Saturday, 3 August 2013

The quilt that asked to be made

Have you ever had a quilt that asked to be made?

'What is she talking about?' I hear you say, 'talking rubbish again!' And until April I would have agreed with you. But this particular quilt asked, no - begged, to be made.

Hazel and I had run a couple of classes on wax and starch resist and other surface design techniques for our Inspiration to Stitch students. In order to have plenty of inspirational samples we had had a play day where we prepared lots of fabric ourselves. We prepared so much that ended up finishing some of mine off at C2C (when I was supposed to be focusing on my own work) by colouring one side pale blue and the other pale brown. I justified spending the time on 'teaching samples' because these fabrics were in coast-inspired colours.

It was as I was washing out the fabric that the quilt demanded to be made. The fabric said: 'I'd look great cut up into squares and pieced back together.' The marks were mainly circles and lines, so they all coordinated very well. Once they were dry it didn't take long to find several fabrics from my stash which complemented the resist fabrics, and the quilt virtually made itself. This is the benefit of becoming really familiar with your theme - you begin to internalise the colours, textures, lines and shapes, so that you just can't help producing work that belongs together.
Full Circle 

As you can see I used several sizes of square and rectangle to showcase some of the fabrics and add variety to the piecing. Once it was pieced the brown circle was monoprinted on using a large sheet of plastic (and nerves of steel!). Then the whole lot was machine quilted - following the circle and with a simple grid over the rest of the quilt. The next step was to block it as the circular quilting has skewed the top somewhat. This is the first time I have ever blocked a quilt; I usually find that liberal application of a steam-iron does the job, but this one needed more. Perfectly square and flat, I gave it a faced binding and sent it off to the Festival of Quilts last week.

Soy-wax and starch resist is great fun and eventually Hazel and I got to the stage where we were searching for more fabric to 'treat', having run out of plain white fabric. So I have a whole range of colourways ready for new quilts and hangings (and overdue journal quilts) - just need to get organised!