[Beach Huts Quilt]
When I give talks to groups about quilt-making, I'm often asked what I do with all my quilts. The answer is that I prefer to have a pragamtic approach to quilts, ie I like to use them.
But when I make quilts for a book, I have to keep them looking as smart as possible for a minimum of twelve months after publication in case they are needed for displays or talks or events. And this now means that I have a very large number of quilts in boxes and cupboards that I still daren't use - just as recently as March I was pleased I hadn't let the quilts shown in The Gentle Art of Quilt-Making be used on an everyday basis as I took lots of them to Cambridge and showed them off.
[illustration from my favourite edition of The Princess and the Pea by Lauren Child, available from the brillliant Illustration Cupboard]
Nor have I sold any quilts - perhaps I should - with the result that the ratio of quilts to beds/settees/chairs is one that the princess with the pea would recognise (if they were out on display0. So when I have to go through my quilts for whatever reason, it's nice to revisit the ones I don't see too often, such as those in the photos. Although I prefer to use quilts, there is something very enjoyable about bringing them out and retracing individual stories, the initial inspiration, where the fabrics came from, how easy/difficult they were to make, what I was thinking about while I stitched. Of course, these are the things that make quilts fascinating whether they are in or out of the cupboard, so in a way I like having a pile to look at afresh every so often. Especially as I know that one day this will be in use/given away/sold, and there will be a fresh pile-up to replace it.