myBearpaw Blog by Jo Avery

Shangri La Farm Sherbert Quilt finished!

Last week I showed the top for this quilt when announcing my new Aurifil thread collection, Sherbert Dip. I am pleased to show you the finished piece!

I made this to accompany the thread box and to hang on the stand at Festival of Quilts. Here’s a little reminder of the colours from the box…

I think I got them all in! I mainly used Kona Solids with some matching prints for the quilt.

The original idea came for this piece after I returned from QuiltCon Savannah earlier this year. I had been to a lecture there on minimal quilt design by Season Evans and I fancied having a go at some minimal quilting myself.

We have a long line of poplar trees that border one side of our land towards the west. We often get spectacular sunsets behind the trees and this happened on my return from QuiltCon. Initially I was envisaging a much more minimalistic interpretation with just vertical lines for trees and horizontal lines for the landscape.

But it turns out I can’t really do minimalism – at least not yet! Maybe I will have another go one day…
When I found out that my Aurifil thread box would be launching at FOQ I decided that I would make a quilt to hang on the stand and that this landscape idea could work perfectly with the colours I had chosen for the box. 

Here is my initial sketch. I tend to work everything out in my head but still like to put pen to paper just before I start something.

It turned out to be one of those projects that works perfectly first time. It took me an afternoon and evening to finish the whole top! The whole thing is improv pieced with wonky curves. The only time I used a ruler was for the tree ‘trunks’.

I don’t have one of my Aurifil boxes yet as they are only just ready in Italy now, but I have most of the colours here as I use quite a few regularly and others I ordered while picking shades for the box, to ‘audition’ in the flesh.

As it is not a large piece  (44 x 31 inches) and as I wanted to include as many of my collection shades as possible I really went to town on the quilting. I used a mixture of FMQ, matchstick quilting (some straight line with a walking foot and some with my FMQ foot) and hand quilting. There were a lot of ends to thread in!

How amazing does the back look?!! As it is was always going to be a wall hanging I just backed it with an old duvet cover without much thought, but it’s plainness  works well to show off the ‘landscape of stitches’. Those blobby shapes are butterflies which is also kind of appropriate.

As soon as I finished the top I turned some of the scraps into these two improv panels, destined for some more of my ‘Project Pouches’ (large zippy pouches, perfect for storing your latest portable project!). But then I took delivery of a new laptop and so I decided to make them larger and make a laptop case with them.

I matchstick quilted them and then spent Saturday evening (I know it was a Saturday as this photo has a #saturdaynightcraftalong hashtag on Instgram!) handquilting some extra lines.

My plan was to just make a longer version of my project pouch and so I measured the laptop, adding plenty of extra for seam allowances and so it wasn’t too snug, but I totally forgot about the zip opening being smaller than the sides! Duh!! So of course when finished the laptop wouldn’t go through the zip aperture. Sigh…

So I cut the bottom off it and made a zippy pouch after all!
Here is one side…

….and here is the other. It has left me with two more smaller panels that I can make into a narrower pouch as well, so two for the price of one! I will need to think again about the lap top case.

Meanwhile as I was in a zippy pouch mood I thought I better finish off the class sample for my Stitch Gathering applique class by turning it into yet another pouch! I used more scraps from the quilt for the other side of this one too!

AND I still had enough scraps to make two more panels for yet another pouch. This one will have added applique ‘tendrils’. This is a technique I have perfected for machine appliqueing stems and leaves over patchwork (with no raw edges).

I will be teaching a demo for this on the Aurifil stand (C1) at FOQ on Friday at 2pm, so if you are around then come along and watch me! If you can’t make it then it will also be recorded as a Facebook Live demo on Aurifil’s FB page. I will post more about this on my return next week and provide a link (and show you the finished pouches!).

Also look out for a quilt using this method coming up in next month’s Today’s Quilter magazine!

Meanwhile Shangri La Farm Sherbert Quilt is going along to the Edinburgh MQG meeting tonight as my Show and Tell. After FOQ I hope it will end up in Alex Veronelli’s  Aurifil Designer Quilt Collection which tours around quilt shops with him.

In between you can check it out in person at Festival of Quilts if you are lucky enough to be going this week.

And just to confirm that my Sherbert Dip thread boxes will be availabel to buy from the Aurifil stand at FOQ. By the end of August I should have them in my Edinburgh shop and online store for everyone to buy!

Linking up with Scraptastic Tuesday!


  1. Love all your makes. Thanks for still being a blogger – I miss all the folks I used to follow but I don't want to have yet another social media platform with which to keep up – no instagram for me 🙂


  2. loving your panel and will certainly be cheking out your demo at FOQ. Pretty pouch too, I am waiting for 100 7" zips odrdered on line to make some pouches sure I will not make 100 but ill pass some of the zips onto others!

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