calendar quilt

February 21, 2011

No, Summer has not come yet in Switzerland 😉 far from it ! These pictures were taken last Spring when I almost finished the top of a quilt started one year earlier, in January 2009. It is a calendar quilt. Each month I sewed together 30 or 31 pieces of different materials – scraps from other quilts –  according to the Season or  to a particular day : a heart for Valentine’s Day in February, roses for June or  a bare trees pattern for November, for instance.

January, February, March

April, May, June

July, August, September

October, Novembre, December

The months being all sewed, I still had quite a few scraps left. Scraps of scraps…   Beautiful ones too. So, what to do ? Thankfully was inspired by another quilter’s work and decided to sew together all those real small left-over pieces. It was quite an adventure, one which created an incredible amount of threads and tiny fabric confetti that spread  (I spread involuntarily) all over the house.

“Why are you making this “Benedictine work”” asked my Dad one day as he was visiting us ? (a French expression meaning a painstaking task, “un travail de Bénédictin”). An expression that most certainly was related to the immense work these monks accomplished when they copied manuscripts of classical authors and so preserved valuable books that otherwise would have been lost. The Benedictine monks also kept records of the most striking events of their time and acted as chroniclers of the medieval history of the Middle Ages. So much for history and quilting 🙂

Which reminds me… I must bring you some day to an interesting museum in my town : The Gutenberg Museum.

Now, to go back to the calendar quilt, my idea was to border it with more beautiful scraps. Which I did.

Underneath are a few examples of these borders before I added them to the quilt.

And here is the end result, a quilt of about 1m50 x 2m20.  I am very happy to have given a sort of  “second life” to my scraps .  I feel like  using  more of them in the future and I certainly will. Many colourful scraps are waiting in various ancient tin boxes  to be part of another quilt.

Quilting and embroidering the  names of the months  still need to be made but this is probably my favourite part and I look forward to this. A very relaxing work where thoughts  and  stitches meander along the quilt.

Et pour Karma,

another picture in close-up of the three months, January, February, March.

38 Responses to “calendar quilt”

  1. Carsten said

    I think you are remarkably industrious Isabelle.
    Your use of scrapshas resulted in a very beautiful – and useful work. It’s fun to know the story behind the pattern.

  2. Gerry said

    I am in awe. (I have to have a long talk with myself to get myself to hem a pair of pants or sew on a button.) Your calendar quilt is beautiful, and I think the borders were a very good idea.

  3. Marie said

    What a beautiful quilt Isabelle!
    I was thinking of you yesterday as I pulled out a
    precious piece of fabric you sent. I am using it
    in the quilt I am working on.
    You are so patient to piece together all those tiny
    I love the idea of a calendar quilt to “mark” the seasons and all the colors blend so beautifully.

    • I am glad you like this quilt, Marie. Patience is definitely something one needs when quilting, don´t we ? The result is often so rewarding. Bright colours are my favourite maybe because I started quilting in Africa and the local fabrics were mostly like its sun : brilliant ! Thank you very much for your words.

  4. It’s absolutely beautifil, Isa.

  5. Isa,

    Your quilt is beautiful! It is a great idea to make blocks by month.. I love the fact that you you have used scraps of scraps!

  6. montucky said

    That’s beautiful!

  7. Karma said

    What a wonderful quilt idea! I love it!
    Do you have any closer-up shots of January, February and March? I’d love to see the fabrics you chose a little closer.

  8. Lovely, Isa! The “scraps” are now part of a masterpiece of beauty and a tribute to your talent.

  9. Kathy said

    Very beautiful indeed. I so admire folks who can do this! A good project during long winter days…

  10. Hello and thank you, Kathy. Yes, you are right, the perfect project for long Winter days and evenings.

  11. Giiid said

    Isa, what a beautiful work! I would call it a “make one happy” carpet, because there are so many colors and pattern to look at.
    I am impressed about your creativity and energy – I wonder how you manage to finish a ” long time” work like this, – do you have a magical recipe? If so, I would really like to see it, – I have quite a few projects waiting for a miracle to happen.

    • 🙂 What a nice title for this quilt :”Make one happy” ! Thank you giiid. And no, no real magical recipe to finish this work, just enough time now and then. Quilting should have been done long ago but for some strange reason I started other works before completing this one. Now, the time has come !

  12. This is truly amazing. Where do you get your fabric and your inspiration? I plan to try something like this once I stop working but have no idea where to start. I love the calendar concept as it seems an amazing way to document a year.

    • Thank you Tammy. This quilt was inspired by a blog “Calendar quilt” two years ago. I feel sure you will find great inspiration to start your own quilt. This one is really easy to do, all fabrics are left-overs from previous quilts.

  13. sartenada said

    So beautiful! I appreciate highly Your quilt. I know how much time and effort they require.

    The last photo is just to my mind when seeing it ready.

    Happy Sunday!

  14. Beautiful, beautiful Isa. The Benedictines have nothing on you.

  15. Janice said

    A beautiful quilt and a lovely idea – one scrap for every day of the year! I wonder if you had another 365 in the border…?!

  16. You know, I always drool at your quilts. The Christmas quilt almost put me to depression; I cannot do anything with needle and thread. The idea and the execution gives a touch competition to each other. Both brilliant!

    • Thanks again, Rukmini. You know, years ago I did not think I would be able to sew nor quilt. Watching my mother sewing so many things for our home (curtains, cushions, tablecloths, etc.) motivated me. Since the first course on patchwork I took in Africa, I never stopped and am always enjoying it. You have such beautiful quilts (and fabrics) in India ! Why not start with something real simple (nine-patch, logcabin) just following your inspiration once you have the basic technique ? You have gotten the artistic sense, the way to assemble your materials will follow 🙂

  17. truels said

    I just HAVE TO comment this post! Isa, you have such a great talent and is a faboulous artist making these quilts. And so many hours of work and so much energy you have been able to find, incredible!!! This is simply a masterpiece – I love it, it is SO beautiful!

    • Wow ! Thanks a lot for your enthusiasm and all the compliments, truels ! I do enjoy sewing scraps quilts and just let my imagination go with the patterns and colours. Happy you liked this particular quilt.

  18. this is absolutely amazing!!

    thank you so very much for sharing this isa
    you truly are a very talented artist and lady.

    • Serena, your comment really touch me because you are an inspiration to me. Thanks a lot. You of course understand the pleasure we get from sewing with scraps the way we feel. I am glad you like this bedspread. Right now I am in the process of making a quilt or two for a Japanese quilters´ group who is collecting them for the people who survived these terrible disasters.

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