Oakshott Scandinavia Challenge: Gustavian Baby Quilt

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!

Quilty Habit

Never Just Jennifer

Mary on Lake Pulaski

Fish Museum and Circus

Salty Oat



84 thoughts on “Oakshott Scandinavia Challenge: Gustavian Baby Quilt

  1. I love mid century design, the furniture with its spare lines, and the botanical motifs. I try to use them in my embroidery and quilting. Thanks for parting with your scraps.

  2. I tend to be inspired by bright, statement pieces but get too worried that a piece of furniture is too long of a commitment so I add that boldness with quilts and pillows I make. Beautiful quilt!

  3. Casey, this quilt is so beautiful and elegant. Just your style, I would say. I, too, love Oakshott fabrics and buy them whenever I see them at quilt shows. I have also been known to buy them online. I would love to win them!

  4. Pingback: Oakshott Scandinavia Challenge with Casey York from The Studiolo | Sew Mama Sew | Outstanding sewing, quilting, and needlework tutorials since 2005.

  5. Pingback: Oakshott Scandinavia Challenge with Casey York from The Studiolo - Nofilter.ink | The Storytelling Network

  6. Probably modern right now, since i am quilting modern currently but I get ideas from everything! Nature, like tree shapes I did a quilt from a tree on our property at the lake. Anything I see, looking through magazines, driving down the road, buildings, signs. I am always snapping pictures with my cell phone. So any furniture could likely inspire me :)

  7. Hmmm, I can go in so many directions — I love the sinuous lines of art deco but also love the more spare simplicity characeristic of the some of the Nordic and Japanese aesthetics. I am never at a loss for inspiration – finding time to create is the struggle! I love Kaffe Fasset’s shot cottons and would love to try the Oakshott as a point of comparison

  8. I so love your quilt and the new pastels are wonderful. I love any furniture with a simple line (and most of my quilts are also simple for the most part)

  9. love this fabric and your project. I am inspired by clean mid-century modern interiors and much of that is Scandinavian design. I have a framed Carl Larsen print of a Swedish interior in my room.

  10. I would love to get my hands on some Oakshott- they are on my wishlist! I love victorian style- something about the scrolls and curves- – though that might be outside my quilting abilities at this point perhaps someday…

  11. I’m currently obsessed with art nouveau and would totally love to create something appliqué based with this fabric inspired by that style.

  12. I don’t know if I have any one style. I like to find old things and make them new. Somehow it all works in the home. Some of the vintage and antique items are really inspiring with the stories they tell and the new looks they can take on.

  13. Your quilt is stunning! I am drawn to art deco and already made a wall hanging in the style. I’d also love to make a mackintoshesque quilt – i made a stain glass window in his style!

  14. Your quilt is beautiful. I love the design. My favourite design style is ecole de nancy but I’m not sure I’d attempt to make a quilt in that style, art deco would be an easier choice :)

  15. Having lived for many decades in a house furnished in 17th,18th and 19th century style, I’ve kept some of these items since I’ve moved into the apartment I’m living in now. I’ve combined them with some modern furniture from Ikea (strictly prohibited in my former situation) and I love the result. So, when I took up quilting, at some point I started to search for the same sort of compromise and your quilt is a brilliant example that it can be done. It’s a very, very beautiful quilt!! For me, the ingenious part of the quilt is in the effect of the little rondels.

  16. Oh, this fabric “speaks” to me! I’m sure I’ve seen it but I’ve never known what it is called. It’s gorgeous! And as I sit here staring at my oak living room furniture, a bug has hit me to change it up to the lighter Scandinavian style. Hubs won’t go there but my sewing room is my own kingdom. I see a change in the near future! And that fabric will make gorgeous accents in my room!

  17. Your interpretation of these new Oakshott shades is lovely. While I would love to be able to design a space from the ground up I find my eclectic style has developed out of necessity combining antiques with more modern pieces and finds that I have reinterpreted with paint. My quilts made for my home tend to reflect this; I would love an opportunity to come up with something with these beautiful fabrics. Thank you.

