My local quilting group often runs workshops and invites other quilters and artists to come along and teach us new techniques and ideas to broaden our skills. We have done a few on dyeing and eco-dyeing, painting fabric and using stencils and stamps to create ‘new’ fabric. We therefore end up with quite a few bits of fabric that we then have to utilise in our projects in some way.
Another challenge that I have completed this year was to use fabric from one of these workshops and produce a completed work for display in our current exhibition. After much deliberation, I picked this piece:
When I stencilled and painted it, I did so with no thought on what it could be used for- it was basically just experimenting and playing. The first thing that came to mind was to just cut it up because there wasn’t any cohesion between the different areas. But then I decided that I could make it into a sampler of sorts, a piece to incorporate little bits of stitching I had experimented with over the years. Pieces I had stitched when experimenting with stitches and threads and scraps…
I decided to add them all with large visible stitching.
Once all the scraps were on, I stitched the whole piece with parallel lines of sashiko-style stitching in different directions using all manners of thread.
…contemplating how to finish it off…
and here is the finished piece:
Well, my break from the blog turned out to be a little longer than I first thought it would be! I’ve actually been thinking hard about whether to continue with this blog as it seems that blog-reading has widely taken a downturn in favour of other forms of social media. I constantly use Instagram where I post photos of my works in progress so I found myself turning to that more and more. The number of visits to this blog are also not in great numbers- sometimes I’m not even sure there is anyone out there reading it! Let me know if you are in the comments while I make up my mind…
This quilt I’m showing today is one I have just finished, after working on it for over 12 months on and off. It is called the Shimmer quilt, pattern is by Jenny Bowker. It especially looks colourful against that great blue sky!
I love how the blocks shimmer across into each other, using the half-square triangles to blend the colours in.
The hardest part of this was working out which fabrics to use and where to place them. Fabric choice was all important, and there were a few blocks that I put up on my wall that didn’t make the final cut, and some that had to be re-made when I moved them around.
There was lots of cutting and piecing involved…
The movement of the colour across the quilt was really important to manage. Looking at the final image of it now, the yellow/orange diagonal streak across the quilt stands out even though it wasn’t planned that way.
I quilted it on my longarm with a freehand design- it is so ‘busy’ that nothing too complicated was needed.
This quilt will be in an exhibition at the Lockyer Valley Art Gallery from 23 April until 27 May. My local group, Gatton Quilters, is mounting a great display of quilts and other pieces to showcase the results of all our hard work over the past couple of years. Try and take a look if you find yourself coming past this way!
Just dropping in to to wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year for 2018. Christmas is a favourite time of year- for lots of different reasons: the trees always look so pretty
the shops get with the spirit..
and I get to hang up my little Christmas stitcheries- these two were made a few years ago but I still love them!
I hope you all get to have a great Christmas with your family and friends. I’m taking a short break from the blog for a few weeks- see you in the New Year!
It seems like a long time in between finished quilts for me, so I’m always happy when I can say ‘I finished one’! This quilt is one I made as a contribution towards the Gatton Quilter’s 2-year-long project to make quilts for donation to local charities. We were lucky to have a lot of fabric donated to the club to use for these quilts, so I chose bright fabrics that I thought would look good in a children’s quilt.
I did blog about the making of it back in February here so that shows I have been taking my time about it :), but mainly just fitting it in around lots of other things happening.
The pattern is adapted from one that appeared in the Homespun magazine in 2015. I took out some applique from the original pattern and made it bigger to fit a single-sized bed. I also decided to arrange the blocks into a gradated colour scheme from blues to reds and yellows diagonally down the quilt.
For the backing I just used up as much of the fabric as I could, so in all it is a very colourful quilt which I hope some lucky boy or girl will like. I quilted it myself on the long-arm with a simplified all-over design of diagonal lines.
The Gatton Quilters have donated quite a number of quilts over the past couple of years and a lot of people put in quite an effort to achieve that. Well done to all!
I have some photos here of the recent Gatton Quilters meeting. We had a few different things happening and lovely examples of quilters’ works.
Our current postcard challenge was to do a travel-themed postcard for Botswana. This is my contribution:
I was able to indulge my fondness for giraffes and featured them with a map of the famous Okavango Delta in the northern part of the country.
