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Here’s an idea for a quick quilt to match your bedroom décor. This quilt was made by my mother for her granddaughter, my sister’s daughter. Sally had recently repainted her bedroom and her mother had bought her new bedding to tone in with the Lavender walls. Her old quilt no longer fitted in with this new colour scheme, and a new quilt was required.
My mother, went back to the shop where the bedding had been bought and bought a king size duvet cover in the same pattern, one side had very large cabbage roses printed on it, not suitable for cutting into small pieces, so that side would be used for the backing, the other side an easier fabric to cut up being an all over swirling pattern.
Using small amounts of toning fabric, a paler green Broderie Anglaise, bright and greyed Lavenders, dark Blue, and Teal green, with large amounts of the duvet fabric in an oversized 18inch block, she achieved a pattern apparently floating in space.
I have been looking at the photographs trying to see where the block begins and ends. I think it’s an asymmetric 4 patch block, 4 of which are placed in the centre of the quilt each one rotated 90 degrees from its neighbour. There’s an extra half block strip top and bottom to make the quilt rectangular.It was a lovely quilt when it was made, and a great idea for making a quilt to tone in with an existing décor.
The bedding was polycotton and has long since worn out and been made into dusters, and the quilt, although still in existence, up close has the appearance of worn poly fabrics, stray fibres pilling across surface. I think I could shave them off with a safety razor to improve the appearance, but to be honest I like the fact that it shows wear and tear, it is what it is, and sometimes when well used quilts are a little tatty, they invite further use. No longer preciously perfect, they can be used, thrown about, even sicked on without conscience, and enjoyed.
When I see a quilt which has lived it’s life packed away in a drawer kept for best, or for a wedding day which never happened, I feel sorry that someone’s handiwork lost its purpose, and the point of its making was missed. Quilts are for using, and enjoying, signs of wear are badges of honour for a quilt.
Pictured is a little piece of work of my mother’s which she gave me, a rose for St Valentine’s Day, this is a sweet little hanging which is paper pieced using four different patterned fabrics to create the rose flower plus a single green for the leaves. The flower centre is from the fabric used for the binding, mum has used yellow French knots of embroidery silks to create the sense of pollen covered anthers in the rose centre.
This was a challenge, I think the theme was celebration, and this is a perfect little gift for Valentine’s Day, a keepsake, a rose that won’t wither. Thanks Mum, I love you too.
What do you do if you don’t like the challenge block? Hide it.
This Lap quilt is made using the Churn Dash block (or monkey wrench), I think it was the favourite block of our most venerated late member and the instigator of our quilt group’s challenge, Cecily. But I dislike it. I wanted to rise to the challenge as always but I find the block rather pedestrian, perhaps because I’ve only made it in co-ordinated colours and plain fabrics, so a decided to do it in heavily patterned fabrics and mix it up so that the pattern was lost and the fabric became the star of the piece rather than the block.
Good idea, but I think I took it too far, the pattern is completely lost and with it the sense of rhythm to the quilt top, as a consequence what stands out are the pale squares, rather than the fabric in general. All of the fabrics are Liberty scraps from the printer’s factory shop, I’m so lucky to live nearby; I call in occasionally to buy craft packs, but I can also buy off the roll if I have a big project in mind.
In other senses I’m happy with the quilt; it hangs beautifully flat and straight and is evenly quilted throughout. I created my own wavy line quilt guide using taped together strips of cereal packet, with a hand drawn wavy line. On one side the wavy edge has wide and fairly flat curves, on the other side they are closer together and therefore appear deeper. I used the flatter side, drew on the lines with an air dispersible pen, and chalk pencil taking the quilt pattern right out in a continuous line to the edge of the quilt.
I like the curvy line quilting because it’s easy to do and does not rely on the accuracy of the piecing, in fact if your piecing is not accurate curvy line quilting is very forgiving. That’s always a good thing.
Santa brought me a Sizzix Big Shot, I’d seen apple core quilts on Pinterest and coveted them, so when I discovered how the pieces were cut I coveted the Sizzix machine as well, but I couldn’t justify buying one just to have a go at making a quilt. My Dearest however thought it would make an excellent gift this Christmas. I am delighted with it and have already begun cutting apple cores from my stash.
If you are not familiar with this piece of equipment it’s a die cutter, basically a miniature mangle, which presses dies (a shape cutting blade) onto whatever you want to cut the shape in, paper, card or fabric, mostly used by card makers and other crafty people. I have already worked out that I can use it for appliqué, with bondaweb, and to make other paper crafts as yet not crystalised but bubbling away at the back of my head ( no doubt you’ll be the first to know when I get round to trying out my as yet vague ideas)
I always find myself wondering how other quilters manage to make such well balanced colour coordinated Scrap quilts, I generally find I struggle to have the right amount of sufficient variation of colour and pattern to make a balanced quilt; do you think maybe they cheat? Maybe they go out and buy new fabrics to achieve the look they want and then just call it a scrap quilt? Surely not!
I have pulled a few fabrics from my stash and cut them into apple cores but together they lack a certain something, I’m not sure what exactly and don’t want to cut any more till I know what it is that’s missing; the dreaded yellow perhaps, or maybe greater variation of darks and lights, at the moment what I have cut are mainly mid shades. I shall need to pull out a great many more fabrics from my stash and throw them in a pile I think, then pare it back, pulling out the ones that don’t work, till I have the right mix.
Having said that I think one of my weaknesses is a need to control, perhaps, as it’s a scrap quilt I should just throw it all in and let it all hang out, wherever the fabrics fall… if you see what I mean, and pardon my clichés.
The truth is I didn’t pull out of my stash the fabrics I love, I pulled out the fabrics I could spare, the unloved and languishing bits, so it’s no wonder they aren’t yet making an inspiring mix. I need inspiration, one or two well chosen fabrics to pull it all together, or white, or navy? Oh Help! What I really need is a few days of free time in my studio to let this quilt come together.