Tag Archives: Smee Designs

Having a Not-So-Nervous Breakdown.

10 Aug

Picture the scene – the snow is falling, the temperature is dropping, the traffic in front comes to a halt and there you are in a weather induced jam. You can’t go anywhere,  and it’s cold. I do realise that if you live in Queensland this could be a bit of a stretch but humour me. As time goes by the temperature drops even more and you haven’t even put a coat in the car as you weren’t going far. This could become a very big problem as the snow ploughs take their time and it gets darker outside. In my case this will never be a problem. I am one of those people who see everything coming, even things that never do. As a result everyone in my family is provided with at least one car quilt.

What, you ask is a car quilt? The answer is that it is a variation of the quillow – the quilt that folds up into an attached cushion cover. I tried the quillow idea but as I tended to use hi-loft wadding which was the only type available to me at the time, these quillows tended to be a bit unmanageable. I also wanted to make a quilt and then decide on the size of the ‘cushion’. This resulted in the car quilt which is basically a quilt in a matching pillow case. This keeps the quilt folded in place and clean and also protects it from fading if kept on the back seat for any length of time. I usually use calico as a base and stitch the outside fabric on top. This  gives a good, solid construction.

Car quilts can be any size. A useful size is one to go over a child’s knees in a car seat. They can also be as large as a bed quilt if necessary. Folded up in the case a car quilt provides a great pillow for children (of any age) to use when falling asleep in the car. They can also be used to cover up a sleeping child.  If you have two you can do both. What a cosy picture, I almost feel like going for a drive – except that I don’t , drive that is. I can but I don’t but that’s a different story and totally irrelevant to this one. Obviously any quilt pattern would do but I thought you might like to see some of mine.

The first picture is of a quilt I made for Number Two Daughter. She is a civil Engineer and had a cold site hut so it came in handy for keeping the knees warm. As it is a car quilt it means that she always has it with her. As one of her other interests is dancing she always has extra bedding to compensate for inadequacies of same on dance weekenders.  Versatility is the name of the game. I made this quilt from a pattern by Smee Designs in Australia. I then tied in the case by   decorating it  with an applique from the quilt but changing the colours. On the back I put the tools that you see on the bottom of the quilt. It can be great fun and there is a danger of getting carried away but who’s looking.

Builders Quilt and Case

Here is a detail of the quilt.

What busy little bees they are. Do you think the Engineer knows he has the blueprint the wrong way round. Or maybe it’s just the light shining through.

If you are wondering why the digger driver has a flowery hard hat, it is a bit of personalisation. When Daughter Number Two began to work for a contractor, Daughter Number One who is a graphic designer decorated her a hard hat, painting it pink and sparkly with little flowers all over. For those in Health and Safety , never fear she doesn’t wear it on site.  Anyone who read my last blog will recognise the background fabric as Fossil Ferns, I told you it was versatile. If you look at the original pattern on the Smee Designs link above  you will see what a difference using different fabrics can make. It also shows you that you do not have to copy the original if you do not want to. Two interpretations for two different tastes.

Tool bag

Truck with Dog but different colours.

I made another one, also for Daughter Number Two, with a completely different theme. This one was clean, bright colours  from a pattern by ‘Country Cupboard Designs’ also in Australia.

Quilt and Case

With this one I matched the backing and the case.

Back and Case Match.

Here is a detail of the border which I think transforms a simple 9 patch pattern into something really special. (Fossil Ferns again).

Border Detail.


The front of the bag on this one is crazy patch which is a good way to use up small pieces of fabric or leftovers from the quilt.

I have other car quilts that I will show you in a future blog. Don’t want you to get too excited all at once. Apart from that I haven’t managed to take the photographs yet and I have to post and go.