Quiltmaker + Downton Abbey + Andover = Fabulous!

Have you fallen in love with Downton Abbey? This acclaimed British television show set in the early 1900s has taken the world by storm over the past few years and now Andover Fabrics has introduced a licensed fabric inspired by Downton Abbey that is taking the quilting and sewing communities by storm. Their first collection, in stores now, is based on the upstairs women: Violet, the Dowager Countess, and her three granddaughters—Lady Mary, Lady Edith and Lady Sybil.

First, let me show you a sneak peek of Quiltmaker’s Jan/Feb ’14 cover with Reminisce, our Downton Abbey-inspired quilt:

QMMP 140200 cover 500 Quiltmaker + Downton Abbey + Andover = Fabulous!

Can’t you just see this on a bed at Highclere Castle when Season 4 premiers in the U.S. on PBS on January 5? It would fit right in with the styles and colors of the show because of the attention to detail that Kathy Hall, design director at Andover and designer of the fabric, was able to execute as she worked with Donal Woods, the head production designer for Downton Abbey and Caroline McCall the head costume designer.

It was a privilege at Fall Quilt Market a few weeks ago to hear about the work that went into the development of this fabric. Here are Quiltmaker Staff at International Quilt Market, Fall ’13, with Caroline McCall and Donal Woods:

QMStaff DowntonAbbey Quiltmaker + Downton Abbey + Andover = Fabulous!

The ballroom at the Houston Convention Center was set with 1400 chairs for Downton Abbey fans (cleverly disguised as quilt shop owners and other professionals from the quilt industry) to gather for our initial glimpses of the fabric and to hear from both the Downton Abbey production team and the Andover Fabrics staff.

AndoverSchoolhouse Quiltmaker + Downton Abbey + Andover = Fabulous!

AndoverSchoolhouse bags Quiltmaker + Downton Abbey + Andover = Fabulous! AndoverSchoolhouse umbrella Quiltmaker + Downton Abbey + Andover = Fabulous!

Andover also created mood boards that tell each character’s story in her fabric. I’ve added some of the details that Caroline and Donal told us in Houston.

Downton Mood Board The Dowager Quiltmaker + Downton Abbey + Andover = Fabulous!

Violet, a contemporary of Queen Alexandra, is an Edwardian lady, she is immaculate, and wears a lot of silks in somber colors because she was a widow. Now as the series progresses into the 1920s, Maggie Smith is starting to wear a bit more color.


Downton Mood Boards Mary Quiltmaker + Downton Abbey + Andover = Fabulous!

Lady Mary, the eldest, sees herself as the heir (through marriage since she’s not eligible to inherit the estate herself). Her look is classic and stylish, yet still fashion conscious much like Kate Middleton today. She wears lots of blues and burgundy. It seems that she has always worn burgundy at key moments in the series such as when she met Matthew and at her engagement. Mary also wears feathers frequently—adornments in her hat or hair.


Downton Mood Boards Edith Quiltmaker + Downton Abbey + Andover = Fabulous!

Middle sister Lady Edith is the supposed “ugly duckling”, but the costume designers never saw her that way. Her look has changed the most during the series because she always is dressing to allure someone—her look changes based on who her object of interest is: whether she is dressing older or in working gear when she’s keen on a farmer. She becomes her own in season 3 after she’s jilted. Her colors though have been constant with coral and green with lots of prints.


Downton Mood Boards Sybil Quiltmaker + Downton Abbey + Andover = Fabulous!

Lady Sybil, the youngest and most free-spirited and modern, wore lots of teal. Remember the pantaloons in season 1? They were inspired by Paul Poiret, who is credited as the first designer to mix bright colors and pattern. His inspiration for the bright colors came from the arts. Sybil’s fabric is very modern for the times, her fashion followed the movement of the arts.

McCall went on to tell us how the colors are key in the costuming as they help to identify the characters, yet they all need to work together when everyone’s in the room at the same time.

