Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Ta-Da! 365 Challenge Quilt Complete!

 My 365 Challenge Quilt is complete!  Thank you, Kathryn Kerr, for the 365 different blocks that you collected for us to make.

You can see how large it is - I could only photograph half of it at a time on our double bed!

It is 102" tall and 78" wide.  It has been challenging to make and quilt, but thoroughly enjoyable.
 This is the bottom half of the quilt.  So many blocks to admire!
 And this is the top half of the quilt.  I'm hoping to come up with a way of getting the brackets for the hanging pole onto the wall that I can do without asking someone with a long ladder to do it, but that decision won't be made for a week or two.  Instead I'll settle for seeing just parts of the quilt, but up close!
 Monster quilt on the right, and her little sister on the left!

I used the three left over blocks (from bonus blocks), and as many of the HSTs and other scraps left over from constructing the blocks as possible to make this little 12" square mini.
How many pieces in it?  There are 338 pieces on the front, not including the binding.  Once I got started it was fun to try and puzzle the pieces together.

The wadding is pieced, the back is pieced - it's a really mini 'mop up' quilt - and made in less than a day!

I've still got a few light scraps left, but they will get used in other mini projects.  I'm thinking that there could be a few mini pin cushions there.

Time to shake the dust off some other projects that have been put aside and move them forward now!

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Thank you, Wendy!

 Last week my quilt group had a talk by textile artist Wendy Dolan.  Talk about inspirational!  Dive down the link and have a look at her lovely work!
She was very generous in sharing how she worked - the steps that she took to create textile art works, often using architecture as a start point.
Its a subject matter that I enjoy too, although I've never really been able to represent it well in textile pieces.

Inspired by Wendy (and clutching a copy of her book) I decided to start a small piece whilst my head still held some of the ideas that she was sharing.
 I used her genius tracing paper idea to try and put colour blocks (using torn paper) under where I wanted them to be in the thread sketch.  Then splodged the paint onto the prepared 'canvas'. 

If I'd have been more patient I'd have practiced a bit first, which would have taught me to dilute the paint more as I would have preferred a lighter blue!
 Next I stitched from the back through the tracing paper from earlier (which was the main lines from a photo - I've learned that I need to edit these lines more carefully when I'm at the tracing stage).  This gave me my basic lines for the picture.
 Finally I added more detail, some coloured thread to the main suspension lines of the bridge, and tried to resolve the 'under bridge' kerfuffle of lines on the right hand side.
Finally, the piece was trimmed and put into this frame that I had to hand.

There are many areas where this 'sketch' can be improved (paint density, thread line weight, resolving which bits I want to show and how, reducing the size to within the frame on a background, changing the colour of the frame...)  but on the whole I'm pleased with this as a first attempt at Wendy's technique, so, 'Thank you, Wendy!'.  As it can be used to produce relatively recognisable objects (for anyone who lives locally, this is Teddington Lock footbridge) by someone who has no art skills, I'd really like to try this again from a picture of my house and perhaps some other local landmarks.  All good fun!

Meanwhile, hand stitching the binding on my 365 challenge quilt continues - nearly there!

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Flaming Good Progress!

 Can you see the flames?  OK, they are going from side to side rather than up and down, but they were still quilted as flames!  These were the last parts to be quilted on my 365 quilt - the top and the bottom of it.

Much as I enjoy quilting, I was quite pleased to finish this stage of this large quilt.
 With this photo I'm trying to show some of the different quilted areas from the back.  You can see the flames on the right, the swirls at the top left and the bottom centre, and within the 'L' made of those, the meanders and feathers of the next border in.

Not easy to make out, perhaps - but it's all quilted now!

Naturally, the next step is the binding!  The fabric is chosen and is shown here when I was joining the strips together.  Wish me luck!

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Kew Trip

 No sewing to show today - but a glorious trip to Kew Gardens to share.

Creeping up on a peacock - who didn't seem to mind that our approach wasn't subtle.
 Fabulous cherry blossom, fittingly on the edge of the Japanese garden.
 Proud as a peacock -  a handsome chap who stood for photographs very patiently.
 This blossom makes me want to start a camellia quilt straight away!
The earliest bluebells.

So much colour and life as spring comes to West London.  I feel very privileged to live so close to Kew.  Within five or ten minutes (with the help of DH to drive me there!) we can be behind the wall and enjoying the different themes and spectacles of the gardens.

I hope that you have somewhere that you can access to give you 'time out' and inspiration too.