Tuesday, 1 September 2009


When I look about me to tell you what's been going on of late all I see are straight lines and right angles.

The long horizontal line of the sunrise is a daily compensation for children who rise early, and a chance to contemplate the infinite variety in such an oft repeated sight. When I'm not sleep walking into walls.

A neat square pile of sewing and knitting. Nothing in here that's required me to cut or sew a curve, although sewing bathers will soon become a major undertaking, no doubt accompanied by much error making, swearing and wasted fabric. Which is perfectly acceptable when learning new and hard skills.

But I can't move on until I've dispensed with the last of our critical bedding requirements.

First up, Amy's muslin quilt. Not really a quilt, just patchwork of muslin print fabrics backed with a pale butter yellow muslin rectangle, this is her very hot night sleep cover, early morning snuggler and cubby maker. Its creation was necessitated by fierce competition over wil's one at play time, plus me really wanting to find a good use for the lovely odd pieces of super lightweight prints I seemed to have accumulated.

Next up I added yet another piece to Wil's ever evolving cot quilt (you can read about stage one and two here and here). In the photo above the original quilt is the red area. I then added the piece above the red area and this last addition was the strip down the right. The other side looks like thiswith the new bit being the red and orange strip down the left. I finally ran out of monks robes but luckily had some red to add in. I have an inexplicable love for this quilt - I just adore it's simple make do ness - and the fact that I have now modified it in a really simple and unrefined way twice only adds to its appeal for me. It is now a smallish single bed size and should do Wil as a bed cover for years. Then it can be mine :-)

It is a huge contrast to Amy's new single bed (150x200cm) quilt in so many ways. I love Amy's one too, but it is heading towards a kind of quilting I don't normally do - the go out and buy bits of expensive fabrics to cut up and sew together kind of quilt. I've posted on this before but for me quilting is about using up scraps - patchwork evolved as a way of being frugal with waste textiles. If I hadn't really needed a quilt and been without my regular stash of bits as I am up here I wouldn't have made something like this. The large expanses of plain are done in cotton linen dress fabric which was not only less expensive than quilting fabric but has already developed a lovely soft washed look that takes a bit of the too perfect edge off for me. Amy adores it and that's what counts I guess.

The last in the quilt series is one for D and I, still a work in progress. Ironically when we came up here this was the only one I had planned! I bought a queen size (210x250cm) piece of bamboo batting at closing time at the stitches and craft show (half price!) and have been contemplating a major quilt since then. I also had a few pieces of fabric that I'd bought as bargains over the last year that hadn't found other uses that I figured could form the base. In consultation with D my chosen pile of fabrics shrunk right down to only three! The lighter grey folded on top is a very fine pin strip cotton linen from the Tessuti bargain box. I had not quite four meters (I'd bought the end of the roll) so with a bit of cutting and sewing I managed to get the backing completely done in this with only a couple of tiny strips left over. The top has a single meter of a really divine prints charming hand print I bought a few years ago planning a dress for Amy that never eventuated (the kid needs more dresses like a hole in the head) but whose appeal has not faded in the least. There's also three meters of a heavy denim look pure linen that I picked up at Joy's fabric warehouse in Geelong (why didn't I buy more? It was a total bargain and even though I've had it for a year as I cut it up for the quilt I really wished I had more for some clothes...) which finished the top and will do all the binding with only the tiniest of scraps left over. I'm more than a little nervous about the actual quilting on this one. With such a simple fabric layout the stitching will be a central visual element and I intend to do it in red, which will further promote it. But the thing is HUGE and very heavy and I'm not at all sure I can give it my preferred random rectilinear stitch treatment. But can I really be happy with just straight lines?

And last but by no means least, I finally cast off the longest gestating rectangle of all, the Stonewall stole. This sucker has been in the works for three and a half months! I really love the final product and I am sure I will love it even more once it has been blocked. It is a great pattern and despite the length of time it took hasn't been at all unpleasant to knit - just long. I'd definitely use the stitch pattern again for a scarf since it looks nice both front and back.


Jodie said...

Wil's quilt is sheer perfection, the changing and growing of it is so wonderful.
The very idea that you can do that excites me.

trashalou said...

I stand in awe of your skill set - making bathers!! Plus that whole modifying of Wil's quilt to make it grow. Oh so clever. Linear is obviously working for you.

eeloh said...

I love the monks' robe quilt, and the one for your own bedroom. Wil's quilt on paper sounds like the craziest thing - what, orange?! - but it works beautifully.

I agree with your philosophy on quilting. I reckon a good quilting fabric is wasted on quilts.

I have an old book of Amish quilts - they're exquisite and in their own way, very simple, with beautiful and complex but muted colours.

I made one up years ago before I found my sewing and colour wings, and it's been a UFO for about 12 years. Hmmm, maybe I'll stick it up on the blog and actually do something about it.

kim at allconsuming said...

Ok, so the quilting I get - my main concern being how quickly I bore of repetitive tasks.

But its all those groovy 'lines', sewing or is it the actual quilting over the patchworking bit that I don't get - your's is funky which I like, nay, love (sometimes all those scrolly type ones make me feel a bit squack) but is it some special machine? Is it just your innate creative ability?

In which case, I am totally screwed.