Quilts for VanEssa

I know, I know, it’s been quiet round here.

I’ve had a lot of vertigo. It’s… unpleasant. I’ve been busy, but haven’t been doing anything worth showing. Lots of hand-stitching on the Delft quilt (two and a half sides stitched down onto the border with teeny weeny hemstitches). Lots of long-overdue tidying up that I can just put down quickly if I start to feel weird. Mending. Loading stuff into VanEssa and finding homes for everything.

Anyhow, today I felt OK, so I thought it was time to start something new. And that something is the bunk quilts for VanEssa. First I had to separate the existing quilt blocks into his’n’hers.

Hers are the loud, vivid, fancy blocks. Well, you didn’t really expect anything else, did you?

His are the simpler, plainer, less vivid blocks. Calm, pale, formal, but still colourful. And the eagle-eyed will notice that this quilt is a extra row taller. Because the Husband is a head taller than me, so he needs the extra cover 😊

As there were only 30 blocks originally, I needed fillers to make reasonably-sized quilts for the two bunks. So I used a really pretty Jocelyn Proust ‘fruit dove’ print which picks out some of the colours already in the blocks.

For the backing, I’m going to use an old cotton doona (duvet for non-Aussies) cover, in the Natalie Engdahl Sunset Frangipani print. It’s huge, splashy, colourful and fun. And I don’t use it any more (not big enough for our bed), so it’s an excellent use for it. It won’t be too eye-searing as a backing for the quilt, but it will be a flash of unexpected colour if the quilt top gets folded over.

I’m going to keep the quilting simple and supple, so probably cross-hatching. Now I have to do some more cutting and decide whether to use a quiet warm grey or a bright greeny-yellow for the sashing. Or maybe both: his and hers.

That’s a job for tomorrow.


45 thoughts on “Quilts for VanEssa

  1. These are really lovely. Dizzyingly so…

  2. Amo says:

    They look great and that fruit dove is so pretty. I hope you continue to feel ok.

    • katechiconi says:

      Isn’t it a lovely print? And the colours are perfect for this pair of quilt tops. The vertigo is unfortunately going to be an ongoing issue, I think, but I work around it as much as possible.

  3. Dayphoto says:

    I’m so sorry you have been feeling poorly. I hope you can figure it out and get back to all the things you love.

  4. claire93 says:

    laughing at the husband needing an extra row. Will there be enough fabric to make a doggo quilt for Mouse, dare I ask?

    • katechiconi says:

      There may well be! He has indicated that he’s ready for another one made from the Husband’s work shirts, and indeed we are on the point of recycling the oldest and tattiest of those. Maybe I’ll make a reversable one!

  5. magpiesue says:

    What a great way to divvy up the blocks. And I love the print you’ve used for the alternate spaces. The re-use of the duvet looks ideal as well. 😊

    • katechiconi says:

      It’s not an obvious pairing, that print and the blocks, but somehow it works really well, probably because the greys harmonise really well and the flashes of colour are in the right part of the spectrum. I haven’t been able to let that quilt cover go despite the fact that I haven’t used it in 10 years, and now I know why!

  6. jmcheney says:

    Each of these wonderful. You are a Whiz-Bang (my Daddy used to call me that when I mad a good drawing or hit a “homer”. It means you are very Special. I hope your vertigo spins off & away ASAP.

    • katechiconi says:

      Thank you! I’m glad you like them. The vertigo comes and goes, and I’m treating it as the new normal rather than giving it the importance it so clearly craves! Symptoms and diseases can be so self-important!

  7. Marty K says:

    Bummer about the continuing bouts of vertigo, but glad you’ve got a good way to manage when they come up. I’m always impressed with any tiny stitching (I lack the patience and skill), and even more-so if you’re doing all that with vertigo.

    Those are going to be wonderful quilts. I like the “filler” fabric you chose as well — really works with the other blocks. Will Mouse get a new blankie for his travel floof as well?

    • katechiconi says:

      Bummer is exactly right. It comes and goes, and mostly isn’t bad enough to make me nauseous, just make everything rather tippy. Mouse already has a thick foam slab, a very soft, very old vintage quilt which has been washed so often it no longer has any colour, a fleece blankie, a floof, and the quilt from the ute for lounging outside. Perhaps he ‘needs’ another quilt, but I suspect not! On the other hand, I’m a sucker for sad, reproachful eyes…

  8. tialys says:

    Sorry to hear you’re still having the dizzies. I’m not surprised to hear you’re making the most of your more ‘balanced’ periods though. You can’t keep a good woman down.

    • katechiconi says:

      I’m beginning to feel I should be nicknamed Lurch, as I seem to stagger into obstacles with monotonous regularity. Sitting seems to be less of an issue, so I do sitting down and standing still tasks as often as I can. But I’m getting very bored with only ‘safe’ stuff, hence diving into the stash and coming up with these two.

  9. So by existing, do you mean you had all those quilt blocks already stashed? The fruit dove/floral nicely ties them in and quilts as a pair, and I like the reverse is nicely floral as well.

