Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Bloggers Quilt Festival : Oakshott Scandinavia Challenge Quilt

I'm just squeezing into the Bloggers Quilt Festival this year!  If you hurry there's still about a day left to enter your quilt.  Visit Amy at Amy's Creative Side for all the details!  I decided to enter my Scandinavian Quilt into the Original Design category this year amid some tough competition no less.  You can see the original post on this quilt here if you missed it, otherwise keep reading.  

This Scandinavia inspired quilt was made as part of a challenge sponsored by Sew Mama Sew and Oakshott Fabrics to create a quilt using their new Scandinavian collection of fabrics.  And, boy oh boy, these fabrics are are gorgeous!  They are all shot through with a creamy white that gives them the most amazing soft shine.  Pastel without being too Easter-y or babyish.

I wanted to do something original to honor by Finnish heritage, via my paternal grandmother (or Farmor).  She grew up in Finland (and Sweden during WWII), a country I have had the opportunity to visit three times in my life, twice as a child and once as a teenager, and hope to visit again very soon once we can find the time and money.  Each time I have visited I find great inspiration in the simple, clean designs found in the region and really wanted to be able to create something that could reflect both the design and the memories I have of visiting family there.

After some research I had several ideas sketched out, and ended up texting my "more Finnish" (as my Farmor says) cousin for help narrowing the choices down.  In the end I pulled out the Ittala dinnerware that we received for the wedding two years ago and used that as a jumping off point.

Feeling inspired at the moment. #oakshottscandinavia #iittala #inspirationeverywhere #thanksforthedishesGram #FinnishQuilt - See more at:
At first I thought I would make a large quilt inspired by the black and white dinner plate and mug pictured above.  I pieced a couple of arrows and then laid them out to take a picture but what I saw changed my direction completely.  I spent two days piecing the rows and top, finishing it at around 1am the day before it was supposed to go to the longarmer.  Ideally I would have quilted this myself but given the time crunch I was under I thought it was best to have someone else do.  The quilting is simple.  Katie Smith of Home Hearth Quilting quilted it for me in a simple birch tree-esque design following the direction of each row of piecing.  I love how it adds texture to the quilt without distracting from the overall design.  She did a great job and I highly recommend her if you're in the NH/VT area. 

Thank you little brother and Dad for holding this for me!

The pattern came together really quickly since it's all row based piecing.  I really love how the simple Kona Charcol and Kona White let the beautiful Oakshott fabrics shine in all their glory.  While piecing I took a really ad hoc approach to adding in the colors, letting them fall where ever they would in the final top.  The scattered colors are perfect and I love how the various sized strips add additional movement to the quilt.

a glimpse into our bedroom with the quit in it's new home. notice the nicely coordinated pre-existing paint swatches...
in love with this quilt.

quilting detail
The quilt is backed in a Lotta Jansdotter print and a large scale Windham Fabrics print.  I chose these because of how they played into the simple, clean lines I was going for in the overall design.  This quilt finishes at 90" x 86" and will hopefully be plenty big enough for the two of us to sleep under.  I didn't set out to make such a large quilt but once I got started the fabrics and pattern made it easy to keep going.  Plus, I had the added encouragement that my husband gets genuinely upset when I make small quilts.  

I'm so glad that I had the opportunity to make this quilt.  The final quilt is really true to my original vision and reflect the emotion I was hoping to convey.   I think my Farmor would be proud.  I plan on showing her the quilt at Thanksgiving later this year to see what she thinks.  My Finnish relatives tell me that I captured Finland perfectly.  Currently there is no pattern for this quilt but I hope to write one up in the next year.  

Thank you for visiting and I hope that you like my quilt!  Linking up with Amy for Original Quilt Design at Bloggers Quilt Festival!


  1. This is a beautiful quilt and design, Jennifer. Good luck in the festival!

  2. So pretty. I love the neutrals with the black. I really like the lines and the overall feel.

  3. I love this quilt! I hope you win! :)

  4. Nice! I could see that as a bedding line.

  5. Lovely! Bold and fresh and subtle all at the same time!

  6. Absolutely love the quilt. The dinnerware is a fun jumping off point. I'm glad to hear that Kona played well with the oakshott because at first I thought you had made the entire thing of it and thought yikes!

  7. So so pretty! Lovely colors.


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