Our process

It all starts with an event …

Maybe your daughter is getting married. Maybe your brother is turning 40. Maybe it’s your 25th wedding anniversary next year. Maybe there’s a new baby on the way. Maybe your company has moved into new offices, and the reception area feels vast and impersonal, and doesn’t reflect the values of your organisation.

… and turns into an idea

In all these cases, the trigger is something big and important. Something that’s hard to put into words. But something you want to capture in a tangible way.

That’s when you start to look around for something suitable to tell that story. It can be a difficult thing to find: something that captures the essence of an essentially personal, particular event. That’s where The Butler Did It comes in.

… followed by a conversation …

The dialogue between you and us is at the heart of our process. We’re not just artists, quilters and storytellers – above all, we’re listeners. Through face-to-face conversation (either in person or over the Internet), we listen for all the things, spoken and unspoken, that matter most to you about the subject in question.

… which becomes a story …

We work with you to shape the narrative of your quilt. Often, this ends up being quite a development from your starting point. We also tease out preferences of style, and colour, and discuss the environment in which the final piece will be displayed. All of this becomes an integral part of your quilt story.

… which informs a design …

Now we take all of that hard work, and base our quilt design on it. We will go back and forth with you, making adjustments, until we have reached the perfect quilt design to tell YOUR story.

… that is made into YOUR quilt

This is the point where you take a well-earned rest! We get into our stride, and begin the actual making of the quilt.

Quilting is a traditional and labour-intensive craft. As a rough rule of thumb, you can assume that an average single bed quilt takes about 100 hours of labour to make (not counting the inital design phase), so you can see how special a product a quilt is. If you are interested in the details of quilt construction, we have prepared a quilt primer to explain the basics.


First we will piece together the top layer of the quilt using centuries-old patchwork techniques, and the best quality printed cotton fabric. Typically, our designs use a combination of machine-sewing and hand-sewing skills.


Next, the patchwork layer is placed on top of a fluffy middle layer of cotton wadding (batting) for body and warmth, and these are backed by another backing layer of cotton. These three layers form our “quilt sandwich”.


We pin, baste and then sew the quilt sandwich together, making the three layers work as a single fabric, so your quilt will be soft, pliable and durable.


To complete the quilt, we bind the edges for neatness and strength. If you are planning to wall mount your quilt, we will also add a hanging sleeve at the top back, so you can display the quilt while keeping the supports invisible.

Documenting and packaging

All that remains is for us to package your quilt beautifully and send it out into the world to tell its story – YOUR story. If the quilt is a gift for someone else, we can also create an accompanying booklet that illustrates the story behind the quilt.