The idea that I would ever get to make a quilt out of cashmere never really crossed my mind until recently. I was asked by my friend, Ruth, to make a memorial quilt to honor her mother, Frances, who passed away last fall. In addition to being a world traveler, Frances loved walks in the sunshine, fresh flowers, especially orchids, and sweets. Often she would order multiple desserts just so she could sample them all. I love that.
Prior to collecting Frances’ clothing from Ruth, I requested, as I always do, for her to have the garments laundered according to their instruction labels. Ruth laughed and said if I had known her mom, I would have known that every piece of her clothing was washed and pressed before being neatly placed back in her closet, so everything was ready to go. Frances had acquired some beautiful garments over the years and had a lovely collection of cashmere cardigans which Ruth wanted incorporated into the quilt.
Many of her garments had lovely details, like beads or little embroidered flowers on a collar.
Frances’ love of flowers inspired me to create a design that turned out to be one giant flower made out of cashmere petals.
Once the petals were all cut out, the flower started to take shape.
It was also clear to me that additional detailing was needed to mirror Frances’ aesthetic, so rather than appliquéing the petals with a regular zig-zag satin stitch, I went with a cross-stitch pattern for an extra bit of frill.
There were 144 petals total.
When it came to adding the border, there was still plenty left to use of the cashmere sweaters. I really liked seeing the bigger color blocks side by side.
Here is the finished quilt top before quilting.
And here is the final piece, quilted, with details. The final size was 82″x82″.
I couldn’t resist making a matching pillow with a few of the petals I had left.