    • katechiconi says:

      Yup! They were from the last F2F session a couple of years ago, and I’d planned to turn them into a single quilt, but then VanEssa happened and they divide nicely into loud for me and quiet for the Husband, so….

  10. ordinarygood says:

    I had a diagnosis of MD back in 2005 and have lived with it since then. As you say there is no cure.

    You may already know of the Epley Manoeuvre – I have been advised that it is not suitable for me,more for BPPV I think.


    This other link offers some things you can do at home that might help, at least in the interim.

    I’ll follow your journey with interest.
    All the best,

    • katechiconi says:

      Thank you for this! I’m glad you say ‘live with’ rather than ‘exist with’, as I’ve seen so many glum articles and videos online. So far, the vertigo is a pain but not so extreme that I’ve had drop attacks. I do know about the EM, but a couple of tries haven’t been very helpful so I don’t think I have BPPV either. I’m pretty sure it’s MD, as unfortunately I have it on both sides of the family, with late middle-age onset. I already have quite serious hearing loss. I’ll check out the resource you mention, thank you!

  11. These are so lovely & will bring lots of uumph to the inside. I love it. Old doona covers are my constant ‘go-to’ for backing….. those and flat sheets that can no longer be used. Such a perfect way to recycle.
    Meanwhile we are back from our tiny break and back to work today. I’m going to see my Bubba and I’m excited 😍
    I’ll call tomorrow when I’m home 🥰

    • katechiconi says:

      I tend to avoid sheets if I can because the weave is so tight and makes quilting harder, but doona covers are a looser weave. I don’t have many spares as we don’t generally use doonas much for obvious reasons! Hope you had fun, and I’ll talk to you later!

  12. Sharon says:

    Love the new projects and I hope the vertigo calms down and your back in the pink

  13. Going Batty in Wales says:

    That vertigo sounds very debilitating. Not knowing when, why, where it will strike seems to be limiting what you can do. Some jobs just can’t be put down quickly because the world starts shifting. Ypour quilts look lovely and soon Van Essa will feel like your proper home from home. I don’t get this bland minimalism either!

    • katechiconi says:

      It’s a sort of sliding away to the left and it’s very unsettling, and while it’s going on I obviously don’t want to drive. It’s easing now after a week of it, so I’m hopeful I can crack on with things – I’d like to finish the Delft quilt top even if I can’t take it further than that for a bit, and I’d like to make a start on the quilts for VanEssa.

  14. nanacathy2 says:

    So sorry to read of your health issues which sound unpleasant and worrying. But nothing seems to stop you for long. Truly amazing. Loving the new quilts.

  15. Debbierose says:

    Take care and get well. As a fellow vertigo recipient. Salty foods definitely flares mine. Hope you tests comeback as mild, and nothing too sinister

  16. Emmely says:

    The vertigo sounds horrible. The quilts look fun and I am all for uexpected flashes of colour on the back. Are you going with the different sashing colours?

    • katechiconi says:

      It’s not fun, certainly. The quilts are sitting on my work table in two piles, waiting for me to clear the cutting table so I can get all the backing pieces, batting and sashing strips done. I think I’ll be using grey for the Husband’s quilt, but I haven’t decided yet about mine. But first I have to finish hand stitching the Delft borders on…

  17. Susan Nixon says:

    Oooh, I had ONE bout of vertigo a year ago and I never want to experience that again. I took a fall and cut my head open, and had a sore shoulder for months, but the vertigo feeling was horrible. I hope this passes for you quickly. Your bunk quilts are looking great, and super recycle and scrappy elements.

    • katechiconi says:

      Oooh, that sounds nasty! Exactly the sort of experience I’d like to avoid. I do wish I could stop walking into things by accident because my proprioception is so badly off. Luckily it comes and goes, but I get no warning…

  18. Oh, Kate. All you needed was one more thing taking you away from good health. I’m sorry to hear about the vertigo. I’ve had two bouts, both gone quickly, but they were disconcerting. I hope your case is mild. Your quilts are charming.

    • katechiconi says:

      Yes, that was pretty much my own reaction. At present I’m in a phase where it’s more on than off, but it comes and goes. Luckily the vertigo is not as bad as it might be, but the tinnitus is very trying, especially at night.

      • I have had two friends over the years that got relief from chronic vertigo via acupuncture. It’s not my place to hand out medical advice, and I know how well read you are, but I thought I would throw it out there. Hang in there.

      • katechiconi says:

        It may come to alternative therapies in the end. I’ve never had any major relief from acupuncture treatments despite trying for a long time, but to each her own. There are effective treatments for this, but they tend to be a bit last ditch.

      • I’ve had mixed results myself. I found an acupuncturist here in San Jose that trained in China, and he has been the most effective treating my chronic neck pain. It’s terrible being in pain and discomfort. My heart goes out to you, Kate.

  19. craftycreeky says:

    Hope the dizziness is starting to settle, love the quilts, you have a great talent for putting a mix of blocks together into a perfectly balanced quilt 🙂

    • katechiconi says:

      I’ve had a couple of good days, and I’m learning to recognise the signs of a new attack, so that’s good. Glad you like the van quilts, I’ll be starting work on them very soon!

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