Column 1 Top down: Shirley,Lyn, Helen H. Column 2 Marg,Karen. Column 3: Trish, Helen S
We are very fortunate to have some very generous people in the group willing to share their skills. Jan Knight has been teaching the art of ribbon embroidery to those who were keen to learn this beautiful skill.
Jan was a busy girl that day because she also showed us how to make silk paper, using silk or wool tops. The silk was teased out over some tulle laid on a plastic sheet. There are a number of layers, each sprayed with the water/glue mix. The last step was to flatten it out and allow to dry. We haven’t yet seen it in its final stage but I will have to give it a go myself because it looked a very easy process.
And here is the show and tell:
I have been making some more blocks for the Shimmer quilt I started quite some time ago. You might remember I posted about it back here.
This is a progress photo which gives the gist of how it goes together- just imagine it without the gap in the middle!
It is from a p[attern by Jenny Bowker. It has lots of half-square triangle blocks and therefore lots of piecing!
Those triangle blocks, when placed near the large squares of fabric, enable the colours to shimmer as you look across the quilt. I was recently piecing some of the blocks which used as their base this Kaffe Fassett fabric, Black Lotus Stripe:
I had to find four different fabrics to team with it for the surrounding triangle blocks. As I put them all together I noticed how, although all were different, each fabric I teamed with it just looked so good and seemed to suit it perfectly.
From a mustardy-gold, a blue shot-cotton, a blue/purple batik to a dark green batik: It reminded me how we should always keep trying for the what-ifs- don’t go for the obvious and look for something different.
This next photo shows where those blocks will fit into the quilt. I think all the blocks are now made and the quilt-top is ready to start assembling!
So, I went to a workshop last week. The tutor was Marg Sampson George, and while most of the others were a frequent repeater to her classes, my first foray was a great experience. I had a lovely time and Marg was a great teacher. I had been given her book as a Mother’s Day gift and chose one of her quilts from there to start on- the ‘Little Miss April’ quilt. As you might know, my preferred style of quilting is machine-piecing, with lots of fabric, a.k.a scrappy style, and more often than not I’ll choose bright colourful fabrics.
However, I decided to try something different and work with a more subdued palette. This piece of fabric (above) is from the Janet Clare line called ” A garden study” and I had bought it some time ago. I had been keeping it in my stash, just waiting for the right project. And, even though I love big bold prints, I also have a fondness for a softer colour scheme with creams, blues, greys and browns. I decided to use this fabric as the inspiration for the colour scheme for my version of this quilt.
The quilt is made using paper piecing. It uses a variety of shapes that all make up into larger hexagons. The bonus of starting it in the workshop was getting colour and fabric advice from Marg, especially as I am attempting to work with a relatively restricted colour-way. I may add in little snippets here and there, as in the first block below. I am so tempted to want to add in more colour! I’ve only got a few blocks started- and none of these are fully finished yet.
Here are a few photos of other work from the class, in various stages of completion:
A little progress report on my year-long hand-stitching project- One Year of Stitches. I’ve been continuing to do a few stitches every day on this and it has been slowly building and growing. A little bit each day can make a difference!
I have no plan and no specific end-product in mind. Just a free-form improv type of thing. I’ve included some pictures of the piece below showing how it has progressed through the year.
Creating a textile or mixed-media art postcard illustrating travel destinations of the world- this is the current challenge of Gatton Quilters.
The theme for October is Mexico. Continuing on with my theme of maps, I did this little map of the country. I used raw-edge applique with a machine button-hole as well as some free-motion machine stitching.
Here are a few others completed by the members of the art group:
All different styles as you can see, which is always the fun part of seeing what everyone comes up with.
And some ‘show and tell’ – Jan showed these lovely works at the meeting: I can’t resist a birdie!
That’s all I have this week!- I’m very busy with some long-arm quilting at the moment but hope to get back to my own work soon. Have a good week
The Cloth Shop in London, on Portobello Road in Notting Hill, is one of those beautiful little shops where you just stand and look around before going more than a few steps inside the door.
The Cloth Shop stocks cottons and linens and antique fabrics..
braids and trims and bits and pieces…
We all had a wonderful time browsing and touching and oohing and aahing…
I picked up some lovely natural linen and some braid- now to think about how best to use it….