Check out Andover’s YouTube video with Caroline McCall if you’d like to watch her Schoolhouse session:

Quiltmaker Downton Abbey Quilt Quiltmaker + Downton Abbey + Andover = Fabulous!

Kits are shipping this week for our queen-size quilt from QuiltAndSewShop.com. Watch for your issue to show up in your mailbox soon or, if you aren’t a subscriber, watch for Quiltmaker Jan/Feb ’14 on your newsstand by Dec. 3.

I think I need to watch the series again, this time keeping a particular eye out for the prints and colors used in the costumes and on the set. How do you plan to get ready for season 4, starting January 5 in the U.S.? Will you re-watch season 3, or perhaps the whole series? Make your own Downton Abbey quilt? Or maybe you need to check it out for the first time to see what all the buzz is. Have you seen Downton Abbey fabric in your local quilt shop yet?

Giveaway! Let me know your Downton Abbey thoughts in a comment below by midnight Sunday December 1 (Mountain time) for a chance to win some Downton Abbey fabric.

Cath, who posted on 11/25/13 at 10:51 pm, is our winner. Her comment:

To get ready, some friends and I are going to spend Sunday afternoon watching reruns straight through. Saturday is reserved for fabric shopping as my local quilt shop is having a gala Downton Abbey event to launch the line. I plan to be at the shop door then minute they turn the key!!! Love, love, love the series and the fabric! AND now that I have seen the quilt, I am sold!!!! So in review, Saturday – fabric, Sunday marathon D.A. with friends, December 3rd…magazine!

Sounds like she’s already had a Downton Abbey-filled weekend. How fun!

About June Dudley

I'm the Editor-in-Chief of Quiltmaker magazine. I have enjoyed quilting for many years. And I love to collect fabric, thread, books and all things quilty. I especially like batiks, bright colors, florals, dots, stripes and anything purple or teal.
This entry was posted in QM Issues and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

312 Responses to Quiltmaker + Downton Abbey + Andover = Fabulous!

  1. A friend and I are going to make a Downtown Abbey quilt! Thanks for the chance to win!

  2. Tammy says:

    I love watching Downton Abbey. Lady Mary and the Dowager (aka Maggie Smith) are my favorite characters. The boxed sets are on my Christmas list.

    Having spent 3 years in the UK (military spouse) I can appreciate the countryside and London and so many other aspects. Yes, the grass really is that green. Each time I watch the show, it takes me back to being there. We loved to roam the castles, small towns, churches and old homes. So much history there.

    thanks for the offer to “bring” a little Downton Abbey home.

  3. liz anderson says:

    The fabric is very elegant and regal. I really like it.

  4. Cyd Runde says:

    I have watched Downton Abbey over and over, and still find new things to enjoy. To have the fabric would be the best way to start the new year. My favorite series combined with a nice quilt of DA fabric cannot be topped (unless Bates delivers it!)

  5. Jerry Beavers says:

    I have never seen the show (might watch next season). Love this fabric collection. Thank you for the chance to win.

  6. Jennifer Ciaccio says:

    Wow, these are beautiful!

  7. Teresa S. says:

    I have not seen the series yet, but the fabrics are whetting my appetite for the show. I’ll try to watch the first series after Christmas!

  8. Joyce says:

    What beautiful fabric! Love anything from days gone by……..

  9. Faye Duzan says:

    I love Downton Abbey! It is one of the best shows on television. It is inspiring and well made. The costumes and attention to detail are wonderful! The only bad thing about it is having to wait for the next season to begin. I would love to have samples of this new line. It looks wonderful. The color palletes are lovely!

  10. Kate says:

    I love the dowager- she reminds me of some family members with her sharp tongue! Great show- and the fabrics look lovely!

  11. collette mcmanus says:

    The line looks beautiful. Thanks for the giveaway…hope I win.

  12. Vicki Sprain says:

    Love the Downton Abbey series and am looking forward to season 4! The fabric is very beautiful too!

