little things to sew: travel quilt

This is the story of the photo that almost wasn’t.

It’s about twin brothers, one of whom was in S’s class last year. We love these boys. They’re about as cute as can be, and their parents (who work in the fashion industry) dress them exactly alike every day. In a very stylish way, mind you: identical desert boots, puffy vests, skinny jeans, and newsboy caps, for example. I wish I looked that cool every day.

They’re also two rambunctious boys, and when they arrived at the photo shoot they were ready to have fun.

Sitting still wasn’t part of their plan. I think this is the only shot from the entire bunch in which you can see both faces. And from here you can see how the shoot progressed.

We had a little accident immediately after this shot, when the chair toppled. There were some tears (and a lot of worry on my part), but boys recover from these things quickly.

I knew the moment we threw the quilt over them, that this would be a great shot. It was totally spontaneous, and I think that’s what makes it work.

Have you ever seen such a long skinny kid?

When I was thinking about including a quilt in the book, I wanted to do something different. I decided to create the illusion of two translucent layers of color overlapping each other to create a third color. The book includes information on the specific fabrics I used for creating this version. But that shouldn’t limit you from selecting your own colors. I hope you have fun with it.




  1. mel

    Those are all great shots. I love the overlapping color blocks! Very clever.

  2. the twins are cute!
    I think the concept of this design is great. I look forward to reading about how it’s done.

  3. What a brilliant quilt so, simple and stylish.

  4. Wow – I love the translucent color creativity! A giant ball of talent, you are. What gifts you have been bestowed with – I love seeing them, Liesl… they’re like little Blessings that get unveiled through you. AMAZING!

    Those boys – that photographer was brilliant to capture their cute spontaneity!

  5. Johanna Olson

    You’ve got to be quick to catch those boys! That’s a great shot, and I’m still giggling about it. I have’t done quilts before, but I may give this one a shot. It looks very clean and modern, but simple to do.

  6. What adorable pictures! Thanks for sharing those.
    I am not a quilter, but heck, if I ever was going to make a quilt I would want to do it with Liesl’s instructions!

  7. I love the clean lines of this quilt – really all about using a bit of colour to make something stunning.

    As for the boys – I have two and am not surprised that it was more about fun.

    Thanks for sharing

  8. I actually prefer the pictures where you can’t see both faces. And I love the overlapping color look.

  9. Liesl, It’s divine. I’m going to buy the book on the basis of this project alone. I love this quilt. And that series of photos is so fabulous.

  10. Great quilt- I may even manage that one-I like the modern lines.
    (Our twin girls used to dress exactly the same, it was very cute at three)

  11. Those are all very fun shots! Love the quilt – so cool to see the illusion of transparent colors overlapping. Very well done, Liesl!

  12. Melanie

    They seem like a tame version of two boys.

  13. The boys are darling and I love the quilt!

  14. Gasp! That quilt is fantastic.

  15. Addie

    The boys are adorable and the photos fresh and unexpected. I love the simple yet original quilt design: I’m a sewer not a quilter but when I see designs so chic and modern it makes me want to try quilting. Your book is definitely be on my wish list.

  16. Liesel that is amazing. Ahhhmaaaazzzziing. So simple but so, so creative. Can’t wait to make it to welcome our new baby.

  17. i love & want this quilt.
    these boys are ubber cute to boot.

  18. Love the quilt and love the photos!
    Those twins look like a handful, but they are just so cute!

  19. Sarvi

    I wonder if it would work to make this quilt in the style of a color theory chart? Yellow and blue make green, sort of thing?

  20. Sarvi

    Wow, I’m so original that I only found about eighty examples of similarly-conceived color theory quilts when I bothered to search. Yeesh.

  21. I think it would be great to do a color-theory version of this one, Sarvi. It would also be really pretty in pinks, yellows and orange colors.

  22. Cammy Fuller

    I have saved the image of the Travel Quilt for ever and I wanted to make it! Do you have a pattern available to download?I really want to do it today!

    1. Cammy, it’s one of 20 projects and patterns in my first book, Oliver + S Little Things to Sew.

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