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The Making of a Memory Quilt for Chanel

September 3, 2018

As many of you know, I'm no quilter. But, every so often, I cautiously wade into that particular pond and try to make a special little something for a special little child.

 

This time the object of my experimentation was my adorable niece, Chanel, who lives in Australia, and who is just about to turn two.

 Miss Chanel, her memory quilt, and the book "Coco Chanel (Little People, Big Dreams)", from Harrods, London, autographed by the author, Isabel Sanchez Vegara, herself.

 

Her mother sent me her first-year clothing, and I started planning the layout. A Parisian theme, perhaps? After all, for a little girl called “Chanel”, what else was I going to do?

As I began cutting the little garments up, I had some rather ambitious plans. Visions of Chanel jackets, Dior handbags, scooters, berets, the Eiffel Tower, French poodles and such, filled my imagination and Pinterest boards. What to choose? What?To?Choose?

 

Well, I did my best, and here are some of the results that ensued:

The border and the appliquéd gift bags in the two corner blocks of the quilt, were done in a black and white striped fabric, and the quilt binding with a pale pink and white gingham.

I used trim from her clothing where I could, for example the pom-pom trim down the front of one jacket, lace down the front of another, as well as on the pillow, and other bits and bobs that were a good fit on several other appliqués.

The machine embroidery on the “Post Card” pillow, the label for the fragrance bottle, and the label on the back of the quilt, were done by my lovely friend Andrea. 

 

I don’t know how she does it all, but she managed to squeeze me in between doing things like teaching disabled children to scuba dive, giving sewing lessons, making fabulous costumes for an upcoming school play (Dr. Seuss-ical, the musical), plus a ton more. 

You can see some of her creations, including therapeutic and educational children’s toys, and clothes for American Girl, Our Generation and other 18” doll clothes, here.

 

Then, I thought that perhaps, when she gets a little older, little Chanel may want to get away from the "babyishness" of the appliquéd side of the quilt. So I used a more grown up, Parisian Can-Can-girl themed fabric for the back.

 The fabric used for the back of the quilt (from the 'Sew Paree' collection by Loralie Harris of Loralie Designs) 

 

This week, after hundreds of hours of planning and execution, and amid growing concern that I wouldn't finish it before she became a teenager, the quilt finally came together, and I sent it off to her with all my love. ​I really hope she likes it!

 

Until next time,

Caroline

 

P.S. The quilt was made to fit a single bed - her new "big girl" bed. If you'd like to know what dimensions I used for the blocks and sashing, please go ahead and complete the "Contact" form, and I'll send you the details. 

 

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