IKEA hack

6 January 2019

I've made a quilt! A proper, traditional quilt! No paper to be seen! 

And it took me months and months!

It all started with 3 of these.

This is a printed cushion, although there is some machine embroidery on the black, giving it a bit of texture. 

I unpicked the Zips and two sides, just randomly, no great thinking going on here. Then I sewed the 3 covers together, in effect making a quilt top of 6 cushion panels. 

My plan was to keep the quilting to 'in the ditch' using the 'patchwork' design to guide where I would actually quilt, so using my quilt frame was not appropriate. Instead, to sandwich the layers together I spread the quilt sandwich out on a double bed, used said bed as an ironing board, and then hand basted the whole lot together. It was back breaking stuff! And no photos to share because I just wanted to get the process done. 

By this point the whole thing was getting heavy and unwieldy. I lugged it into the studio and set up the sewing machine. White thread on the bottom and a colour on the top to match the fabric colour - I'm just quilting in the ditch remember. 

I huffed and I puffed and I wrestled! And I remembered why I stopped doing traditional quilting, why I got into machine embroidery and why I invested in my quilting frame. Putting all this fabric bulk through the sewing machine while keeping the layers taught is nie on impossible. That is why I bought the quilting frame I the first place. But there is no space in my current studio and, as I said, I wanted to just quilt in the ditch not to cover the quilt in a lot of freehand quilting. 

At this point it's probably worth telling you what moment of madness set me on this task. 

Well, I have this vintage quilt Son No 1 picked up in America. 

It lives on one of the guest beds I use for work colleagues who come to stay. ( I have been running a bit of a work based B&B, but that's another story). 

Son No 1 borrowed this quilt. It looked like I wasn't going to get it back! I had to work hard to persuade him that really it was mine.

Now Son No 1 had a commission from IKEA and designed the Spridd range for them. It was a limited edition range which hit stores in February 2017 (Australia in November 2016).

As you can see, it was loud!

And included crockery as well as all things fabric.

And the fabric did include T-shirts and, believe it or not tents. However, apart from on the web I never saw a tent. I believe they just flew out!

Sadly, it was a one off range and not repeated. Once it had gone it was gone for good (and last time I ventured into IKEA in Milton Keynes it really had gone! - nothing to be seen)

Anyway, this explains the choice of a Spridd cushion cover. And I thought, in a mad moment, if he wants a quilt I will make him one! 

Hence this project. 

Back to the quilt wrangling! I relocated the sewing machine to the dining room table ( more space to wrestle with all this fabric). That made it a bit easier and indeed I began to add more quilting than originally planned, following the pattern to guide some liberal quilting. I find the texture with denser quilting more pleasing somehow. I think that's why I like free machine quilting.

So I wrangled, and I huffed and I puffed! And then I put the darn thing down for several months.

And then I picked it up again, put on a black binding and started to neaten off all of the loose threads.

Tedious! So I put it down again for a few more months!

And then finally I thought I really had to get the thing finished. So a final major push, loose ends tidied up etc.

And I delivered it this Christmas.

And, well, it was very appreciated!!


  1. There she is! And my, what a brilliant, albeit huffy puffy, project. You make me feel better about my real quilt timelines. ;-) Congrats on finishing it and getting it dog-approved!

    1. Ha ha - thank you. It actually goes brilliantly with the orange wall of Sons living room (this was the sofa bed opened out).

  2. It's a fabulous quilt and even more special with your son's design. I have given up quilting for the very huffy, puffy, sweary reasons you've described. Well done for getting it finished. (I'm no longer in the guild and I've not been to a Festival for about 4 years. I think my move to the dark side of weaving is just about complete :-) )

    1. That’s funny!

      I’ve missed a couple of FoQs but returned last year. I love the quilts but I’m much more interested in textile and mixed media art and of course am very into making lampshades just now.

      We are all on a journey, I guess, and it’s funny where it takes us.


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