Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane

Do You Want More Gravy?


There’s a tradition in our house that, when cooking dinner, you always prepare enough food for the Uninvited Guest. If they don’t show up then there’s plenty for seconds or enough for dinner the next day. I learned this from my mother as a child and she still cooks this way. Another ritual at dinner is purely my mother’s – at a certain point, usually mid-way through the main meal, she will invariably ask each person “Do you want more gravy?”


It has become a standing joke and now at every family get together dinners, we all take turns asking “Do You want more gravy?”

So what else could I name a quilt made for my mum and dad except “More Gravy”?


The design is actually Spellbound found free at Moda’s Bake Shop. MBS-spellbound-pinI made mine a little bigger than the pattern for a generous drop off each edge on a double bed. I also choose gentle colours, vignetting from green – pink – blue, on a neutral cream background. A easy and quick way to increase the size of any quilt is to add borders and I added two.


The fabrics are tea dyed cloth from Doughty’s, which is also appropriate for my parents as they drink gallons of the stuff and no matter what is wrong or what problems are worrying you, a cup of tea will fix it.


The quilt is sewn in strips, left to right, the squares of one row beginning the row below. There are hundreds of little pieces to make one row:



The reverse of the quilt has a centre panel made up of all the little cut-offs and a few patches of leftover fabrics.


And of course there’s always more fabric left over, so I made two matching pillow shams.


More gravy and cups of tea, sunshine and a handmade quilt – what could be better?


32 thoughts on “Do You Want More Gravy?

  1. That’s just a lovely thing you’ve made. In a hundred years from now someone will admire the quilt, read that label and it’ll spark all sorts of conversation. Well done!

    • My mother is already thinking of the next generation’s inheritance! Believe me Vivienne, there are many years yet to go before someone else claims this one. Thank you, I hope the story of the gravy lives on.

  2. Yes please! (I am clearly the more-gravy-type ;-)) The Quilt is lovely! And I admire your patience puzzling Quilts together

  3. The colours and design in your quilt are really beautiful. I love the name you gave to it.

    Re the ” uninvited guest” – my mother also emphasised that concept – which in turn she learned from her own mother. She called it ” the stranger’s portion ” which is a literal translation from a (Scottish) Gaelic phrase. People who lived in a town would always be ready to give hospitality to unexpected guests i.e. family, friends ( and friends of friends) who were visiting the main town for the day to go to shops, doctors etc. This would have been common in the days when car ownership was rare – long before my time – but the welcoming attitude lives on in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Whereas if you visit someone in Edinburgh, the saying ( totally untrue) is that you get greeted with the phrase ” you”ll have had your tea “

    • I also cook way more than I have to Janice at every meal. My ancestors were exiled to Ireland from Scotland for sheep stealing, so that must be where the tradition comes from….
      Thanks so much for your story and comment.

  4. I love your uninvited guest story (before text messages, visits were more spontaneous). The More Gravy quilt is most tasteful – I’m relieved it’s not brown!

  5. Gorgeous Ruth. I’m certain that quilt will be much appreciated.
    My mother always cooked extra but we rarely had leftovers as there always seemed to be an extra body at the table. It’s a good way to think though – and everyone leaves well fed. It’s a joke in our family that even the person coming to ‘read the meter’ doesn’t get out without being fed 😂.

    • I understand that tradition too Kim – any workman/woman has to get at least a cup of tea and a few digestives. I even have mugs in the cupboard ready for work persons. Thank you.

  6. Ow wow Ruth, that is stunning and a s a non quilter I’m sooo impressed, what a wonderful gift. Funny I was only thinking about the concept of abundance the other day as I made enough to feed an army, BIL and kids were coming over. Husband’s other brother too and he’s developmentally disabled. So there was plenty of leftovers to send him home with all packaged up. I was pondering what goes through people’s heads that portion everything out? Have they got more restraint? An italian friend told me of the concept casa linga (lingua), apparently it’s got something to do with a generously laid table, abundant. Lovely story Ruth and such abundance of generosity.

    • Thank you Sewniptuck – I really like the idea that generosity is global. Let’s keep it that way and maybe the next generation won’t be self centred and so desiring of immediate gratification.

  7. The quilt is just beautiful, and the choice of pastel colours just perfect. I love the story of your mother and the more gravy. It reminds me of a wonderful children’s book called “Always Room for One More” by Sorche Nic Leodhas. The story: In his “wee house in the heather,” Lachie MacLachlan lives with his family of twelve, welcoming to his hearth every weary traveler who passes by on a stormy night. “There’s always room for one more,” says Lachie. His grateful guests say a wonderful “Thank you” as the ending to a hilarious tale of kindness.

  8. Beautiful! and such a lovely story! Every time I see something vintage or antique I wonder about the story – your quilt already has a lovely story built into it.

  9. Gorgeous, I love the subtle colours, sometimes I find quilts a bit bright! How long did this take you? It looks like hours of work like a year! I think I must be a slow sewer, and this might have been interesting on the GBSB! I need to make a shirt dress in 2 days tops and it’s making me sweat!

    • Hi Mags. this was my summer vacation project – so it took about 2 months, start to finish.
      You are not a slow sewer BTW, just meticulous and perfectionist!
      Thank you.

  10. Oh my – you’re becoming my quilt guru. So many little pieces! Love the way you’ve graduated the colors. Lots of love in that gravy…

  11. Great story, and I am sure your parents appreciate your hard work! Live the anecdote about tea- tea does fix everything!

  12. Beautiful soft colours. Great story. We always had extras too – Irish.

  13. Gorgeous quilt – those colors are fantastic! And the story that goes with the name is wonderful.

  14. Such a generous tradition, well-matched by your beautiful, loving quilt.

    • Thanks Elle. I find there is such personal satisfaction in sewing for others. I don’t know why it took me so long to make a quilt for the most obvious recipients in my life.

  15. This is absolutely gorgeous! I love the design, and the colours you’ve used. It’s just beautiful.

  16. You don’t just create memories, you create heirloom masterpieces, Ruth! Love the subtle shapes that fade from dark to light! Congratulations on completing yet another complicated and love-filled quilt to share!

  17. Pingback: Same but Different | corecouture

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