Friday, 25 May 2018

Quilt Rescue

Have you ever had a quilt which when finished was not quite what you wanted or up to your standards?  And your standards do change over time and with experience. 

Well I had such a quilt.  I was a relatively new quilter and I led a group to make a strip quilt.  I did not really like the particular strips but it was all that was available at the time.  But I loved the back fabric; an expensive batik.  At that time it was over $15.00 a meter which was expensive then but not now.  And I was new at long arm, actually a mid arm at that time, and the design was not good especially by my current standards.  It left too many sections without some quilting.  I subscribe to Angela Walters philosophy of quilting it to death, at least on my own quilts.

The quilt has been used to make cats happy and is in a post ' Dull and grey but' on this blog from a while ago. It nagged at me to do something to rescue the batik in particular.  And I LOVE red.  Well rescue came in the form of a show on The Quilt Show with Katie Fowler a couple of years ago when an existing quilt was cut up on the show.  Finally, and I am sure the quilt is grateful, it got its rescue a week ago. 

I cut the quilt into 3" squares and put them back together by butting them up against each other and stitching with invisible thread.  I learned a lot as I went but it was in the end pretty simple.  And I think it turned out well.  Even the ugly strips which form the back look better.  The back is really crazy as the original quilt front was 4 patches using the strips.  And as a bonus I found a roll of binding, cut pressed and not used that just went right.

Pictures tell the story better so here is the front and now the crazy back.

I can say I now really like the quilt.  I learned a lot putting it together about butting up quilted vs. non quilted sections.  But a project is best when there is learning.  It took only a relatively short time to make the change in the quilt.  Would I do it again?  Yes if I disliked the quilt enough.  Katie Fowler believes in 'What if?' and it is fun to say that and then try it.  Nothing to lose.

The quilt is bright; I get my lovely red and it is not in the landfill.

Sunday, 6 May 2018

Time away and quilt ideas

A lot of fun getting away and seeing different things and catching up with good friends.  But quilting is never very far from my my mind and the fields and flowers of Scotland and the tulip fields outside of Amsterdam were wonderful inspiration.  In Scotland every town and farm had masses of daffodils in bloom on the roadside; nodding in the breeze and declaring that Spring was here.  The hills rising out of the valleys were rich blocks of various greens bordered by the rock walls.  The fields were full of sheep and their tiny lambs; like dots on the hillside.  Home.

The gardens at Keukenhof outside of Amsterdam were fantastic and so beautifully landscaped.  Lots of fun pictures.  Now comes the hard part - finding time to create some art quilts of my memories.   From the plane going into Schiphol, you could see there were strips and strips of colour below us.  A strip quilt comes to mind with lots of French knots; lots and lots.

Some lovely landscaping with the magnolias out
 This view was from the gardens into nearby tulips fields.  Now imagine that from the air; acres and acres of neat rows of colour.  The vibrancy of the colours were stunning.  Massed blocks of reds, purples, yellows, whites and blues.
Fields of colour everywhere

Before that though it has been a busy time; getting ready to go away and then recovering from the trip and a cold generously bestowed by a seatmate on my return flight.  Two weeks lost to coughs and sniffles.  No quilting inspiration there.  But it did allow some time to mull over potential projects and possible quilt designs.  There is always some good to be found.

I did manage to finish a quilt belonging to a client that I hated to give up.  Stitch in the ditch was challenging but with lovely results and the feathers just added to the look.  Have a look at the beautiful job the maker did on creating the quilt.   Fresh off the frame.

The back looks wonderful too.   The design translated to the back beautifully.

On to the next one which has a simple meandering on a beautiful traditional quilt.  So much fun making quilts have personality.  Each stage of a quilt from beautiful fabrics through to the quilting makes the quilt come alive.  It is a partnership between the maker and the quilter.   

A pile of fabrics and a pattern become a beautiful gift like this one above.