Thursday, June 26, 2014

Throwback Thursday -Calendar Quilts

I started quilting in 2001 and joined some online groups shortly after including Southern Cross Quilters. Through that group I joined a sub group called Year Quilters. The idea of a year quilt is that the quilter keeps a diary and based on the diary they choose fabric for each day to put into a quilt. A sample of the fabric chosen is also glued into the diary. The quilter was free to choose whatever pattern they liked for the quilt. The group shared progress and participants could also be part of picture fabric swaps every month or so. It was a way of getting a range of eyespy type fabrics to be used in our quilts.

I completed 4 year quilts  2003-2007

I tried to keep my diary up to date, writing it every day or every couple of days but found that would leave fabric selections to do a week or three at a time as I would have to dig through my stash in order to find suitable fabric. Sometimes I chose a picture fabric to represent something that happened that day... a coffee cup if I went out for cuppa with some friends, a cat if my cat did something special. Other times I used the fabric I had been sewing with that day.

The bi monthly swaps were great for building up my stash of picture fabrics. We swapped 6.5" squares. We would send in up to 5 swatches of 6 different fabrics to our swap co-ordinator and would get back 30 different fabrics.

 Over time I developed a system where I would sort my fabric into categories and store them in zip lock bags that I had labelled. Eventually I got some plastic drawers to store them in and I sorted the categories alphabetically into the drawers. I still store my picture fabrics in these drawers.

My first year quilt, 2003 was done as a Calendar Quilt. Each  month was its own block and it was set out like a calendar The one pictured below was for January. The first of January that year was a Wednesday.

As part of the Year Quilt we had a signature squares swap during the year. Each participant swapped blocks with their name and the type of quilt they were making along with a 6.5" square which somehow represented them or their quilt. I incorporated them into the back of the quilt along with some fabric that my daughter Fangirl had bought me back from Malaysia. She had spent the year in Malaysia as an AFS exchange student so this fabric was very significant for our year.

I have another 3 year quilts I can share with you... but perhaps not today. I realise I don't have many photos of them. I will have to drag them out and get some better photos of them

And that's my Throwback Thursday for this week. Linking up with Throwback Thursday on Quilting Jenny



  1. What a cool idea! I have seen diary quilts that use 52 bricks - one for each week - but have never seen this method.

    Thanks so much for linking up!

    1. will try to show pictures of my other year quilts. Might have to take some photos first. Don't seem to be able to find the ones I am sure I took of the other 3. If I take more then they will turn up...

  2. I agree with Jenny, it is really cool, indeed! But wait! So you made the calendar quilts between 2003&2007, but only started quilting in 2011? Or was it supposed to be 2001? I started to watch Simply Quilts on tv in 2001, but didn't make my first quilt until 2002.

    1. Started quiting 2001. Have now edited the text. Thanks for alerting me to my boo boo.