Monday, 23 March 2015

Utopian Safari Quilt- Finished

This project has been a real labour of love.

It has been a huge pleasure designing a safari quilt to match Frances Newcombe's beautiful Utopia fabrics. I love that it's been done in a haphazard, relaxed kind of way. No deadlines, no pressure, just the room to create in my own time.

I've said it before, but this project was just what I needed!
I will admit that the black background took me way out of my comfort zone. It was not a background colour which I would normally choose. I initially intended to use white and give the quilt a fresh feel, but I was worried that the giraffe would not show up against white (and honestly, what is the point of piecing something if you can't see it?!)

As soon as the decision was made and I had started to sew, I knew that I had made the right choice. I love the drama that the black lends to the quilt and that all the details can be so clearly distinguished.
I free motion quilted this on my new sewing machine. I had fun doing it. I tried out lots of different designs and really tried to choose quilting motifs which suited each animal. 

I am actually pretty happy with the result. 
It's not perfect but it shows a huge improvement on my last free motion quilting efforts. I'm not afraid to admit that I am still learning this fmq business and I am doing my best to be realistic in what I expect of myself.
Finishing the quilting on ths quilt was one of those moments when I could stand back and see that I am making progress. I love that!

The quilt was made using a fat quarter bundle of Utopia. All of the fabrics are represented in the quilt, as I finished it off with a scrappy binding using the remaining fabrics which weren't on the front of the quilt.

I still have some fairly big scraps of a couple of the fabrics that I used for the binding and I must admit that my mind is ticking over, trying to think of a suitable use for them.
I am slowly releasing all the patterns from this quilt. Many of them will not be exactly the same size as the ones in this quilt as I adjusted the size based on my own personal experience of sewing the blocks.

For those of you who are interested, here is a quick breakdown of the quilt:

Finished dimensions= 115cm x 144cm (45" x 56")
Free motion quilted by me using Aurifil 50wt thread in a variety of different shades.
Fabrics used= Utopia by Frances Newcombe for Art Gallery Fabric

I can't wait to show you the coordinating Utopia cushion!


  1. I love these giant animals, especially the elephant.

  2. A beautiful quilt and I love the murals in the background - where did you shoot your photos?

  3. Wonderful quilt and you are right about the black background - it's perfect to highlight all the animals. Great backdrop for your photos!

  4. Epic! I think this might be your best quilt so far (although I think that with each new one!)

  5. This is such a beautiful quilt - the black background is perfect to show off your African animals. And what a wonderful place for photos - the murals are amazing!

  6. It's beautiful! I love the photo shoot location too, it works so well with the quilt.

  7. Juliet.....that quilt is a winner! Just so visually striking with the black background! So awesome you did the quilting (although you are mastering your FMQ, I shall miss quilting for you). Fabulous background scenery.

  8. OMG!!! I am so glad you chose the black background. I just LOVE it. I always use white and now you have inspired me to try black. This is beautiful. Your photo site is great, too. How perfect.

  9. This is great - my boys would adore those designs and just looking at the way the fabrics play against each other - amazing work, as always xxx

  10. I love that hippo! I just giggled and smiled when I saw it, haha! Great work! :)

  11. Completely and totally amazing!
    I couldn't get away with the black background as it would be covered in kitty hair before I got it on the bed, the wall or out the door!

  12. A stunning quilt! I cant imagine it not being on the black background! You continually amaze and inspire me with all you achieve and produce! xx

  13. I love this quilt so very very much! WOW it is simply stunning! You are so talented my friend

  14. Black was definitely the right choice- it adds drama and really makes your animals stand out. And the location of your photo shoot is perfect! How fun!


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