28/08/2014 § 2 Comments
A few weeks ago I found a tailor’s shop selling bolt end rolls of shirting fabric. I couldn’t believe my luck. Amazing shirt fabrics – mens and womens – top quality cotton. YAY!!!! I went back a few times over the course of a fortnight and emerged from the shadows at the back of the shop, into the sunshine, weighed down with bags of fabric.
Not the best photo – apologies. I don’t know when I’ve found such soft cottons. I used the blue (bottom), the shirt stripe (3rd up) and the check (4th up) in Coast Quilt , teaming them up with flashes of turquoise and orange.
I’ve been meaning to make a quilt using lots of a solid colour and venturing into half square triangles (HST’s) for a while and Horizon seemed an appropriate name for the blues with flashes of red in this quilt. It’s a double bed quilt, measuring 1.5 m x 1.4 m, quilted diagonally 1/4″ from the diagonal lines and then horizontally, creating rhomboid shapes and finished with a soft red binding – that’s almost 6 metres of tiny hand-stitches all around the binding edge! It took hours and hours.
So many other fabrics had to join in the fun, for both Coast and Horizon. I’m constantly amazed how many different fabrics it takes to create a quilt. I reckon I spend more time choosing the fabrics than piecing the tops (well, it seems that way)! I raided my oh-so-special stash of Liberty prints for this quilt too.
Now, I have a bit of a dilemma. Should I take Horizon to market before the Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market, starting in November? I’m building up a stock of quilts, cushions etc as I’ll be at the market every day for 2 weeks, from 20 November. Plans are taking shape for the layout of my log cabin and I’m sorting out packaging and labelling. Excitement, excitement when my quilt labels arrived from Moo …
I have a single tiny round hole punch and have attached ribbons so that every quilt will have a pretty label, with the quilt name, dimensions and price pinned on. The spare room is full of boxes (for quilts and pincushions) and yet more carrier bags will be arriving any day now. I’m really enjoying having a focus for my creating. There just aren’t enough hours in the day – I’m busier than I ever was when I taught full-time!
Enjoy the rest of your week – I’m taking an hour off from quilting to make some Beetroot Soup. I made some earlier in the week and it was D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S. I’ll share my recipe later on – I’ll write it down this time, instead of just throwing stuff into a pot!
Take the quilt to market? Save the quilt for the Christmas Market? That’s the question – what would you do?
PS Use this discount code http://www.moo.com/share/gf9njf if you’re thinking of ordering cards/tags etc from Moo – 10% off I think.
26/08/2014 § 4 Comments
Close your eyes and think of what ‘Coast’ means to you. What colours do you see? Sky blue, bright turquoise, sea blue with flashes of vivid orange and dazzling whites. Add in some bunting and boat prints and there you have it – Coast in a Quilt!
I couldn’t resist the amazing embroidery thread to stitch the quilt label – it has a silky sparkle in it, just like sunlight on the water!
Quilt on location just where the River Hamble meets Southampton Water – so many boats – you wouldn’t believe it! The afternoon was breezy and the sound of the halyards ringing against the masts was magical.
We’re looking to the Horizon for the next quilt, then taking a nap with Siesta! Pop back and see them over the next few days.
Enjoy the rest of the week. It seems as though the summer warmth and sunshine has disappeared behind the clouds. The last couple of days have been chilly and rainy here. Time to find my wellies!
16/09/2013 § 3 Comments
I was going to do something different for my 300th post, but it will have to wait for a while. Go and put the kettle on and then settle down to follow a journey into quilting, harbours, hearts and roses.
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about quilts. Apart from the buzzing in my head that’s urgently trying to turn itself into another quilt, there’s a real underlying thought process in this creativity.
My quilts are all unique – I couldn’t make two identical ones for love nor money! It doesn’t work like that for me. I can’t use a pattern and even when I jot down ideas in my notebook, they ALWAYS change as the fabric passes through my hands.
