If you are a regular reader here, you may already know of my love for Oakshott cottons. A family company based in the UK, Oakshott supplies amazing cotton quilting fabric that is “shot” through. This means simply that the warp and weft threads of each woven fabric are different colors, giving the final product a rich iridescence. I’ve worked with many shot fabrics, but I keep coming back to Oakshott on account of their fine weave, crisp hand, and amazing array of colors. (Full disclosure: I’ve designed a project kit for the company, but I was an Oakshott convert long before that and continue to purchase their fabrics for personal projects.)
So, when Sew, Mama, Sew put out a call for challengers to work with Oakshott’s new Scandinavia collection, my ears perked up. I had seen some of these colors at QuiltCon 2015, care of Pinwheels (my US supplier for Oakshott fabrics), and I was already in love with the faded pastels of the collection, produced by weaving colored threads against creamy off-white ones. And then they announced that challenge projects had to be inspired by Scandinavia, and I was sold–I *had* to apply, and I literally jumped for joy when they accepted me for this challenge.
You see, one of my favorite furniture and home decor styles is named for King Gustav III of Sweden. A pared down version of the Neoclassical style in vogue during Gustav’s stays at the French court of Versailles, the Gustavian style features clean lines, elegant proportions, and artful details. Gustavian decor–sometimes known as Swedish Country–often features brilliantly light paint jobs, inspired perhaps in part as a response to the long, dark winters of the Scandinavian north and in part out of frugal resourcefulness. Having grown up at a similar latitude, I’ve always found the eggshell whites and pale greys of this style appealing.
I put together a quick Pinterest board to highlight some of the the most relevant characteristics of the Gustavian style, as well as to help me gather inspiration for my Oakshott Challenge project. I had been wanting a chance to experiment with bias applique for a while, and the arms of an antique daybed sparked the perfect idea–a series of elegant ovals joined by petite rondels.
The fat quarters sent for the challenge provided more than enough fabric to create the patchwork background; I supplemented the off-white with an additional yard so that I would have plenty for the bias strips and backing. I chose a simple pin-stripe pattern for the quilting, which provides amazing texture while foregrounding the oval appliques. I’m thrilled with how the finished quilt turned out, as well as with the process of working with bias tape applique.
Although I do tend to hoard my Oakshott scraps, I had enough leftover from this project to share a taste of these delectable fabrics with a lucky reader. If you’re interested, leave a comment letting me know which furniture or decorating style would inspire you to create a quilt.
Entries will close at midnight on September 18, and I’ll pick and announce a random winner on September 19. I’ve decided to extend the entry period for this giveaway to coincide with the giveaways over at Sew Mama Sew, so you have one more week to enter. Entries will close on Sunday, Sept. 27, and I’ll draw and announce the winner on Monday, Sept. 28.
Thank you so much for reading, and make sure to check out the other Oakshott Scandinavia Challenge projects at the following blogs this week!