Launching into something completely new is always exciting. Doing it with a group of friends makes it extra special. Last week we each arrived at our textile group meeting with six different fabrics and set out to explore ‘interleave’ quilting. We were inspired by a Kent Williams’ quilt and one of our number worked out how to approach the technique.
Sorting out our colour combinations was the first step – a bit of a leap in the dark, for me anyway as I wasn’t quite clear how the final pieces would come together.
Then cutting the major shapes – a triangle sitting in a square. I am relatively new to quilting and still of a mindset of accurate angles and measurements. It was liberating just to ‘cut a triangle’ (once I’d overcome the urge to use the angles on the ruler!)
Slicing up into one inch strips and stitch & flip followed, with the shapes gradually appearing as we worked and the colour combinations revealing themselves
I thoroughly enjoyed the day, especially seeing the colour choices of everyone else. This technique really does make colours zing, even my quite muted ones (the one at the top here). I can’t wait to try another one.
Several years ago, as part of my City & Guilds course, I made several patchwork blocks in a range of blue / grey batiks. As I was a beginner each block took a long time and although I was enjoying the process I didn’t really want to invest the time in ‘just’ samples to sit in a drawer. I did each one as a fully backed, quilted piece with the vague idea that I could make more and create a quilt. Well, time moved on and I made no more blocks. Also when I put them together I didn’t really like the effect as I had created several different sizes!
Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago – preparations for Christmas and the realisation that I needed new cushions for the sofa. Coincidentally I was going through some drawers in my workroom trying to find space for yet more ‘essential’ pieces of fabric. I found the blocks, I gained drawer space and new cushions. Result!
I wanted to pipe the cushion covers because I think it gives a better shape and fortunately I had enough of the dark fabric for all the backs and piping so they look like a set despite being different designs. I was once again thankful I’d invested in a piping foot for my Bernina. Actually it isn’t the one marketed as a piping foot, which is number 38 and has a raised right hand side. I like number 12 which is described as a bulky overlock foot and has quite a deep groove underneath which sits neatly over the cord and works a treat. I used to use the zipper foot but it never quite did the job well.
I do like Christmas preparations! This year I changed the colour scheme of The Table and made a set of place mats with cheerful green, red and gold seasonal fabrics. I just cut squares in half and matched green with red, used insulating wadding and backed them with more glittery goodness.
I have covered a tuffet! I went to a great class with Linda Chevin Hall at Bramble Patch and now have a beautiful footstool.
A friend of mine went a couple of months ago and said she had such a good time I was determined to go myself; she was quite right, it was a very enjoyable day. We needed thirty strips of fabric and I wanted to use up some of my stash, not buy a new jelly roll or yet more fat quarters. In the end I used mostly my material with just a couple of beautiful additions from the wonderful range at Bramble Patch to complete my colour palette.
Linda seemed to effortlessly have loads of time for each of the ten in the group and was especially helpful with colour sorting. I based my scheme around the colour of a painted cupboard in the room it was destined for and my husband painted the wooden feet with some chalk paint fortunately left over. I love it.
Well I haven’t finished any more projects since my last post but I have kept busy.
A surprising amount of time spent holding various fabrics up against the bed quilt centre in an effort to decide on borders to get it up to a reasonable size. At the moment it would perch uncomfortably in the middle of the bed! I think I’m there now and thanks to the great staff at the Bramble Patch the next fabric (see above – isn’t it beautiful?) arrived yesterday, so no excuse not to progress.
I taught the next crewel work session last week as well. Projects have now been decided on and I can’t wait to see how they turn out. We looked at using satin stitch in various ways, both for areas of colour and for moving through different colours or shades. I love this encroaching satin stitch, it adds so much texture to the shapes.
Two projects finished last week! Not started and finished obviously, just completed in time for the deadline of my local EG branch annual display of members’ work. I so enjoy seeing what everyone has been doing that I feel it only fair to include some of mine. This year’s theme was trees which meshed nicely with my textile group’s challenge.
I don’t think I’ve mentioned the group – Wyvern Textiles – before. We haven’t been together long, still finding our way. We joined together because we wanted to have others to talk to about our work as it progressed. I don’t know about the rest of the group but I’m really appreciating having such great people to give me help and constructive criticism. We are all very different in background and in what sort of work we are doing, hence the use of ‘textiles’ in our name. Definitely not tying ourselves down as a group, or individuals, to one technique.
We set ourselves a challenge. To all use a single point of inspiration to create, in any way we wanted, a piece to be exhibited this coming month. We chose a painting by David Hockney, Three Trees at Thixendale, Winter 2007. We have all produced very different work! It’s been an interesting journey. Here’s a detail of my piece and I’ll ask the others if they can let me have photos of theirs.
This is machine embroidery worked on a pieced and hand and machine quilted ground. I am enjoying combining different techniques, makes the process varied and challenging. The image at the top shows my other piece with couched gold and after doing that I painted and quilted the batik it is worked on.
So now – on with the bed quilt and some other unfinished projects. I’ll see if I can finish something else before my next post!