I was looking through Passionate Patchwork by Kaffe Fassett the other day (again) and as ever, this quote rings bells “why strive for complicated, difficult-to-sew arrangements when simple squares … are so endlessly fascinating as long as the colours are alive”.
Whilst researching for my audition presentation “Scandinavian Patchwork” (yes, I am now on the Hampshire WI Speaker’s list), I came across so many references and pictures of quilts that have a timeless simplicity – squares and strips and colours in glowing combinations – utterly beautiful. I try to replicate that feeling in my quilts – that feeling that I get whenever I see a beautiful piece of textile work, that’s been made with love and stitched so carefully. I try to balance the colours, working with what makes good sense to my eye, pleases my soul and challenges my boundaries.
Patchwork and quilting are becoming SO important to me since my full-time teaching career ended. I love how much the quilts mean to their new owners – maybe especially those little people, dozing in their prams, blissfully unaware – who will grow up snuggled and cuddled in a quilt that I have made. Here are some of my thoughts about recent quilts …
Sailing By is Cornwall-in-a-quilt. I started with the larger seaside panels and decided to make them double size so my happy 5″ squares (5″ squares always make me happy – they’re the perfect size) could pick up the colours and sing along. I wanted sailing boats and the fishing fleet too with stars for starry nights and reds for sunsets. Blues – well, who could have Cornwall without blues? And whites for sails, and frothy waves and white-washed cottages and ice-cream! I always think that little boats and orange go well together too …
So there’s my Sailing By quilt – all ready to remind its new owners of the sea, the boats and the harbour when they’re toasting their toes by the fire as the chilly evenings draw in.
On a completely different theme of colours – Sweetheart was always going to be very girly …
I wanted the last roses of summer to bloom against white-washed walls, beneath a china blue sky, on this quilt. I wanted love-hearts too, and my all-time favourite colour combination of reds & blues with pinks & chalky whites all mixed in. I set up a sewing table in the garden last week in the sunshine and stitched on my little Elna all afternoon.
A very Little Miss is, I hope, going to love her new quilt when she’s old enough to trace the quilting lines across the squares and around the hearts before she drifts off into her dreams.
What’s in the planning for this week? Well, a while ago, I made a quilt called Wildflower Meadow. It’s a keeper and we have it in our bedroom at home and take it on holiday in the Dolly van too. I love this pattern of blocks and strips so I decided to make something similar …
Here’s Summer Days – a variation on a theme of Wildflower Meadow …
and that’s how Summer Days is – all pieced up with some edging strips added to finish it off. Just waiting for me to make a quilt sandwich with the wadding and backing, pin it all together, then quilt the blocks, add a binding and hand-stitch all the way around the edge! I just love doing the hand-stitching – always on the sofa in the evening – hopefully watching a good film.
But another quilt is milling around in my head already. I’ve been playing with fabrics – think reds and whites, blues and greens and maybe a touch of pink here and there – contemporary patterns, a sprinkle of polka dots, ditsy sprigs, country roses, starry sunsets – maybe …
I’m thinking of my favourite block combination of a double-sized square mixed in with happy 5″ squares – a wide white and red border. What do you think?
My friend visited from New York last week and brought me some lovely fabric. American fabric is so cool! It’s so good to catch up over lunch and I do appreciate how she finds time to pop in to Winchester – we used to natter over the garden fence, when she lived next-door. She’s an avid quilter too, although how she finds the time to fit it around all her other work and leisure commitments is amazing – she’s a very busy person. Last year, she won a 1-1 workshop with Victoria Findley Wolfe and I couldn’t wait to investigate her website. Amazing! She certainly pushes my colour boundaries and I’m not sure I could ever replicate that style, but she’s certainly an amazing colourist and quilter. I love what she says about a quilt’s journey – transforming her ideas and creativity and how to get inside somebody else’s head, to make a quilt they’ll love. I totally agree with her every word.
So, there’s my 300th post – all about quilting journeys, creativity and colours.
There’ll be a give-away in early October but I’ve got a couple of quilts to finish in the meantime!
Enjoy the end-of-summer sunshine in between the early-Autumn showers.