  13. Barbara Eisenrauch says:

    Love Love Love the fabric line maybe more than the show! Thank you for the giveaway.

  14. sandie deahl says:

    downtown abbey collection is as addicting as the series…what to do next?!?

  15. cynthia daugherty says:

    Have been waiting on this collection to be released….would love to win a “starter”

  16. Evelyn Barnes says:

    I am a BIG fan of Downton Abbey! Would love to have this beautiful fabric collection in my sewing room!

  17. Bunny says:

    you have intrigued me enough to see if we get that on PBS – or Netflix…….

  18. melissa says:

    Nice fabric. Will there be charm square sets? I would like that to make a Christmas gift for a friend.

  19. Lonormi Manuel says:

    Each Downton collection is fabulous!

  20. Susan Laws says:

    I’m a big fan of the show and of the elegance of the costume designs!

    Susan L., vegancommie@gmail.com

  21. Absolutely love Downtown Abbey and can’t wait for the next season to start!! I would love to have that fabric in my collection for making quilts and hexies!!!

  22. Marsha Bohannon says:

    These lovely fabrics evoke the time period of this wonderful series.

  23. gudrun junker says:

    would love to win ,i lived in england for 4 years in the 60th

  24. Marsha Bohannon says:

    These fabrics are lovely and very evocative of the wonderful series and that time period.

  25. I adore Downton! I have all the DVD’s and will probably watch them all again over the Christmas holidays while I sew the new Bonnie Hunter mystery.

  26. Peg says:

    These fabrics truly take me back to DA times.

  27. TaraA says:

    I’ve started with Season 1 to get ready. Those fabrics look beautiful!

  28. Margaret Lawrence says:

    Haven’t seen the program, but am beginning to think that perhaps I should! Winning the fabric would certainly make me want to know more…

  29. Jennifer Culver says:

    Downton Abbey is an absolute favorite show. I love the characters, costumes, and decor! We need more great dramas like this and I love the fabrics that I have seen so far. Would love to win!

  30. Joyce Ensey says:

    Love all the colors.

  31. Pati Cook says:

    The fabrics do seem to really recall the “feel” and look of the show. I really enjoy watching Downton Abbey and would love to work with the fabrics.

  32. I just luv anything DA. There is so much involved in the personalties. And all the good things that are being created like this fabric by Andover. Now Quiltmaker and and and…… Would really love to win DA fabric and see what I come up with. Thank you

  33. Kathy Luehrs says:

    love the fabrics the colors are wonderful cant wait for the new season to begin

  34. Kathy Luehrs says:

    love the fabrics cant wait for the new season to begin

  35. Yvette W says:

    I want to watch the series. A couple of my friends absolutely love it.

  36. Yvette W says:

    I want to see the series. I have a couple of friends that absolutely love it!

  37. Sonya Leonard says:

    I would love to transport back in time, with these collections of fabric from Downton Abbey and meeting all the ladys while I was there. Love the era and best part love the colors in these fabrics and love to sew.
    Thank you for all the wonderful collections.

  38. Marge M says:

    I wish they would do more of this for different shows on TV….

  39. Cindy Dahlgren says:

    Loving the colors and patterns in this line. Can’t wait for your January issue to come out!

  40. Sandy Curtis says:

    I’ve never seen Downtown Abby, but I really like the fabrics. Would love to win some.

  41. Diana Scott says:

    I love this fabric & would love to win some! Thanks for the chance!

  42. Donna Keating says:

    Looking forward to the fourth season showing in the US. The fabrics
    Are as elegant as the show.

  43. Betty says:

    Love the show and the fabrics. Thanks for the chance to win.

  44. Betty Woolhead says:

    Loved the series so far and am looking forward to January at season 4. I had never realized before how the colours were coordinated for each woman. Thanks for the chance to win some of these delightful fabrics.

  45. Kate says:

    LOVE Downton Abby. I was born in the wrong century! Have the theme song as my ring tone… on the hunt for the fabrics! As an ex horsewoman, loved the habit Mary wore the first season!

