Transatlantic Love & Kisses Quilt

This Transatlantic Love & Kisses Quilt has been made by an army of quilters for our Quilt SOS project. This quilt was coordinated by Suzanne Campion (in the UK) and Leisa White (in the US) and recently gifted to the charity GARAS (Gloucestershire Association for Refugee & Asylum Seekers) and this quilt was so well received. Suzanne and Leisa tell us about the project here.

Transatlantic Love & Kisses Quilt

How did the project come about?

“Leisa and I met on IG whilst we both took part in a sew along and we were both using Liberty fabrics. We arranged to meet up in real life at Festival of Quilts in 2019 and cemented the start of a great friendship and mutual love of Liberty fabric. I worked with Leisa on some projects using Alice Caroline exclusive fabrics that were displayed at QuiltCon 2020.

Despite the pandemic the quilting community kept many of us connected on IG and Leisa and I kept in regular contact on Zoom.

We had both made blocks for Jenni Smith’s Love and Kisses Quilt for a quilt for her Quilting with Liberty Book and this inspired Leisa to suggest that we organised a community quilt. Leisa organised makers in the US and Suzanne in UK. We reached out to quilters we knew that had the book and loved Liberty of course! Leisa provided the Wilshire shadow quilting cotton so that all the blocks would have the same background.”

What did the project mean to you both?

“We loved how the project connected people and it was exciting to see what fabric choices people would make. It was such a privilege receiving the beautiful blocks and notes that came with the postman. One quilter had used the first piece of liberty that she had bought and the last one that she had purchased before lockdown. Sally Kelly who designed Tresco made a block with her favourite Tresco colourway.”

Transatlantic Love & Kisses Quilt

How many people made a block for the quilt and where did they come from? “There were 80 blocks in total, we both assembled 40 each. As you look at the quilt Leisa’s half is on the left and Suzanne’s on the right. 75 quilters were involved in the final quilt which is amazing.”

The 2 halves of the quilt came together at Festival of Quilts in 2021 – how did you feel when finally they came together? “It was so lovely to meet at Festival of Quilts in 2021, and to hug Leisa! The meeting of the two halves happened in Jenni Smith’s Quilting with Liberty Gallery in front of the original quilt from the book.”

Who sewed the final quilt and how long did it take? “Leisa took the two halves and joined them, and it flew back with her to Austin where it was quilted by Mary Anne Williams. It was then displayed at QuiltCon Feb 22 in Pheonix. I (Suzanne) saw it finished in real life in June when I met Leisa in London at the mothership! This was also exciting as it was the first time Leisa saw the finished quilt top of our second community quilt for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee (this will be donated to SOS next year when it has finished its adventures).

Transatlantic Love & Kisses was exhibited in the Group category at Festival of Quilts in Aug 22 with the following wording:

In times of pandemic separation and sadness, this quilt was a Liberty lifeline for the quilting community. Inspired by Jenni Smith’s Love and Kisses quilt for her Quilting with Liberty book, Leisa and Suzanne reached out to quilters across the UK and US, each making half a quilt top to unite at FOQ.

Transatlantic Love & Kisses Quilt
Jenni Smith & Kaye who designed the Love & Kisses quilt alongside Leisa.

Traditionally pieced and foundation paper pieced blocks. Long arm quilting by Mary Anne Williams in Austin, Texas USA.”

Why did you participate in the Quilt SOS project? “Suzanne has donated qults to the SOS project every year since it was launched by Alice. It is such a great cause to continue to share quilty hugs to those in need. I love the fact that you personally deliver them.”

Leisa insert stories here…..?

Transatlantic Love & Kisses Quilt
Joining the two halves of the quilt in the UK and US.

Leisa shares her thoughts about the project too. “It was amazing to have so many people join from multiple states in the US and Provinces of Canada for the North American side of the quilt!  There were some very special Liberty fabrics used including the leftovers from a bridesmaid dress, a 1st birthday dress from a daughter who was now in her 30’s and an inherited stash of vintage fabrics.  Other fabrics were use because of a special meaning to the maker.  Two that stood out to me where a Cactus print that represented the maker’s home state of Arizona and a floral print that included the favourite flower of the makers mother who had passed. This quilt was an absolute joy to be part of and we really appreciate your support and for you taking it to a good home.”

Transatlantic Love & Kisses Quilt
Transatlantic Love & Kisses Quilt
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