  18. No need to put me in your generous giveaway — I just wanted to tell you how much I love this quilt and the way you interpreted the historical style. It is absolutely beautiful.

  19. Would love to try a modern log cabin look, or just a very simple block quilt with a complicated quilting to really highlight these beautiful colors!

  20. Your quilt is stunning! It is simple and so elegant. I like simple in furniture lines, nothing fussy – shaker, arts and crafts mostly. The Oakshott fabrics are so elegant and lovely…I would very much like to work with these.

  21. Casey – what a beautiful quilt! Your interpretation of the furniture design into the quilt is an inspiration, too. I’m more or less eclectic, love neoclassical and also sleeker, cleaner lines of midcentury modern. I’d love to win your leftovers! Shari

  22. What a lovely quilt – I love the elegant ovals in these wonderful fabrics. I would love to win you leftovers, inspired by modern, sleek lines to brings these fabrics to life in a quilt.

  23. Your quilt is stunning.I love pastel muted colours. What inspires me? I don!t like things too fussy and although bright colours look great I prefer softer tones to go with the light in Scotland

  24. I would like to make something in the Art Nouveau style with these. I love your Pinterest page of inspiration – I think you represented the Gustavian style very well.

  25. Hi. I love your quilt. The design is just right for the faded fabrics. I don’t know what my furniture is called but it has the nice curvey wooden legs and the wood trim across the top back in a curvy style. Kind of classical…and made for shorter people, like me.

  26. I’m pretty eclectic in my tastes. Kind of a hodgepodge. I love real wood in furniture without being too fussy. I have a vintage sewing machine cabinet as my bedside table because of the gorgeous colors and shaping of the wood.
    Thanks for the giveaway.

  27. Oh what an absolutely beautiful quilt! I LOVE how you took your inspiration pieces and transformed them into this simply stunning quilt. I am completely intrigued by the bias tape applique method!

    We have begun collecting Stickley pieces for our home– we have some lovely inlay in our headboard that would be gorgeous in a quilt for our bed! Hmmm…. you’ve just sparked an idea….!

  28. I often find myself admiring the cottage style of decorating. It’s cozy and comforting and I like that in a quilt. I’d add some sweet applique birds, leaves, and winding branches to a quilt made with these fabrics.

  29. I love this fabric, the quilt is wonderful. I head towards Amish Oak furniture. That said I would love some Shaker furniture. Simple, straight line and let me do the decorating.

  30. Those beautiful Scandinavia fabrics would really enhance my home. I’ve been to Norway twice and am planning to go again and include Sweden. I’d love to bring a quilt made in these fabrics.

  31. I am very into chalk paint and milk paint right now and using those to give old furniture a new life. These fabrics would fit right in with a lot of the colors of those types of paint.

  32. I love the soft colors and classic elegance of your quilt. And the quilting is gorgeous! It is a perfect interpretation of Gustavian style. I like mission style furniture and it would inspire me to make a quilt with lots of parallel lines. Thanks for the wonderful giveaway and for your inspiring post!

  33. Loooove your Quilt!! As for style furniture that inspires me…hard to explain lol I love old pieces that have been given to me, and I love our Amish made Bedroom set, and the mostly Country Cottage style things we have bought. Not sure what “style”…but does inspire me to try different quilt styles as well. :)

  34. Your quilt is absolutely elegant! I too love Scandinavian furniture, particular Swedish Country style, and was glad to learn its connection to King Gustav III. These Oakshot cottons really speak to me!

  35. Can’t really describe how much I love this quilt. It is so simple and yet so elegant; it just sings to me. The colors are so restful, as are the curves. Any baby sleeping under this quilt will have pleasant dreams for sure. I know that I would.

  36. I love this color palette! I’ve been working with some different strip quilts and this palette would be especially fun to work with on my layout board – lots of options!

  37. Those ovals are perfect for the Gustavuan style! I’m an American in Sweden and I love how the Swedish light changes these soft tones. I would be inspired to create a quilt based on the Gaudi style of architecture of Spain.

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