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The Story of Musical Stairs

Complete (at last), in use and fully loved! Let me share the story of our Musical Stairs quilt.....

Gifted to me by beautiful Ros (Bloom)

Within weeks of finishing my very large Sunlit Treasure quilt (based on a Sarah Fielke's North by North East design) last May, my then 15 year old twin daughters suggested I make a quilt for their bed. Another of Sarah Fielke's designs caught their eye - The Bass Line from her newest book Hand Quilted with Love. I agreed - as long as they would have some input and assist along the way.

Starting with my fabric scraps and moving on to my stash, I cut and pieced, modifying Sarah's instructions to avoid waste and slightly changing the dimensions. The twins gave a yay or nay to various fabrics and gave some general colour suggestions - not too much pink, not too much red, blue and green are good, purple is ok.

Miss N sewing, Miss G arranging - still 15yrs old

They helped layout several blocks and even sewed a few together.

But to be truthful, about 90% of the work was left to me. A little sewing here and a little trimming there, as time allowed (I sew on our dining/homeschool table which is well used by our family of 10) and by early November I had a neat pile of blocks. These were carefully stowed away over our busy Christmas/summer holiday season.

Early last month I arranged the blocks into rows, and sewed the rows together to make the quilt top.

After completing the basting I wrestled and wrangled this large quilt through my 29 year old Janome. I usually use cotton batting but when I visited our only quilt shop to purchase batting I found a lovely smooth and soft to touch, white polyester batting - made in Australian by Matilda's Own. It has a fine scrim, a medium loft and zero shrinkage. With so much white in this quilt I decided to try this polyester batting, and I'm pleased I did for it made it possible (but still difficult) to quilt with an open stipple, being a little lighter and more "squishable" than cotton batting.

Last Sunday, Mother's Day, I finished hand sewing the binding. There were still many ends to knot and bury from the quilting but it was usable. Sunday night Miss N, now 16, happily slept like a princess under the new quilt! (When Miss E is home on holidays both twins need to share the double lower bunk bed). May is late autumn here in Australia and the month when the weather turns cool in our area, the perfect time to snuggle under a quilt or two.

 Both Miss N and Miss G, now 16, share a room with Miss E senior who is currently away at uni and is a self confessed bibliophile! This quilt was chosen partly because it looked like shelves of books. Both twins enjoy playing several instruments and singing (one more than the other), hence the name Musical Stairs which ties it to Sarah's original design name to. In honour of all three, here is a photo of the quilt on our new library's staircase!

The only fabrics I bought for this quilt were some more Kona White and a clearance quilt back pack (Flower Shop by Patty Young). All the other fabrics are leftovers from earlier quilts/sewing or from my stash. I even spy a piece from my first quilt in there. So many memories in each block.

My very favourite memories held by this quilt aren't in the fabrics themselves, but in having my daughters share in the process of choosing and making this quilt. It may not be perfect, but in my eyes it is perfectly beautiful.

Quilty Details


78" X 76" (200cm X 192cm)
Scraps and stash fabrics
Matilda's Own polyester batting
Quilted on my old Janome
Begun June 2013
Assisted by my now 16 yr old twin daughters
Completed May 2014
Based on Sarah Fielke's Bass Line quilt design from Hand Quilted with Love

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