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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

The Brambly Hedge Quilt

I've had a project in mind for decades and I am so thrilled to be finally seeing it come into being, and even better, it's coming together exactly how I imagined. I've been collecting fabric for the past 30 years!
I am calling it the Brambly Hedge quilt.
(Please be kind, it's my first ever quilt in fact)

Brambly Hedge is a series of stories about hedgerow mice by Jill Barklem. Royal Doulton acquired the rights to produce a china series based on the same. I've been fascinated by their tiny world and perfect snug interiors of the hollow log and long desired to have a quilt just like Wilfred's. I've studied their little clothes for an idea of what scraps they would have used in the quilt.

I only have an ordinary machine so I have decided to go with a quilt as you go method. I've sourced fabrics that I believe mice would own in a quaint hedgerow world with lots of country florals and checks and polka dots for the background fabric. I'm making the top squares 6.5" and the bottom squares I've cut at 8.5"

I've made a cardboard template for the pinning of the layers together so I don't have to measure the borders for every single one and so far it's been pretty accurate. I'm using a pure cotton batting and an embroidery foot to freestyle the quilting in what I call a "lazy bumblebee" stitch.

I then join the squares using a zipper foot and then fold over the backing fabric twice and stitch down with a walking foot. This You Tube tutorial explains closest to which technique I'm employing.

I've been able to source a couple of small pieces of actual Brambly Hedge fabric which I have made into random applique pieces for some of the squares. I plan to add lace and buttons randomly to perhaps on other squares.

So here is the work so far. It's random and cottagey and the collected mis-matched colours are coming together just fine. Thanks to Charlotte Scott from "The Slightly Mad Quilt Lady" blog who quite some years ago created a whole blog post about colour, hue and tonal values in answer to one of questions on colour choice. Bet you never thought I would finally do it hey Miss Lottie!

And here it is from the back.

So when it gets too hot to garden, this is my indoor retreat. I've wanted to decorate a bedroom Brambly Hedge style since my girls were little but unfortunately they wanted "something funky in strong citrus colours" Sigh.....
So finally, I have an attic bedroom that I used to dream about when I was 10 and I can do just what I want up there. So keep a watch out, in a couple of months there could be a cosy reveal upstairs.


  1. You have done an excellent job. It is very pretty and after reading your story I think it would be just what cute Brambly Hedge mice would have.

  2. Tanya, Tanya, Tanya, how wonderful...I loooooooove it. Oh I am huge fan of Brambly Hedge and love all the illustrations and this quilt is just so .......Brambly Hedge. To have an attic bedroom to decorate, you lucky thing... :) You're doing a great job making up the quilt and I just love the B.H. snippets you collected. I look forward to seeing the big reveal...Xx

  3. stunning!
    what a work of art! love it
    ohhh my! an attic room sounds gorgeous can't wait to see it all done out!
    not familiar with the Brambly Hedge stories but the pictures look very cute!
    thanx for sharing

  4. Tanya it's looking fantastic, I LOVE it.

  5. That is stunning, I cannot believe that is your first ever quilt! It also sounds like a great idea to do a quilt as you go, and that system you are using looks great. I have made two memory quilts for my two grandchildren using old christening gowns and old embroidered tablecloths and tea towels. I still had some painted items my mother had done so am presently making a very light quilt to take over to my daughter in Europe. I look forward to the big reveal (although you seem to already be pretty far along!)

  6. Oh, how wonderful! I love the Brambley Hedge books. I bought a set for my son when he was little. I'm not sure who enjoyed them the most, him or me, and they are still a saved treasured item. Beautiful quilt, Tanya. Exactly how I imagine for the little mice. Can't wait to see your attic room. How fantastic to have an eyrie hideaway!

  7. I absolutely adore this. Good for you for doing it, too. Maybe there's hope for me?! Ha!

  8. I'm in awe of this first gorgeous! And how wonderful to be working on something you've been wanting to make for so long. Can't wait to see it when it's all finished and up in your own attic room. Meg:)


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