Sunday, 28 February 2021

BLOG 537


Blog 537


This is the first week when we have felt that spring isn’t quite so far away after all. I have been looking for the usual signs in the hedgerows during our walks. We’ve seen new acid-green buds and hazel and willow catkins (pussy willow) and the odd early celandine. Local estates have carpets of snowdrops and green fields full of lambs and the trees are alive with bird song. It’s such a joyous time of the year. And the garden is waking up too which means that it will need some attention again and that I won’t mind at all!

I decided to layer up the scrap quilt which I made towards the beginning of the very first lockdown last March, almost a year ago. It has been folded on the top of a cupboard, just in my eye line, goading me to get it finished! The pic shows the backing and wadding on the floor and the quilt on the corner of the bed ready to go on top. I was all fired up to quilt it and I made excellent progress until I ran out of thread!! That meant that I had to order some more, which meant I had to wait, which meant that I lost interest in it for the time being.


Layers for scrap quilt


As I was at a loose end (which is always fatal in my husband’s opinion; he reckons I start to ask for the house to be moved 2” to the left!!!!), I started to look at my remaining collections of fabrics (other than Batiks and Bali’s). I found a drawer of coloured fabrics which were printed with a pattern in a darker tone, often described as tone on tone. There was a rainbow of colour and I thought I could do something with these! So I set about ironing them and then cutting them into 2½” strips before dividing them into 4 ½” lengths to give me building blocks. It was laborious in its magnitude and precision but Radio 4, bad weather and the odd cuppa eased me through it!




Range of tone on tone


Reduced range


Pressed pieces


Strips of reds


Blues in progress


Strips of blues


Strips of greens




Larger palette


When I couldn’t get a 2½” strips, I cut the remainder of the fabric into smaller strips for future use or perhaps not!


Smaller strips




And when all that was done I had an extensive working palette. I started to work randomly on the design wall with the idea of making a tonal quilt with lights in the centre transitioning into darks around the edges. I sussed out straight away that I would need to create a block for the ease of construction. This is the story so far.


Tonal selection


Extensive palette


Design wall






First block??




Sunday, 21 February 2021

BLOG 536


Blog 536


I continued to work with the floral wall hanging (as yet unnamed) this week, especially as the weather was bad enough to keep me inside. I generally enjoy all the processes that I use in a project like this but I think it is the free motion stitchery which is the most liberating. It is an essential step in my creative method as it secures the fused shapes to the background and adds detail and depth. What follows now is a series of pictures to show the thread work and the finishing.


Thread embellishment 1






















And before I knew it, I was steam ironing the completed masterpiece.


Ironing board 1


Ironing board 2


Corner detail


I decided to bind the quilt with the same fabric that I had used on the back. It contained many of the colours that I had used within the design and just seemed appropriate.


Binding fabric


Finished (yet to be signed, dated and named)











Sunday, 14 February 2021

BLOG 535


Blog 535

I believe we are having a proper winter this year and, whilst we are in the depths of it, it is a joy to be working with bright summery colours! This week I shut myself in my playroom with its more than ample heater and I immersed myself in the colours of the latest project. What I have created so far is the quilted background onto which I am now adding floral details. With my quilted background firmly pinned onto the design wall, I tend to try out different ideas first; sometimes paper cut-outs help. I invariably work on baking parchment with ready-fused fabric and free-cut the shapes that I need as I go along. I have tried to work with templates but they need preparing first and they are not conducive to spontaneity.  What follows is a series of ‘in progress’ pictures. The creative process has to be fluid and so there is a lot of auditioning and shuffling of shapes as I go along.




Auditioning 1?











Free style hollyhocks












11 Foxgloves






Almost there