There's always something to celebrate. Last Saturday was the third Saturday in March therefore it must be International Quilting Day. I first learned of it here and it set me thinking. Last weekend was also free entry at some National Trust properties = lots of people. I got permission to sit and stitch at Calke Abbey with a friend to raise the profile of quilting. We sat outside Sqiurts Stable, in the sunshine, for 3 hours. We stitched, listened and chatted.I kept wanting to call us a 'flash mob' but as there were only two of us it was a bit daft so I called it a 'flash quilt'. People were interested. We were asked questions by people who were stitchers already. We hopefully encouraged those who had ufo's hidden away to finish them; some started by mums or themselves. Some were interested in work that was hand stitched only and some were interested in machining techniques. This has set me thinking for Quip Day in June.
After finishing last years JQ's that I'd started I decided to fish out the 2009 JQ's. Yet again not much needed doing some quilting and edge finishing. I've been taking photos of foot prints, tyre tracks and animal and bird tracks for some years with the intention of putting them into textiles. The JQ's were the perfect opportunity to get started.
I belong to a group called 'Contemporary Quilt' and each year a challenge is issued to the members to produce a journal quilt every month for a year. I I always begin the year with good intentions and make a start but something always happens to stop the creative flow. After making, and finishing, the raggy quilt I decided to finish some old journal quilts. Not much needed doing really - little bit of hand stitching and some edge finishing. I like taking something ordinary and using it in a different way.These four were a series based on buttonholes.
The fabric was an old, hardly used linen tea towel
from an army surplus store, a finer cotton fabric
for the binding and the backing was my OH old work
shirts. The wadding was the thinnest I had. I used two
types of thread - an ordinary polyester sewing thread for
hand and machine stitching; a thicker silk thread for hand
stitching. The silk thread is a pale duck egg blue and this
dictated the colour of the lino print. Polyester organza
I've made a quilt.................. I decided a few years ago that I wanted to make a quilt though it was no good me piecing a top then hand or machine quilting it. It would never be completed. I began keeping my eyes open for a technique that would suit my needs. I found it at the Malvern spring quilt show 2 or 3 years ago. I probably had seen it before but never cottoned onto it. The 'Raggy' quilt was the technique for me. I sorted my stash and filled a bag with fat quarter and dressmaking leftovers. There were also some Liberty prints I bought from someone who used to work in a factory making boxer shorts (the money she made went into her embroiderers guild kitty) - included were offcuts of my favourite Liberty print, Ianthe. The technique: Wadding - I used supermarket fleece blanket! cut into 6'' squares. Fabrics - cut into 7'' squares. Threads - I used lots of ends of reels of ordinary polyester thread. The blocks - a sandwich of a wadding piece in between 2 fabric pieces then free motion stitched with 1/2'' seams. I used a daisy design though I did start playing with different ideas. After all the free motion quilting was completed and all the blocks were stitched together this is what I ended up with. The binding was made up of some of the leftovers as I didn't want anything left at all. In this photo (below) the seams still need snipping. I sat down one afternoon and snipped all the seams whilst watching Love Actually! All that snipping makes your fingers ache but it's worth it. So, I've done it, I've made a bed quilt. Am I a real quilter now?
I had a new toy this week it's for taking pics, hopefully better ones! I also made these to give away for a fund raising event. I hope they'll be okay. I've just re-read the email about it and the theme is supposed to be the area where the event is being hosted. There's plenty of time so maybe I'll so some research before I send them off. I found this bag here before Christmas and I've just got round to making it up. I never completely follow patterns exactly. I wanted to try the 'raggy' technique and I also wanted to try using polyester fleece for quilting the blocks. Both worked well.
However, I did make the house rather smelly inorder
to be able to finish the bag. I tea dyed some webbing
to make a more serviceable colour.
And of course I always make one unplanned detour
from the plan or a mistake (the brain stopped
functioning). I meant to stitch the handles on before
I stitched in the lining. No worries, at least the lining is
secure. I don't like shoulder bags that are open so I put
a zip in.
This small project ticked a few boxes:
- new technique, polyester fleece wadding, secure bag,
- used supplies from the stash, satisfaction on completion.
Last autumn after much thought I decided to take the plunge and send off for a sketchbook from here: http://www.arthousecoop.com/projects/sketchbookproject I read and thought alot about it. I kept thinking three things: 1. I do fabric and thread, particularly free machine work; 2. I think it's good to touch textiles when it's appropriate; 3. I'm rubbish at doing sketchbooks. I tend to work straight into fabric and do loads of samples. So, why do it? It's a great opportunity to allow people to touch textiles and to show how I work. I did loads of samples to find out the best fabric combo to stitch into. It had to be a cotton fabric with a stabiliser. The fabric was pfd cotton that I had snow dyed at the beginning of December. As for the stabiliserLutradur won - firm without the thickness of vylene. I was able to machine embroider with this combination without the fuss of a hoop! This is a page from the book, the colours aren't great - apologies for that. I seem to draw better with a needle but you might disagree with that! Doing this project has made me think how I want to take my work this year. It's also made me realise that working straight into fabric is okay. What I need to do is to formalise all my bits of samples - somehow - instead of shoving them in a folder never to see the light of day again. I like the thought of never having my sketchbook in my hands again. Well, it's gone now and it's onto other things. Journal quilts, postcards, put 'em in's and my own stuff.