myBearpaw Blog by Jo Avery

Laundry Label Quilt

So there I was staring at the laundry label on a piece of clothing before putting it in the wash, and I started thinking hmmmm, those little symbols would make cool quilt blocks!
Really I should have left that thought right there as this quilt is probably my least favourite ever.
But no, instead I offered it as an idea to one of my magazine editors and they commissioned it!

I thought I might like it better once I saw it in the magazine, but no, not really. I mean it’s okay, but as one of my members of staff said ‘it’s not your best, Jo’.
Anyway some people do like it (Karen Lewis for one!), and maybe you do? If so you can find the pattern in this month’s Love Patchwork and Quilting (along with some really amazing quilts like that dream catcher wall hanging on the cover sidebar!).
I tried to use lots of ‘laundry’ inspired fabrics for this quilt, like vintage sheets, and old shirts. The back is a vintage sheet too. 
I sashed it in a denim coloured Manchester linen which I thought might look like old jeans.

Unfortunately I was having some issues with my machine when I was making this and the FMQ setting kept jumping stitches. So I used a wavy line with my walking foot instead, which really didn’t improve how I felt about it.

I mean the blocks are quite clever I suppose, and it’s perfectly serviceable as a quilt…

…no it’s no good, I’m just not happy with it, and usually I love everything I’ve made, not being a super critical person at all! Anyway probably lots of you will be relieved to hear we all have off days, even me!

So let’s just try and forget this ever happened and instead come back soon and I will show you something beautiful I’ve made that I really do love!


  1. I think the blocks could work really well as a smaller wall hanging. Or really tiny (if that doesn't make them too difficult) as an accent, maybe on a quilt back. I'm sorry you aren't happy with them.

  2. Think a clever concept, you never know where inspiration will strike. Did you know that in Oz, in dept stores, household textiles like towels etc come under the title of Manchester? It's so weird when you suddenly see it on a sign. Must date back to our texttile heritage and all the migrants arriving Down Under.x

  3. Well that just goes to show it's horses for courses because this is one of my favourite quilts you have made! It's quirky and a wee bit retro but still really contemporary. And I had clocked your fabric use before you explained it – see? I loves it. And I don't have to say that, you know. *g*

  4. I'm sorry you ended up being at odds with this one. I appreciate you dishing honestly about your sentiments. The original idea is a good one anyhow. It's got me thinking that I don't even know what these symbols mean, although I take it they represent a washing machine and an iron. The dots, triangles, and circles are cryptic to me. I bet Google can help me out here.

  5. You made me actually laugh with this post – lets just forget this ever happened – yet there it is, published in a magazine and all. Thank you for sharing!

  6. So I saw a clearance fabric at my LQS the other day with laundry are symbols. It would be perfect for this, but I didn't pick it up, and can't remember what the fabric was called or who makes it. Whoops!

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