Updated: Jan 27
An applique quilt featuring Chinese characters of auspicious meanings to usher in Chinese New Year 2021 with good vibes.
I think we can all agree that 2020 was blah. This Chinese New Year 2021, I am all set to displace the bad “chi” with all things positive (except certain virus test results).
The idea of making a “Chinese” quilt has been playing in my mind for some time. The design ideas fluctuated from having a single, very-large Chinese character right smack at the center, to having many small characters - perhaps from a classic poem – arranged neatly to give a scripture look. In the end, I chose a more moderate option.
Bring on the Auspicious Quilt.
For those who can’t read Chinese characters, here’s what’s “written” on the quilt:
平安快乐 (píng ān kuài lè) May you be blessed with safety and happiness
吉祥如意 (jí xiáng rú yì) May you be as lucky as you desire
前程似锦 (qián chéng sì jǐn) May your future be as brilliant as embroidered cloth
小康之家 (xiǎokāng zhī jiā) A family of healthy fortunes
陈成玲 (chén chéng líng) (My Chinese name)
林展一 (lín zhǎn yī) (My son’s Chinese name)
林里福 (lín lǐ fú) (My husband’s Chinese name)
Auspicious Phrases Surrounding Names of Our Family Members
CHINESE CHARACTER FONT
The Chinese Characters Used in my Auspicious Quilt
I used this free Chinese character font that I found from the internet years ago. It is most unfortunate that I can no longer recall the source, but you can download the font file below. Note that you will need to know how to input Chinese characters with your keyboard in order to use this font.
To create SVG cut files of your desired characters (or their printer-friendly images), use the method I described in this blog post.
If you choose to use the exact same characters I’ve used in my quilt, you can download the characters' SVG cut files below (my family’s names have been excluded, obviously).
If you want an entirely different font style, check out the existing Chinese fonts that you may have installed in your word processing software, or download from the plethora of choices on the internet (recommended to go here and here). Bear in mind that you will be tracing, cutting, arranging and sewing down each stroke of the characters, so make conscious choices to avoid over-complicating the process later.
The center panel is a 5 by 5 grid with a total of 25 squares – 5 grey, 8 pink, 6 beige, and 6 off-white. I used two different coloured fabrics for the Chinese characters – the red and the black. There are 12 red pieces (appliqued on beige and off-white squares), and 13 black pieces (appliqued on pink and grey squares).
I have also designed the characters to be about 22cm (W) x 22cm (H) so that they fit nicely in the 30cm x 30cm blocks. I feel this gives just enough clearance from the edges of the blocks to achieve an overall balanced look – rather important for a quilt that is supposed to be auspicious, if you ask me.
For the border, I chose a floral fabric (Chinese New Year is also a Spring Festival) that picks up the colours from the center panel. The red binding, which is the same fabric as the red characters, completes the quilt with a festive palette.
My finished quilt measures approximately 186cm x 186cm, with each block measuring 30cm x 30cm, a 14cm-wide border and 4cm-wide binding.
Finished Quilt Dimensions