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. Diane Jacob, Texas says:

    Love the show I have watched from the beginning and I am watching it again before it starts again in January. I love all the ladies, but especially love the Dowager Violet. Would love to win some of the fabric.

  2. Barbara Jean Tomas says:

    I love the show and am already planning what to do with all the beautiful fabric. I hope I win! Thank you!!

  3. Alice Stutz says:

    I love Lady Mary she is a classic, and so are the fabrics chosen for her. She is always up to date and always very fashionable. Would love to win the fabric, thanks for the chance to win.

  4. Mary M says:

    I commend Andover for capturing the style and colors. Would love to win.

  5. Deb says:

    I would love to win fabric!!!! Although I have to say that I’ve never seen the show- no tv.

  6. Evelyn Rau says:

    I would be honored to receive some of the Downton Abby fabric collection. I started watching the family with season two, and I have been hooked ever since. Thank you for giving me a chance to have some of this beautiful fabric.

  7. Helen says:

    Beautiful fabric – can’t wait for my favorite quilt shop to stock it1

  8. Kathy L. says:

    Absolutely loved Downton Abbey from the very beginning. The costumes, colors and fabrics are so much a part of the story. I’m so happy there are now quilt fabrics too, especially the Dowager lavender line – yum!

  9. Susan Paxton says:

    I love the show and have watched it faithfully…I was so excited to see quilting fabric designed around the show..I definitely will be making myself a Downton Abbey quilt.

  10. Shelly McCarville says:

    The fabrics are fabulous! Very different from many collections. I can see some beautiful quilts done with this fabric. Great work on the designs and colours.

  11. Sherry says:

    I love Downton Abbey, and I would love the Lady Sybil Collection. All the collections are beautiful.

  12. Linda Storey says:

    Beautiful fabrics! Would love to have them all.

  13. Diane says:

    I would love to make some bags from that fabric.

  14. Jeanne says:

    Beautiful collection of fabrics and that I absolutely love to win.

  15. jenni higgins says:

    Love the show and the Fabrics. My comfort color palette is the Edith but I love the violet and Sybil. I’d say I can’t wait for the new season but I have already seen it via British tv. No spoilers here though.

  16. Carol Fraley says:

    I simply adore this fabric! I Love Downtown Abby and I look forward to Season 4.

  17. Lynn S says:

    Someone over at Andover should receive a raise for this fabric line concept!

  18. Lynn S says:

    Someone over at Andover should receive a raise for this creative fabric line! This is pure genius!

  19. Michelle D says:

    I Love Downtown Abby and I look forward to Season 4. I’ll probably watch Season 3 again as it will be airing leading up to the new episodes…This Fabric is simply gorgeous! I love them all!

  20. Sharon Scott says:

    The Dowager Countess is my favorite of the fabrics. And I just love the snarky Violet played by Maggie Smith. Downton Abbey has become one of my favorite programs and I have watched every episode from the very first one. I cannot wait for season 4! Thank you for the chance to win some of this beautiful fabric!

  21. Nan S. says:

    I love the show. We just discovered it last year but we watched all the episodes in one week! We were hooked. I love the blues and burgundy collection.

  22. rosa says:

    I love the costumes and this collection caught the spirit of Downton Abbey .

  23. Jeanne says:

    Love all of the Downtown Abbey fabric by Andover. Any of it or even better all of the groupings would make me a Happy Quilter.

  24. Margaret Lee says:

    I love the Downton Abbey themed fabric by Andover . My favourite being the Maggi Smith fabric based on her character the Dowager. I could dream of what l could use the fabric in a quilt. Fingers crossed.

  25. Margaret Lee says:

    I love the fabric that represents Maggi Smith maybe showing my age haha but l think its lovely I especially love the theme and of course Andover Fabrics

  26. Julie Misco says:

    Love all the fabric collections and notions! Almost as much as the program!
    Would love to create a quilt inspired by these amazing colors!

  27. Jan Mueller says:

    Love the show and love the fabrics. Can see lots of quilting possibilities!

  28. Anita Jones says:

    The fabric colors are fantastic – I especially love the Dowager Violet’s palette – originally somber but as the series has progressed we all realize there is a great deal of spark underneath. It would be a wonderful challenge to use the Violet selection and draw out the spark in the creation…I love a good challenge!!!!

  29. barbara blair says:

    Although I have never watched the show, I have a friend who is absolutely wild about it, so if I won, I would give the fabric to her. She loves the Dowager fabrics

  30. Linda B says:

    I am facinated by the costumes and colors that define the personalities. The Lady Mary collection is my favorite but I love the Dowager character – I can’t wait to hear her zingers this season. All fabric collections are inspiring….to the cutting board today!

