How lovely to be given the opportunity to talk you through our new book, Jelly Roll Dreams.
Just a brief history of us - we are mother and daughter and I can only speak for myself – mother talking here – it is lovely working with my daughter Nicky. We have a shop, The Quilt Room, just south of London which celebrated its 30th anniversary last year! Little did I realise when I opened the shop, thirty years ago, that I would be working alongside my daughter who was then three!
I live in the beautiful county of Cornwall, which is in the southwest of England. Together with my husband Nick, we have a flock of primitive rare breed sheep and at the moment we are in the middle of lambing. Here is Vera, one of my Manx Loaghtan, with her twins who are one day old. They are born chocolate brown and lighten to a light brown in the sun. I also have Hebridean sheep which are black so I end up with gorgeous natural black and light brown knitting wool – how great is that!
Nicky lives near The Quilt Room with her husband Rob and two year old son, Freddie. Freddie is into everything and always happy to help unravel a jelly roll!
And now, to talk about the book.
Jelly Roll Dreams contains the twelve winning quilts from the Jelly Roll Dream Challenge which we organised last year with our sponsors Moda Fabrics and Janome Sewing Machines. Here we are with Mark Dunn of Moda Fabrics on the F&W stand last October. It was there that the overall winner, Laura Coons from the USA, was announced and you can see her gorgeous quilt, "Garden Walk", on the left of the photo. Laura’s quilt is featured on the front of the book – it really is a lovely quilt and such a good technique.
The "Lovin’ that Muffin" quilt made by Claire Hepworth from the UK, shown on the right, was the fourth prize winner.
The judging was extremely difficult. There were entries from all over the world and picking just twelve quilts for the book was just about the hardest thing we have ever done. The standard was so high it was daunting. We weren’t looking for the most difficult design but the designs which would be most likely to inspire others. They also had to make good use of the jelly roll with the help of up to 3 yards of extra fabric if required.
So let’s show you a few more of the quilts in the book. This lovely quilt was one of the prize winners, Jennifer Goldstein from the USA. It was made for her daughter and called "For Emma". The mixture of simple piecing and appliqué made it a worthy winner.
When Nicky and I were judging the quilts, we were also testing the techniques used. This was important as we knew we had to make variations of the twelve winning quilts. One of the most important things for us was how the quilt was made which is very different from judging at a quilt show when it is only the finished quilt you are looking at. We had to check the instructions and make sure everything was right before it went into the book.
Here is "Pac-Mania" made by Angelika Sins from Germany who was another of the prize winners. If you have never worked with curves before we would urge you to try this one. It goes together beautifully and once you learn that ‘pins are your best friends’ the curves are no problem.
This one below was made by Tina Kirschling called "Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend" made in a selection of batik fabrics.
...and here is our variation which as you can see looks completely different. We have chosen a jelly roll by Fig Tree Quilts which has given a much softer effect.
And we will leave you with just another photo of the overall winning quilt – congratulations to Laura Coons for such a clever design and one we so enjoyed making - it really went together like a dream – in fact a Jelly Roll Dream!