Thursday, 23 August 2012

The House Quilt

This quilt came about after I saw a similar quilt at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham a couple of years ago. That quilt used a regular sized house repeated in the middle of an all white block, made in different solid fabrics, then heavily machine quilted. I just loved how wonderfully spare it all was, so simple but so much texture. Mine differs in that I got a bit carried away after the first little box house and so I started playing with all of the house shapes that you might have ever drawn as a child. I used a tight colour palate but added in some patterned fabrics, stripes etc for variation ( I definitely lack the discipline of the true minimalist!)
I asked my kids to draw me their dream houses, they drew toadstools and wigwams, It includes all of the houses we've lived in. It was all wonky pieced out of scraps. It was a lot of fun to make. I quilted circles to break up the geometry, I backed it with a little square of each colour in the middle of each block back. I could have kept going and going with this one, but decided to stop at village sized, but wouldn't a long city vista pieced this way look fab? The London skyline anyone, I'm sure its been done?

I Heart Holidays!

This quilt is the ultimate homage to holidays and ice cream! Perfect combination, no? We have a favourite family holiday spot in France, and in perfectly chic french style the local icecream shop has the MOST divine artwork! On a cool coffee cream background are geometrically arranged icecream cones in the most chic of colour combinations. For two years I marvelled ( and ate icecream!), after the third year I decided it had to be a quilt! Now this was a real labour of love as it involved more than 20 carefully picked colours from the Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton range ( for those of you new to quilting Kona cottons are the ultimate when it comes to finding just the perfect shade of any colour, they offer over 200 different solid colour fabrics and you can select the colours using a super duper fold out colour chart that are most sort after by serious quilters! ( he he, I NEVER lend mine out!))There then followed a LOT of careful drafting of patterns and layouts as their artwork uses a complicated repeat so it looks like there is even more variation than there is! It was a maths challenge! I then appliqued each icecream to its 'brick' in the grid, there was an anguished sewing together marathon ( 'Please kids don't move any of them!'). I quilted around each cone and also quilted shadows of each cone in the plain section at the top of the quilt. Then on the back added my little message to my holiday paradise, check it out if you ever get the chance - oh and make sure you get an icecream while you're there!

Summer Sewing

Well this little blog has been a bit empty of new quilty pictures this summer but that doesn't mean I've not been sewing! I managed to twist my ankle down a rabbit hole on a dog walk on the glorious morning of the first day of the summer holidays and have spent the last 4 weeks in various casts and splints hobbling around! Now sadly that's meant that the computer ( upstairs) has been very neglected, hence the lack of quilty piccies, but it does mean that 4 weeks of foot up rest has been very productive for my quilt output! Ive spent the summer mostly finishing up various projects and i have managed to put a nice dent into the stack of quilt tops awaiting hand quilting! This one I call my Taj Mahal Quilt. Its very bright for me, but was a real push outside of my comfort zone colourwise. Its supposed to be a kind of Slumdog Millionaire/Mathew Williamson inspired hot summer quilt, doesn't it look fab in amongst the lush summer greens of the daylillies?

The fabric is Amy Butler, from the Soul Blossoms Range ( with a bit of Kaffe Fasset too), which you can still get hold of ( its a couple of years old), if not her latest range called Lark is starting to be available in the UK now and is very similar in vibe. I bought a fat quarter bundle with the plan to make bunting originally. It makes knockout bunting by the way - I have strings of it zig zagging my covered porch area outside the back door. I loved it so much I figured I needed to make a quilt too. I made the pattern up as i went along. I used shapes found in Indian and Moorish architecture and appliqued the blocks first. When i started out i was a bit scared of how MUCH pattern there was, so i separated them by using the solid colour backgrounds, but then i got more comfortable with it and I decided on the lush border using small squares on point as it kind of reminded me of a tiled floor? This is a definite example where you have to jump in with both feet and embrace the riot of patchwork! I wasn't sure I would love it to begin with but I really do, its such a perfect summery quilt, I figured you'd enjoy sharing it here.