  31. Nancy says:

    Love the one in burgundy and blue. Thanks for the giveaway

  32. Pauline Hodgetts says:

    I love these fabrics and the show so much. The duchess is my favorite she is so feisty and speaks her mind. Thank you for the give away.

  33. Shirley Bost says:

    I would so love to win this beautiful fabric!

  34. Shirley says:

    Would so love to win this beautiful fabric!

  35. Dorothy Hall says:

    The show and the fabric are wonderful!

  36. Donna Beach says:

    Love your fabrics. Thanks for the chance to win some :)

  37. Joyce Baird says:

    I very much enjoy the series Downton Abbey and the fabric line is great. Although I have been around quilting all my life I have just recently taken it up myself. The quilt on the cover of my Quiltmaker magazine inspires me.

  38. Patty Swatzell says:

    I love the Downtown Abbey series and now to have the fabrics is awesome. Thanks for the giveaway.

  39. Deb says:

    Hands down-the Dowager Countess, so not the colors I would normally use and am so attracted to them, she is my favorite character! Sooo waiting for the next season.

  40. gudrun junker says:

    love the fabric like to be lucky and win.

  41. Mary Ann Hebert says:

    What’s not to like, the colors are fabulous ! I especially like the Dowager collection, I’m already planning a quilt them!

  42. Marty says:

    I am excited to begin my collection of these fabrics, esp. Sybil’s, as my favorite color is teal! And I’ve just downloaded the free Andover patterns – which one will I make first?! Love them all…

  43. Brenda Joyce Cloud says:

    we don’t get the show here but I do love the purples and greens…

  44. Melanie says:

    I love the Dowager! She is truly witty and fierce! The fabric choices for her are all class!

  45. Lisa Lee says:

    While I’ve never seen the show (yet!) I love the fabric. Especially the purples. I love purple! Thanks for the giveaway

  46. Beth Vilsack says:

    Beautiful fabric!

  47. Lisa says:

    My mom LOVES downtown abbey, I like it but prefer Call the Midwife. I’m going to have to see if there’s a marathon on before the new season starts! We are both very excited about the fabrics! I can’t decide who/which collection I like the best!

  48. Nancy Green says:

    Love this fabric!

  49. Maryam Hassan says:

    I have never seen the show, but I absolutely adore the fabrics!!!

  50. Bonnie Neuberger says:

    Although I’ve never seen the show, I have a good friend who loves it. She would enjoy something made with this fabric!

  51. Cecilia says:

    I haven’t watched the show yet, but I may have to start when the new season begins. The fabric collection is really pretty. Thanks!

  52. I love the retro class of this line.

  53. Janice Sheets says:

    Thanks for the opportunity to win this beautiful fabric line. I love them all!!! Best collection I have seen in a long time, so versatile! I could use it in any number of quilt styles.

  54. Jennifer Culver says:

    I love the show and the lovely colors of the fabrics.

  55. I love Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey and love all the fabrics especially the ones made for her. I love the show and can’t wait for Jan. for it to return. Why did they kill off Mary’s husband?

  56. jeanette says:

    I’m not watching the show But LOVE the fabrics the blues & burgundys of Lady Mary and the teals of Lady Sybil. Time is a funny thing, I will try to watch the show sounds like alot of people are. I like the name of the collection Downton Abby that connects to a T.V. show . Maybe I’ll sew a quilt while listening to the show .Thanks for a chance to win!!!!!

  57. Sheila Ivany says:

    Lady Sybil is my favourite, blue is my colour. Look forward to show Downtown Abbey as it sounds interesting. Thank you for a chance to win. Happy Quilting!!

  58. Sheila Ivany says:

    I love Lady Sybil fabric, blue is my favourite colour. The Downtown Abbey an English show both Mom & I would enjoy; she’s from England. Thank you for a chance to win.
    Happy Quilting.

  59. Dorene D says:

    Now I am going to have to find this show to watch. I love the fabrics.

  60. Sheila Ivany says:

    Lady Sybil is my favourite, blue is my colour. I will enjoy watching Downtown Abbey in January; as my Mom’s from England. Thank you for a chance to win. HAPPY QUILTING!!!

  61. Marjorie VanNess says:

    I enjoy watching the show. I love the fabric, the colors and designs are great.

  62. Cassandra Lancaster says:

    I really enjoy Downton Abbey. The humor is so excellent as you really have to be listening, as it is humor with wit. The fabrics capture the graciousness of the era.

  63. Becki says:

    I love the fabric and the idea of it reflecting a good show..

  64. Jo says:

    I have never watched the show but I have a feeling that will be changing. I adore the fabrics.

  65. Roz Barrett says:

    I love the show and adore the fabric! I’d love to win some!

  66. Roz Barrett says:

    I love the show and adore the fabric! Would so love to win!

