And always remember the importance of powdering your nose ;).
For all the controversy that surrounded the original literary author of Mary Poppins, P.L. Travers, she has been quoted as saying this –
“Fantasy is not a word I like. I prefer imagination. Fantasy has no relation to reality and is passive, but imagination is active and is the imaging of a portion of reality and requires conscious effort — not to invent but to remain quiet and still so the idea, if it wants, will come. I always recall D.H. Lawrence saying to remember that there is a truth of fact and a truth of truth — and I add that the truth of truth is imagination.”
I love the idea of being ‘quiet and still’ so the ideas will come – such a great statement on creativity!
Now I feel like I want to design an entire quilt collection inspired by the classic Mary Poppins…
How much fun would that be?! Maybe that could be my preparation in lead up to the release of the new ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ movie scheduled for release in 2018. (Crossing my fingers they don’t make Mary too mean as has been rumored!)
What do you think? Next up, a quilt called ‘Step In Time’….;P.
The Cherry Tree Lane pattern is available now and for those who are interested I am hosting a casual quilt along during November.
What is your favourite Mary Poppins moment? Or what character do you love who has taught you an important life lesson or two?
Leave me a comment and I will randomly choose 5 people in the next 24 hours to receive a copy of the pattern. (Use coupon code QAL to receive 20% discount on your pattern if you are joining the quilt along fun – EXPIRES Oct 31st 2016)
Goodbye friends, don’t stay away too long ;).
PS. I f you purchase the pattern and then happen to be lucky enough to be one of the 5 winners, I will either refund your money or let you choose two other patterns from my store – does that sound fair? :). Thanks for stopping by. Your support means so much! xx
Edited to Add – We have some winners (courtesy of Random.org)! Thanks for playing everyone, if your comment was one of the numbers below then I will be sending you your pattern very soon :).
Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:
15, 9, 7, 2, 14
Timestamp: 2016-10-26 23:22:00 UTC