Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Downton Abbey and Violet's Quilt

Downton Abbey - Violet's Quilt Designed by Heidi Pridemore
As some of you may know, I design alot of free projects for many of your favorite fabric companies. Every project is an exciting adventure where the fabric tells me their story and I create a quilt that passes that story on to the quilters who make it.

Sometime though a line of fabric comes along that everyone already knows its story and I have to create a quilt that fits that story. It usually involves a bit of research on my part to have a good understanding of what the fabric represents so the quilt pattern I design can fit the story that is already known.

Last summer I was asked to design a quilt using a new line from Andover Fabric and was so surprised and excited to see it was for Downton Abbey, a very very popular TV show that I happen to be a big fan of. So though the fabric already had an established story, I had already been following it and fell in love with the world it was created from.

The group was divided up into subcategories, one for each daughter and one for the Dowager Countess. There were several other designers working on this project as well as myself and Andover was going to select their favorite ones for the official quilts. So I was not sure if any of my designs would be selected. When I heard they had selected my quilt for the Dowager Countess Violet (Maggie Smith's character), I was quite excited. It helped that she is also my favorite character!

So here is how I came up with the design for this quilt. When I started working on the project and knew I was creating a design for each character. I wanted each design to stand on their own but also to tie together to tell a story, so I decided each quilt would have a flower appliqued on it to represent the character the quilt represented. So for the Dowager's quilt, it was an easy choice for me, a violet for her name. My plan for her quilt was to create on a design that would capture the Victorian era. I also wanted to consider the character's personality for the design. Violet is a sharp lady who has complex personality. I wanted to create a quilt that had a complex look but was still approachable for most quilters to make.
I created a complex block but then only used six of them in the quilt. Then I added an applique border to include my flower concept and finished the design with a simple pieced border alternating the lights and darks to frame the quilt. Once I added the fabrics to the design, the result was everything I was hoping for.

When we arrived at Fall Quilt Market, the Downton Abbey fabric was the buzz of the show. Everyone seemed as excited as I was about this group. Then I found out that they used our quilt as the cover quilt for the sales material and as the centerpiece for Andover's presentation with the production and costume designers, whom I was told really liked my quilt design. I am very proud of this quilt and wanted to share the story about how it came to be.

Here is a link to Andover's Downton Abbey presentation at Fall Market 2013
Andover Fabrics Downton Abbey Presentation

Finally we have just received our fabric from Andover for our Fabric Kits. If you would like a small piece of Downton Abby for your home you can order your kit here Click here to order Downton Abbey-Violets Quilt Kit

If you would like to download the pattern for FREE from Andover click here

Until next time....

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