Friday, 27 April 2012

Quilts from leftovers

Reading Kathleen Loomis's blog today  I was reminded that she set me off on a new project after Christmas and although it is far from finished, what she said today echoed some of the feelings I have had about the quilt I am making solely from fabric I found in my stash.

In November Kathleen said she had a long time ago taken her unused and unloved fabrics and used them to make simple traditional quilts.  I decided to do something similar.  One reason this seemed like a good idea was that after slipping in the shower and pulling/tearing some ligaments in my knee really badly, I needed something that I could make without going out to the studio.  The day I started stitching I made a big mistake and worsened my leg badly by using the foot control but then I realised that one of the reasons I had bought the Bernina I did in January was that it has a switch which enables you to work it without using your feet at all.  This was the answer!  It was a bit like swopping from a manual to an automatic car and I don't think it works for free machine quilting because you have to press the switch to stop, but for straight stitching it is fine once you get the hang of it.

I went through my stash and pulled out vast quantities of fabric, much of which no longer spoke to me.  At the end of this exercise I was surprised to realise that a lot of it fitted together in terms of colour.  I suppose we all tend to work in certain colour ranges and I know I am (a) very fond of yellow and (b) much more of a blue/green/cool side of the spectrum person than I am a lover of hot colours.  I decided on simple nine patch blocks and made a lot of them.

There is a lot of yellow because I made a wedding present quilt with yellow in it last year and there was plenty left.  I decided that the overall effect is of 'acid' colours.

I then simply sewed the blocks into rows until I had a top that was large enough for a lap quilt.

Then Journal Quilts got in the way and I didn't pick it up again for weeks.  I found a half yard piece that was big enough for a one inch wide inner border and then made an second border from two rows of squares, using up a lot of the ones left from the nine piece blocks.  Yesterday I finally got around to starting to attach the border to the quilt.  And it was a case of 'started'.  I had forgotten what it like to work with large pieces and despite close pinning I found I had to restitch a lot of it because the very narrow border and the 56 inch wide top kept parting company!

I am not into working for hours at a time at the moment as I am back using the large sewing machine and still have to watch my knee and leg so I only got two sides done but I guess it is progress.  And it was quite cheering to read Kathleen's blog about the problems of dealing with large pieces, even if her quilt is vastly superior to mine!

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