Sunday, 26 October 2014

Bloggers Quilt Festival

The time has come around again for this fantastic festival.
It is always so inspiring to see all the amazing quilts people make.

Welcome if you're visiting from the festival- hope you enjoy having a look around.

My entry is a quilt I have just finished for a friend's 50th birthday.  

Nigel, if you're reading this and you want any element of surprise, discipline yourself to look away now!

The decision process on what to make was quite protracted, then it took even longer to make it; mainly because I was slow and we were in different countries. Throw in an international move and time goes by so fast so now I'm nearly a year late! Making quilts for friends and family can be quite difficult because of differing tastes, but we had a lot of agreement on this one.

We pinned inspiration photos on a shared Pinterest board and had thought we'd come up with a plan; but then I just didn't feel inspired about our first decision which involved loads of narrow stripes, which would have looked look amazing but been quite tedious to do.  The colour palette emerged quite early: an ochre theme being common to many of the things Nigel pinned. I also decided that using shot cotton would give it the colour depth I was after. 

In the end we were inspired by this. I think it is by Tommy Fitzsimmons of Tommy's Art Quilts  so I would like to acknowledge her amazing work, very much more subtle and complex than mine.

The size of this is 47 x 68.5" so it just squeaks into the Small Quilt category. But I've decided to enter it into the Modern Quilts category.

 I wanted to make it quite improvisationally, so I cut panels in the approximate dimensions and experimented with the arrangement on my design wall. 

I wanted to have gently wavy insertions and a general sense of wiggliness, so I stacked the fabrics right sides up and cut improvisational curves with the rotary cutter.

And then just built and inserted until I was happy.

I hadn't done this kind of curved piecing before but it went OK. Long gentle curves are much easier than small Drunkards Path blocks!

I quilted it using a variegated cotton thread, in long organic wavy lines to echo and accentuate the piecing.

I backed it using good old Ikea Nummer which I bought a bolt of before we moved to an Ikea-less country!

It makes such a versatile backing and here I highlighted the relevant number with a wavy frame of the different shot cottons.

For the binding I used left over strips of the various fabrics in the quilt.

After  trialling many different methods for attaching the binding over the years I have come back to my favourite: narrow doubled binding, machine stitched onto the front and hand sewn down onto the back.

I was bit nervous about washing it as I hadn't prewashed the fabrics, but I put in a colour catcher and all was well!

Hopefully it's the perfect size for a bit of coziness when reading or to drape over a chair

Isn't it funny how a quilt never looks finished until it's been bound and washed to find all its lovely crinkliness!

Now I'm off to look at all your entries in the festival...

Friday, 3 October 2014

Getting Shirty

Edited to add that just now I've noticed my header image has disappeared??!! It's there in my template but not when navigating here from a browser?  If anyone has had this problem or knows how to resolve it, please help!!
Meanwhile-back to business...

I always have trouble keeping two projects at different stages. I seem to end up with lots of quilting to do all at once and if I'm not careful it's going to happen again.

I've been making good progress on the shirt quilt. I've made the right hand panel

And sewn it to the left hand panel

I left a few labels on here and there

I played with the idea of including button and sleeve plackets, but it looked too punctuated and I thought it might not be comfortable (or easy to quilt)...

I'm not generally a prewasher of fabric- it's just another couple of steps to hold up the starting process (though I have often thought that I should wash new fabric for toxic dye lingering and shrinkage reasons?). These shirts have obviously been washed and washed and washed but the batting will shrink. Does anyone prewash their batting? Should I?

I'm pressing on with the top panel. I think this quilt will end up double bed size.

But now so I don't end up with a quilt queue, I've determinedly unthreaded the piecing thread from my machine, even before finishing this top panel and starting on the bottom panel and I've done the first few lines of quilting on the birthday quilt. I was happy to find a toning variegated thread.

My plan is to quilt fairly close straightish wigglyish lines, say two or three in between these, with perhaps a bit of cross hatching on the crosswise piecing.

It's spring school holidays here and daylight saving has begun so we've been making the most of some lovely days to have a pizza dinner in the Botanical Gardens in the late afternoon sun and go to the beach.


It's back to 10 degrees again today though; time for some more quilting!

Linking up for the first time in ages with Lee at Freshly Pieced
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