Liberty Tana lawn quilt

Four years ago I visited the fabric department at Liberty in London for the first time. I had heard so much about the beauty of the design of their Tana lawn fabric from my GCSE Textiles teacher, that it was somewhere I had always wanted to go to see them for myself. I indulged in a sample pack of fabric that included 12 different designs. I plotted and planned and researched the possibilities for using the fabrics - for a while I though of trying some English paper piecing, but was reluctant to cut up the fabric into tiny pieces and to lose so much in seam allowances (again, my love/hate relationship with patchwork!).

Eventually I decided on the simplest possible design to make the most of the fabric. The detail in pattern is amazing - the quilt really showcases each as a work of art. Seaming the fabric in simple strips made for a single bed sized quilt. I completed it a year ago after machine quilting it in random straight lines across the width. Initially I was happy with it, but over time I began to imagine what it might be like with hand quilting instead. So, I unpicked the machine stitching and began to hand quilt it with Perle cotton. I used 2 inch masking tape to mark the stitching lines and begin to stitch...

I picked three different colours of cotton so I could chose the best one for contrast depending on the particular fabric I was working on. The result has transformed the quilt to one that I am so much happier with. It has a much softer handle and a bit more body. Hand quilting is definitely my favourite finish so far. It does take time but is very therapeutic and is great for supplementing the central heating in the depth of winter while in progress, not to mention the value in using the finished quilt.