Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Covent Garden

Covent Garden is in the current issue of Australian Patchwork & Quilting magazine (Vol 22 No 11).

It's an easy flannel quilt - flannel quilts need to be relatively straightforward because the flannel doesn't lend itself well to small pieces.

It's actually pieced in blocks (18 straight, 7 curved) in a 5x5 layout, but I started by laying out all the coloured pieces together to get a  good balance.

The photos above and below show the effect lighting has. They were both taken outside in natural, indirect light, but the top one used a fill-in flash to minimise the shadowing and move the focus from the quilting to the piecing/fabrics. The bottom one allows the shadowing created by the angled sunlight to emphasise the texture of the quilting.

The quilting is a free-hand allover pattern based on the open feathers I often use. The flower pattern is created by quilting 2 feathers, then swirling up into a question mark, and quilting some half-circles around the 'head' of the question mark. It creates a lovely effect, but does take some thinking about which way to quilt each question mark (facing forwards or back-to-front) to end up in the right place to go where you need to fill next. A few times I slipped up, but it's easy to fill the odd spaces with an extra flower head or another feather 'leaf' or two.

My working name for the quilt was Garden Paths, but the quilting pattern made me think of flower markets and dropped flowers. While I was sewing the binding on one evening, I introduced James and Eleanor to one of my favourite movies - My Fair Lady; in which Eliza Doolittle collects and sells flowers at Covent Garden.

Most of the fabrics are Valori Wells prints, but there are a couple (the larger dots) by Amy Butler, two generic tone-on-tones and a random hot pink poodle print - plus the border stripe.

For consistency, I bound the quilt in flannel, but a full, double-fold binding is really too thick in flannel (I've tried it and it works, but it's bulkier than I'd like, and they seem more prone to coming loose) so I cut it about 3/4in narrower than usual and pressed in 3/8 - 1/2in along one edge (for hand-sewing to the back) before machining the other edge to the front of the quilt.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Other things

You could be forgiven for thinking I don't know how to do other things - but I do! I just don't do them very often!

I knitted my first garment.

We spent a week skiing.

And I've been sorting photos and starting to get our albums up-to-date - they stopped when Eleanor was about a month old! When she was one, I ordered 2500 prints (covering 12 months) which sat untouched for about 5 years. I don't do the whole scrap-booking thing, but I do like to lay my photos out nicely on the pages and label them. I've got about 2000 photos in, which filled the 4 albums and umpteen refills I had already, though they're not labelled yet. I've ordered more albums and refill pages and am sorting through our many, many photos (thankfully well filed), choosing which to print and preparing (editing and cropping) them. My aim is to be roughly caught-up by the end of the year.

(It takes a while to get 2500 photos in proper order!)

And I've read a lot.

My sewing machine stood, switched off, for an unprecedented month or more! But last week I jumped back into it with a quick summer project for Australian Patchwork & Quilting - here's a peek:

Today I'm working with James on his latest quilt. I'm getting him to do more himself this time, such as most of the cutting. I'm also getting him to think things through and work out what to do next, and how (e.g. which pieces to sew together first and how to flip them to get the right edges pinned together). It's agonisingly slow, but satisfying for both of us.