  46. Mary Hayes says:

    Have not seen the show; but do love this fabric, would love to win some.

  47. Jane says:

    I love Downton Abbey and can not wait to see the fabric. Will be shopping for Small Business Saturday and a stop at the fabric shop is on my list.

  48. Michelle says:

    Would love to use these fabrics

  49. Joyce says:

    Love the show and love to quilt. The fabrics are wonderful. What dreams are made of.

  50. Diana Grant says:

    I think these fabrics are fabulous. Hoping to win some as well as receive some as gifts or gift certificates so I can buy it. Of course, Downton Abbey is fabulous because the incomparable Maggie Smith graces it.

  51. Marianne Dunn says:

    I like the costumes that the Dowager Countess wears the best. She always looks so regal.

  52. Judy Urrutia says:

    I love the fabrics and how each actress has her own colors. Need to rewatch and be more observant! Beautiful!!

  53. MaryEllen MacGregor says:

    Well my 2 sisters are arriving today and one has the complete set of DVDs so I think we should rewatch and pay attention to the clothing!! I would love to win some fabric!

  54. Kathy L says:

    Love the fabrics and would love to win. Thanks for the chance.

  55. Shelley Gordon says:

    Can’t wait to get a look at some of these fabrics this weekend. Popping down to the shops for Small Business Saturday!

  56. Greta says:

    The fabrics are beautiful with a special class to them. Really breathless waiting for season 4!

  57. Jane says:

    I love Downton Abbey! I am looking forward to my magazine arriving and I would love to have fabric to go with it!

  58. Beth G says:

    love the show and LOVE the fabric! Thanks for the giveaway!!!!

  59. Susan says:

    Love the Downton Abbey collection!

  60. Connie Donaldson says:

    Love the fabrics and the clothes from Downton Abbey , the era was so classy

  61. Connie Donaldson says:

    I love The clothes and the cars from that era

  62. Jacki Faller says:

    Too hard to pick a favorite but I will have to decide which to get first. They’re all lovely!

  63. tiffany winchester says:

    My favorite character is the Dowager…love that woman’s wit ;) ….I would love her fabric selection or Lady Edith’s…can see some really wonderful 30′s quilts come of her collection!

  64. Wilma Searcy says:

    I WILL make Reminisce, queen size, for my bed. The Downton Abbey style is MY style. Thanks for the giveaway!

  65. Ann Flower says:

    Have been surprised at how popular the series is, so many people are addicted to it! The fabric are lovely, I would love to win some.

  66. Betty says:

    The wardrobe department has done a wonderful job with the costumes for Downton Abbey. I’m glad that Maggie Smith is starting to wear more color, especially since it is my favorite, purple!

  67. CATHY JONES says:

    Cannot wait for season 4 to start. The fabrics so do fit the characters, love them all. I hope to win this.

  68. Roberta Upton says:

    I have loved Downton Abbey from the beginning having grown up watching Upstairs, Downstairs. I awaited the release of the fabric with excitement and wasn’t disappointed. Each character’s line is beautiful and true to the character. My first project is a Downton Abbey evening purse. I would love the quilt in the new Quiltmaker and it is on my wish list to make.

  69. Lynn Sletta says:

    Love all of these great fabrics but I am partial to the Lady Edith fabrics. A great tv show to watch as we’ll!

  70. Lindsey D le Doux Priestley says:

    The fabrics are lovely – and many of them look beautiful just on their own.

  71. Debra Gibbs says:

    love these fabrics….oooooh the possibilities for me!!

  72. Nancy Green says:

    The fabrics are beautiful. Can’t wait to make a purse and quilt. Thanks for the giveaway.

  73. kbo says:

    I follow Downtown Abby and I am always impressed with the attire of the rich and hired help. So looking forward to season 4.

  74. Phyllis Godschall says:

    Would make a great gift

  75. Phyllis Godschall says:

    This would make a great gift for a sewing friend of mine.

