Tuesday 29 November 2016

"Tenderness" - The Story behind the Quilt

Allow me to introduce


Tenderness is my newest pattern release and my 2nd EPP Pattern.
It has just made its debut at the Australian Quilt Market.

It is a fresh new English Paper Piecing Pattern showcasing three new and exclusive shapes,
incorporating gentle curves to allow beautiful flowers in your favourite fabrics to be showcased.
(More details are are after the Tenderness Story.)

This quilt has been waiting a long time to come to life. I needed to be in the right spot in my own creative journey and surrounded by the right people to be able to feel comfortable to allow it to come to life.

For me, Tenderness is a quilt with a story of love.

When my parents were young and newly married they migrated from the United Kingdom to Australia. They sold up everything that they had in the search for the life they wanted for themselves and one day, their family.  

My Dad went back to the UK to be the Best Man in his best friends wedding but my Mum chose to stay in Australia as she was pregnant with their first child. When my Dad was home in the UK for the wedding he was involved in a rather nasty car accident.  My Mum packed up everything again and went back to my Dad in the UK.  Again, they started from scratch. Dad was healing from his injuries and their first child was born (me).  A couple of years later they welcomed their second child, my brother.

Now with two young children, they decided to continue their journey and chase that dream again. Selling everything they had and only bringing over what they could fit into their suitcases they again went in search of their dream, returning to the same area in Australia. It really must have made an impression first time around.

They worked hard for everything that they had and were eventually fortunate to be able to secure a brand new home.  As a family my parents planted out the gardens, the Roses, the veggie patch thrived and the grass was green.  Many happy memories were made in that home.  With our immediate family overseas, many letters were shared with my Grandparents and my brother and I were very fortunate to be surrounded by some great family friends. Weekends were spent on friends' farms, swimming in dams, riding motorbikes, playing in the haystacks and of course helping with the cows. 

Back to the Roses. I have very vivid memories of vases of Roses on the kitchen table, their scent and those Rose bushes being pruned my my Dad as we all sat on the front veranda talking.

Suddenly and unexpectedly my Dad passed away, way too young, leaving behind my Mum, with two young children. My Mum chose to stay in Australia, building on the dream that her and my Dad had. My memories of those roses are now of my Mum, pruning them with love and evoking thoughts of dreams only partially fulfilled.  My Mum never remarried. My Dad was her everything, her rock.

So for me, Tenderness is in honour of their love, their dream and part of their story by moving so far around the world so that their children might live the dream in this beautiful country that I now get to call home.

The design process and the making of this quilt represents not just my parents but me, chasing my dreams. Every flower is stitched with love, in the fabric that allowed me to fall in love with Quilting. My first fabric love, the fabrics from the Mother and Daughter design team known as "Bonnie and Camille".

So may you stitch your own Tenderness Quilt for someone you love.
May it wrap them in eternal love and one day may it be a cherished item that evokes memories sweet.

Tenderness, photographed in front of some of the Beautiful Rose Blooms that can be found here in Bendigo, Victoria, Australia.

Tenderness has three new shapes that are exclusive to this pattern.
These shapes can only be purchased with the pattern, they are not available any other way.  

This pattern can be purchased in two ways.

First is the Pattern 

The Pattern includes the four Perspex templates required and for those that like to cut their own papers there are Scan n Cut friendly template pages included.  The pattern also includes beginner friendly instructions, from glue basting the papers to sewing the gentle curves.

The "Tenderness Kit"

Tenderness is also available as a kit with includes the Pattern, Templates and laser cut papers.  The paper kit has been calculated so that there are enough papers to make 20 flowers before the papers will need to be reused.  This will allow for the maker to play with their flower layout and achieve a nice colour balance in their project before they start to join their flowers

I have also released my first "Creative Card" for the Mini version.

For those not familiar with a creative card, it is a short pattern written on an A5 card (A4 folded).

The Mini finishes at 17" x 13"

And how striking does it look with a light background. 
The surrounds of the flowers are also English Paper Pieced.

This version is a Work in Progress of one of my amazing Pattern testers, Corinna.
More photos can be found on my Instagram account by searching @lilabellelane and the hashtag #tendernessquilt

Thank you for taking the time to read the story behind the Quilt.

Remember to always "Create what YOU love",
Sharon xx

Please ask for it by name at your Local Quilt Shop.
Wholesale and stockists can be found on my website HERE.


  1. what a sweet and beautiful story!! I loved it! And your quilt is quite beautiful too! Quite an accomplishment! Hugs, H in Healdsburg

  2. that is such a beautiful story,not often do we hear about the inspiration for a quilt design.

  3. Such a touching story. Will need to search up a stockist. I love it.

  4. What a beaitiful and touching story! Thank you for sharing a part of your family story with us and the inspiration behind this amazing quilt, Sharon. xox

  5. A heartfelt and beautiful story to accompany your beautiful pattern. Thank you for sharing a piece of you with us. ❤️

  6. What a fabulous story, and marvelous achievement
    for you to bring this quilt to life!! I can't wait to order from here in the US!!!

  7. A beautiful quilt and a touching story of love and loss.Well done Sharon

  8. It is a beautiful quilt!

    Is it possible for you to point me in the right direction of a supplier that will ship to the UK?

    1. Thank you for your kind words. You should try ask your local quilt shop to order it in :) If not, please visit Cotton Factory (cottonfactory.bigcartel.com) as I know Alison will post internationally

  9. I loved your story behind the quilt, I got all teary! I love the pattern too! I will add it to the list.


Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment as I know your time is valuable. hugs xx