Lady of the Lake Quilt

Lady of the Lake Quilt

This quilt came to us as an already finished vintage quilt top.

It is not very remarkable and very far from being of museum quality.

The top is hand-sewn not always 100% accurate. The quilt was either a team effort or the quilter underwent a serious improvement in her sewing skills whilst sewing the top.  The fabric selection seems to span several decades. Some of the fabrics are not a very good quality and appear to be leftovers from other sewing projects or cut from discarded clothing or bedding. One particular fabric which we think is linen is so fragile that the threads did not support any attempt to quilt over. 

Pieced Triangles

Pieced Triangles

We think that some of the fabrics date back to the very late 19th century and some to the beginning of the 20th century. There are also some rather dubious looking flannels in the quilt that we can't date at all.

Some of the triangles have been pieced together from smaller fabric scraps, sometimes so well that it is hard to find the seam line.Despite these "historic" shortcomings, a few stains and problematic seams, Jutta instantly fell in love with the top. The colours are warm and welcoming and the pattern is very interesting. Why the top was not finished by the original maker is unknown to us. Neither do we know anything about the origin of the top. But we very much enjoyed turning an early 20th century UFO into a finished quilt. Whilst doing so, we felt quite close to this woman whose work, started a considerable time before we were even born, we were now completing.

As the top we started with only had one border, made up of Hourglass blocks, we added the three missing borders (top, right and bottom border). We used contemporary reproduction fabrics in the hope of making the whole construction a little sturdier. At first, the contemporary fabric seemed very different from to the original fabrics. But now, if you don't look too closely, they blend into the other fabrics surprisingly well.

Lady of the Lake Quilt

Lady of the Lake Quilt

Still, the addition is visible which, we were told,  makes the heinous crime of finishing an 'historic' quilt top a little less grievous. Wink

Finished Quilt Size:

Approximately 70 by 90 inches (1,80 m by 2,30 m)

Finished Block Size:

20 inches (ca. 50 cm)



Technique and Layout:

The pattern for this quilt was created for template-free rotary cutting. The quilt consists of twelve 20" (50 cm) Lady of the Lake blocks set horizontally. The border is made up of 60 Hourglass blocks. There are no sashings.

The pattern lends itself very well to become a scrap quilt. Fabric yardages are given for two alternatives (see below).

The quilt is hand-quilted. The smaller triangles received only minimal quilting to meet the basic functional necessities. I didn't want to put too much strain on the old and fragile fabrics. The larger triangles were quilted using the Waterlily motif you will find as pdf attachment in the quilting section of this project.


Read all the instructions carefully including those on quilting and finishing before starting the project. If you are still fairly new to quilting, we also suggest that you read our recommendations on fabric preparation and sewing.

Material needed:

For the quilt center:

  • 3 yards of light fabric (2,9 m)
  • 0,8 yards of medium fabric (0,7 m)
  • 2,4 yards of dark fabric (2,2 m)

Alternative fabric requirements using 8 different light and dark fabrics:

  • 0,3 yards of seven different light fabrics (0,3 m)
  • 1,4 yards of one other light fabric (1,2 m)
  • 0,8 yards of medium fabric (0,7 m)
  • 0,3 yards of seven different dark fabrics (0,3 m)
  • 0,8 yards of one other dark fabric (0,7 m)

For the quilt borders:

  • 1,25 yards of medium fabric (1 m)
  • 1,25 yards of dark fabric (1 m)

Alternative fabric requirements using 8 different light and dark fabrics:

  • 0,2 yards of 8 different medium fabrics (0,20 m)
  • 0,2 yards of 8 different dark fabrics (0,20 m)

For finishing the quilt:

  • a piece of batting 90 by 110 inches (2,00 m by 2,50 m)
  • a piece of backing fabric 90 by 110 inches (2,2 m by 2,7 m)

Other tools and notions needed:

  • Rotary cutter, cutting mat, ruler
  • Fabric and paper scissors
  • Pins
  • Neutral-coloured thread for piecing
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Sewing machine
  • Marking pencils for light and dark fabrics
  • Thread for hand or machine quilting
  • Safety pins or basting thread