  76. Bonnie Thiem says:

    I can see many lovely purses made with these fabrics. Thanks.

  77. Helen Seidel says:

    I can’t wait for the next season. I fell in love with the show from the first episode! I also just started quilting and fell in love with it after the first class! Love the fabrics and designs and how they fit the characters.

  78. Ethel says:

    Oh, Downton Abbey, how do I love thee, let me count the ways! Love the show, love the fabric. Must have it in my stash!

  79. Margaret Williams says:

    I love Downton Abbey, from the clothing to the homes, it just a beautiful show to watch. Love the fabrics for Violet!

  80. Jacklynn Grimm says:

    I may have to go back and rewatch last season and pay attention to the colors and prints they wore. Can’t wait until January 5th! Thanks for the give away!

  81. Carol Sexton says:

    I love the Downton Abbey series – the characters, the scenery, the costuming, the castle, the day-to-day life in the “Upstairs” and the “Downstairs.” I love everything about it! I’m participating in the Downton Abbey Mystery Quilt and have purchased all the fabric for that quilt for Lady Sybil. I also love the Dowager and Lady Mary fabric. And, of course, I had to sign up for the Facebook group for the DAMysteryQuilt. I’m avidly awaiting Season 4. Thanks for having this giveaway.

  82. Recently got hooked on the series, just finished season 1, the fabrics are beautiful.

  83. Diane Swett says:

    I love these fabrics and can’t wait to see them in my LQS

  84. Rosemary Kukec says:

    These fabrics are inspirational and so beautiful!


    I love Downton Abbey so hope I will be able to find the fabric in my local store. I will certainly be looking for Quiltmaker in my local magazine store.

  86. Annaleena says:

    I love Downton Abbey and I’m also interested in this new line of fabrics.

  87. WyoDi says:

    My Sister is a Downton fan; I need to make her a table runner or purse out of this line!!

  88. Cynthia says:

    Love Downton Abbey! It would be fun to make a Downton Abbey quilt.

  89. Sybil Magrill says:

    My favorite Character was Sybil. :) . I’m so very excited to get my hands on this fabric.

  90. Renata says:

    Oh this looks like such fun fabric

  91. Susan Redstreake Geary says:

    Big fan of Downton Abbey show. I was born a half century too late. Love all the great fabrics. What inspiration! I’m thinking a glorious fan quilt. How thrilling! I’m thankful to all the great fabric designers this Thanksgiving who make sewing, and quilting such fun.

  92. mary walker says:

    Love the show! Lots of inspiration in those fabrics!

  93. Jennifer says:

    I absolutely love this fabric line – rich, subtle and classy!

  94. Susan Salo says:

    I really can’t wait to watch now and check out everyone’s colors! Our local movie house is showing the first hour of the new season in two weeks- what a teaser that will be! The quilt is very neat.

  95. Love the show, have watched the reshowing & loved it. It seems to me colors are so rich The prints delightful. I just eat it up. would seriously like to make a Downton Abbey Quilt. Would love to go to HighClear too.

  96. I love the show & the fabric is Beautiful!!!

  97. I love the Show & the Fabrics are Beautiful!!!

  98. Kelly Sas says:

    So hard to wait for the show and wait for the fabric!!! A local Quilt shop is getting it in and having a Downton Abby themed day! I love all things Downton Abby including the fabric patterns and styles on the show so to have this fabric is so wonderful. Keeping fingers (and toes) crossed in hopes of winning this.

  99. Judy Jewell says:

    I really like watching Downton Abbey. You can get involved in the story so much that it takes me away from any pressing thoughts I might be having about today’s world. Plus I love looking at the styles and taking in all the ways of that era. If only I could have learned history by watching stories like these back in high school! :)

  100. JoAnn Rusden says:

    I love Downton Abbey! This new fabric line is stunning…just like the ladies, they are all beautiful in their own special way!

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