Tuesday, 7 April 2015

The Morpheus Quilt

My brother, a deer farmer, recently got married.  This is the first family wedding since I started quilting so I was itching to make a quilt to give as a wedding gift.  I asked my brother who his all-time favourite stag was (Morpheus) and then designed the quilt based on a photo of that (now dead) stag.

Spot the flying geese

This is no generic, stylised stag's head.  This is a representation of an actual stag, one with a world record breaking set of antlers.  I wanted it to look like a stencil, and created a stencil based on a photograph.

Applique detail - ear and tag
The background is mostly 4" squares, with three points of interest provided by a plus block, some flying geese and a friendship star.  I wanted the background to be random, with no identifiable pattern.

When the quilt is on the bed the stag's head lies towards the foot of the bed.  It is quilted with horizontal wavy lines in the same manner as this and this.  The quilting caused me a lot of grief, with the amount of shifting that occurred.  I spent a considerable amount of time ripping out quilting, and then got to the point where I decided I'd spent enough time unpicking and that it was going to be gifted with more imperfections than I would have liked.

It was very well received and looks great in their bedroom.

Quilt Stats
Finished Size: approx 97" by 97"
Pattern:  Original design - raw edge machine applique stag's head on a low volume background
Fabric: Many, many different low volume prints (no solids), three red prints used for the applique. 
Binding: Mini Confetti dot in Scarlet by Dear Stella
Backing: Doe Wideback - Crisscross wideback in Graphite
Pieced and quilted by: me, on my domestic sewing machine.

This was my first time using 108" wide backing fabric, and I have to say I was disappointed.  I felt the fabric was very thin - is that normal for a backing fabric?  I had expected it to be the same quality as Kona, but it is much thinner.  Someone I follow on Instagram called it "lovely and soft", and I agree it is soft but for me that softness stems from the thinness of the fabric. Have you used 108" wide backing fabric before?  How did you find it?

Linking up to:


  1. Wow! That stag applique is amazing! I love the low-volume background too. It doesn't take attention from the applique, but when you look closely it's beautiful in its own right.

  2. What a beautiful, personal gift. I'm sure they newly weds will treasure it forever. Visiting from FIUF. I have used wide back fabric and do find it thinner. I find it works out much cheaper and easier than joining fabric. However, I have only just started hand quilting and find it better than trying to hand quilt through seams. I send any machine quilting away, so no experience with machine quoting wide back, sorry.

  3. That is one stunning set of antlers! A beautiful quilt! I didn't know deer could be farmed.

    I've never used 108" backing, so no help there.

  4. Your quilt is stunning. The appliqué, the background. What a beautiful gift.

  5. You have so much talent, I was blown away by this quilt and how you inspired to design the antlers. I'll just finish with the words of everybody else....WOW!!

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  7. Wow! This quilt is gorgeous!! I just love the design and graphic nature of the stag.

  8. Just scrolled some more around your blog, this is soooo inspiring. Amazing work!


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