My name is Charlotte, sometimes known as Ms Lottie, occasionally as The Slightly Mad Quilt Lady. This is my blog, where you'll find me writing a lot about my quilting and textile arts and a little about my family's life in a small seaside town in New Zealand. Haere mai!

Sunday, September 22, 2019


I finished this piece a few days ago. Although I haven't put a hanging sleeve on it yet, so I guess it's not 100% finished. Do you count your finishes from when you've put the last stitch in the binding, or from when they are labelled, sleeved, photographed, documented....etc. etc?

This quilt is 18 1/4 inches by 18 3/4 inches. A very inconvenient size really, but that's just how it ended up.

I began this piece because I needed some more organza quilts for a class I was running. At that time my other samples were in the middle of the ocean, being posted back from when I was teaching in Canada (they arrived just the other day). When it started, it looked like this:

It's three layers of fabric. There is a salmon-coloured hand-dye underneath a layer of multicoloured silk organza.  The bird is cut out of the salmon fabric, as are the unfolding fern fronds, and there is a yellow fabric under the bird and white fabric under the fronds. 

The cut out bird ended up on another composition.

But I wasn't happy with the dominance of the bright fern fronds. So I took the yellow fabric away from behind the bird and replaced it with white. Then I replaced the white that was behind the fern fronds with a dark, rich purple (and got rid of the flax stalk).

I really liked the way the purple fabric extended the composition beyond the edges of the salmon fabric, so I cut them in a hill shape and included it in the design.

The feathers came last.  And I played around with different layouts to get the feel that I was going for.

For me, this quilt is about the spirituality of dawn, that beautiful, sacred, quiet time. When we can look at the sun rise and be thankful for a new day with all its potential. The feathers are a symbol of what the bird is leaving behind to rise towards and celebrate that new day.

I added a little red hill off to the left for balance, some paint to define the main hill and highlight the bird, and then quilted the whole thing. You may notice the peaked window shape quilted in, which is another nod to the spiritual feel of the quilt.

It's finished with a facing so there are no edges to confine the bird.


  1. This is so beautiful ! It is so interesting to understand the steps that go into the composition of such an amazing piece. As for your question at the beginning of your blog, I count the quilt finished when the binding is on. Never mind about the hanging sleeve, I can't wait to call them finished!

  2. There are always so many possibilities... exactly why I have never taken up making artistic quilts! I would never be able to decide. For me there is the finish of making the quilt top, the finish of the quilting stage, then the finish of the binding.


Hi, I love reading comments, so thanks for visiting my blog and leaving me a message :)
Due to a huge increase in spam, I've disabled anonymous comments. Apologies if this effects any real life readers!