Thursday, August 19, 2021

Primrose Hill ~ Isabella's Bonnets

"Isabella's Bonnets" wall hanging
featuring Primrose Hill  by Melanie Collett of HelloMelly Designs for Riley Blake Designs

I am so excited to "Sew & Tell" this quilt on today's project tour for Riley Blake Designs!  It is the pretty fabric itself that inspires the design: Vintage-style prints with a big, bold design for the border, background fabric that appears wallpaper-ish, and elements in the fabrics that lend themselves to things that might hang on an old-fashioned hat stand.

Fabrics often speak to me and tell me exactly what they need to become!  Does this happen to you, too?  This fabric was begging to be made into this quilt!

It's all about the embellishments!  Dimensional elements that are gathered, pleated and tucked...

...all types of notions such as ric-rac, lace, buttons, ribbons and braid... 

...and a whole bouquet of fabric roses that elevates the design and brings it to life.  Plus, it's a good time to practice other sewing skills.  Hand-stitching for days!

Something's missing... Oh, yeah!  Got to put a bird on it!  A Little Birdie, that is!  Perfect.

The piecing of the quilt is quite simple:  Background fabric that looks like old-fashioned wallpaper, plus a border or two to frame the center design.  Then applique' the base elements.  I used an easy raw-edge machine applique' technique. 

Then the fun began!  I left the purse and ruffled hat brim loose so I could quilt underneath. 

A little tricky but it worked out.  The umbrellas were next: pressed and pleated, I pinned them on and "appli-quilted" them in position in their already-quilted areas.  It might have been easier to hand-stitch these to the quilt, but it worked out!

Then it was time to load up more embellishments!  

I raided the notions bin and took the quilt to a certain point.  Then I needed some consultation!  My friend Debbie is in Hawaii right now, and she has a daughter in Delaware, but they both chimed in and came to my rescue.  We decided to "ix-nay" the big old green ribbon, and after a series of auditionings on the design wall, they both agreed on this combination of old lace and picot edged ribbon to dress up this bonnet!

Other fabrics:  Bee Background, Hat Stand - Shabby (Chestnut), Backing - Swiss Dot.

I have been wanting to make a quilt like this for myself for years!  The design came about as part of a design challenge contest for the Home Machine Quilting Show (HMQS) charity auction ten years ago, with RBD fabric called Isabella by Lila Tueller.  That project was a collaboration - it's always good to quilt together - what's that word that means the sum is greater than the parts?  Serendipitous?  Our little quilt won first place in the contest!  See more HERE.

A few years later, I re-created the quilt for another HMQS design challenge using more RBD fabric, Romancing the Past by Sue Daley.  My friend Cindy won that quilt in the charity auction, and it hangs upstairs in the hall to her sewing room.  See that story HERE.  Both of these quilts raised some good $$ for those charities. 

You can find the pattern at Quiltscapes' Etsy Shop, in both digital and printed format.

This quilt is going to live in my sewing room.  Or my bedroom, or in the basement quilting studio.  Can't decide which!  I'll have to message the gals and have them help me decide! 

Thanks for stopping by today!  Primrose Hill is making its way to quilt shops this month.  Find it online or ask for it at your local quilt shop!
Happy Sewing,


  1. Absolutely stunning work! Your details are charming and beautifully done. I love the fabrics too.

  2. That quilt is seriously gorgeous - it reminds me of my grandmothers. Awesome, Deonn!


So happy you stopped by for a visit! Thank you!