  67. carol says:

    I don’t watch but love this fabric

  68. Tammy Gericke says:

    I love the show and am doing a quilt along but haven’t started yet because I can’t decide which character is my favorite. All the costumes are wonderful and all the fabric is, too!

  69. Kathy M. says:

    I haven’t watched DA yet, but plan to this winter. Love all of the new fabrics.

  70. Deborah says:

    Queen Alxandra’s line is sooooo pretty!!!!!

  71. Maria C. says:

    They’re fantastic! Love the quilt and love the parasol!

  72. Karen R. says:

    Looking forward to January 5th, when the next season starts! I love all the fabrics, but my favorites are the colors in Lady Sybil’s collection.

  73. Alice S says:

    The lady Edith fabrics are wonderful.

  74. Alice S says:

    The colors for lady Edith are wonderful, thank you for this opportunity.

  75. Julia Bowen says:

    Love these colors – my favorite is lady edith!

  76. Kelley H says:

    I just learned about Downton Abbey at the beginning of last season! I was hooked by the middle of the first episode I watched that day! I watched every episode/season while I sewed. I then decided to re-watch all of the seasons all over again, but this time focusing on the important details -their clothing! I’m in love with that fabric and would love to win some!! Thanks for the giveaway!!

  77. Dorothy Matheson says:

    I like the fabric better than I though I would. I am a bit of a rebel and will mix the ladies together so that they are in the same room when I make a quilt. Happily I have the magazine so I can start when I have some fabric.

  78. Julie A.B. says:

    How exciting! I will be watching the whole series. Lovely fabrics~ Thank-you for such fun giveaways!

  79. I really like the collection and the show. Hated the awful ending last season. I sat stunned by it all.

  80. Lauri Linder says:

    I so love the Downton Abbey series and I am thrilled about the fabric line. I am looking forward to designing a quilt or quilts with it.

  81. Cecilia says:

    Haven’t seen the program yet but do like the new fabrics and colors.

  82. Charyl Sieler says:

    I was a slow starter to begin watching Downton Abbey, but when I did, I was addicted and had to have a DA marathon!! I am so in love with the new fabric line and can hardly wait to see it in the new issue of the magazine!

  83. JoAnn Rusden says:

    I have a brand new sewing machine that is just begging to stitch up some lovely Downton fabric!

  84. Laura Amundson says:

    I love the time period, especially Edwardian and then the 1920s. Actually I’ve enjoyed Edith’s character and transformation the most since she embraced the changes. So excited about the fabric coming out!

  85. Cheryl McLaughlin says:

    I’m excited about the new series and about the fabric!

  86. Wendy Welsh says:

    I love Downtown Abbey and the new fabric line.

  87. Susan Blumenshein says:

    I love Lady Edith’s line and the color combinations! So much can be done with the fun prints and the colors remind me of cool and tasty sherbet.

  88. Margaret Schindler says:

    I have just recently started watching this show and I am hooked. I love those fabrics.

  89. Tami Chaulk says:

    My mother-in-law turned me onto Downton Abbey and I’ve watched every single episode! I am really looking forward to season 4. I received my new Quiltmaker magazine earlier this week and just love Carolyn’s Reminisce quilt! I love this fabric collection and can’t wait to see it in person. Thanks for the chance to win some of these delightful fabrics.

  90. Katie J says:

    I love Downton Abby and these fabrics really represent the show and each lady very well. Excited to make a quilt with them.

  91. Judy says:

    I love watching Downton Abbey and after reading about the fabric want to go back and watch the show again to look more closely at the fabrics. I loved Sybil’s pantaloons when she wore them on the show, they were so colorful.

  92. Angela Neff says:

    I love it! I watched all of the seasons just before last season started–dying to see what happens this season!

  93. Louise K. says:

    I love that show and look forward to Jan 5th. The Downton Abbey fabric is beautiful, and I appreciate the storyboards on each character. The fabrics do seem to fit the characters.

  94. Lynda Parker says:

    The costumes and jewelry are my favorite parts of the show!
    Looking forward to Jan 5th

  95. Barbara Stewart says:

    Well I must admit that I too have never watched the show, but this fabric line is truly inspiring.

  96. Terri G says:

    I love watching the Downton Abbey series. I look forward to watching again. I really like the fabric. It looks so much like the period of time.

  97. Rina Mason says:

    I have never seen Downton Abbey but love the fabrics they came out with. I especially like Violet’s collection.

  98. Tammy Schwagerl says:

    I enjoy the series! And love the different fabric collections!

  99. Lorraine W says:

    Well, I don’t watch the show. (Shock / Awe) Just too much to do with kids at home. I do however, love the Dowager collection. (Trying this again, since the last one didn’t work.)

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