Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Autumn completed and summer started!

I know it's not seasonal but that's just the way it is! Actually I finished this quilt a couple of weeks ago but kept forgetting to photograph it in daylight.
The raw edge appliquéd leaves are all printed using Thermofax screens and then machine quilted into place. They are not bonded as I wanted them to create a slight shadow on the surface of the quilt.
It took me quite a time to achieve the effect I wanted but I think I got there in the end!
I have now begun work on my final piece of this seasonal quartet which is inspired by photographs of wisteria taken at Wightwick Manor last July.
I really like these trailing pale purple blooms and I am enjoying experimenting with different ways to translate them into fabric. I think there may be more than one piece of work that comes from this summery starting point.

I am quite happy with how this is looking. The background is a white rectangle of fabric with a curved strip of green fabric inserted into it. The 'blossoms' are cut from a hand dyed fabric and bonded into place.
This time I cut a rectangle of black fabric and gave it the same treatment but changing the curve slightly and the positioning of the 'blossoms'. I am considering six of these black and white backgrounds which reflect the mock Tudor facade of this Victorian manor house.

A friend was recently asked if she could finish a quilt for someone whose sight was failing and she brought it along to a meeting last week. The quilt top is almost complete so we set about removing the many hundreds of papers which were fascinating in their own right. Old letters, some hand written, some typed, programmes from theatrical productions, accounts, magazine pages etc. These papers were carefully collected as they tell such an interesting story about the maker.
The reverse of this quilt top looks as good as the front. It was an interesting design of units made from two pairs of octagons using two different fabrics with small squares linking them together.
I think I might be sorting out some suitable papers and cutting them up in readiness for a new ongoing project.....
I wonder how many of us have paper pieced projects tucked away somewhere!
Thanks for reading.


Monday, 10 March 2014

Spring quilt finished

You almost feel guilty spending time in the house when the sun is shining, as it has done here for the last few days, but I found time to finish Catkins and Pussy Willows last week.
I was pleased with the way the staggered binding worked using a mixture of some of the fabrics used in the panels.
As you can see in this detail, there is quite a lot of hand quilting and stitch embellishment to highlight the texture of the plants. It was quite a challenge to leave some background areas un-quilted but I like the contrast of the surfaces.
Now I must complete the autumn quilt, which seems rather untimely but it has been pinned on my design wall for several months and I have finally decided what is needed to finish it. I know that if I leave a piece of work it is usually because I'm not happy with it and I have to wait for that 'eureka' moment which usually happens at 3 in the morning!
Apologies for the quality of the photograph, but hopefully you can see how this is developing. When I am totally happy with the arrangement of the leaves then they will be machine appliquéd in place.
We took advantage of the sunshine on Sunday and went for a stroll around the grounds of nearby Witley Court, a 19th century mansion which was devastated by fire over seventy five years ago. The extensive grounds are gradually being restored to their former glory with the added attractions of an adventure playground (for the grandchildren) and a tea room (for us!).

This amazing stone fountain of Andromeda and Perseus is still being restored and is famous for shooting jets of water 100 foot into the air whilst sounding like an express train!
Many areas of the building have restricted access because of the danger of falling masonry but it still offers many little gems such as this beautiful stone carving.
I'm looking forward to visiting again in a couple of months when the rhododendrons are in flower.
Hope you managed to enjoy some spring sunshine too.

Thank you for reading,