Saturday, 22 February 2014

Atomic Modern Applique Quilt

Half term. What a difference a week makes. Last week it was all mud, mud, rain, repeat here. We have quite a menagerie (dog, cat, chickens,ponies, 3 kids) which means I get more than my fair share of time with the mop and the (once) cream kitchen floor tiles when the weather is like that. Today, just a week, but a whole season later, the sun is shining, my blossom trees are heralding spring and I'm getting some long awaited projects starting to come to fruition.

There's been lots of happy making here this week and without the relentless ticking of the school run clock I have managed to get a lot of hand sewing jobs done that usually seem to get put to the bottom of the pile. I think it's as you know before you even start that you're not going to get to tick that job off of your list in the 45mins you have before school is out so I tend to keep on procrastinating.

I have been working on this quilt since the spring last year. The pattern is an adaptation of my own Modern Applique pattern that I teach as a class at PlainStitch. I made a 9 block version originally for the class using the relaunched Flea Market Fancy prints. I had also made a softer vintagey version in soft greens and pinks here. I had had this stack of fabrics pulled for months. I tried out a pieced tulip block with them but nothing was really working out, doubt crept in. The yellow was a bit too acid and I wasn't sure about my fabric picks. I had planned this to be 'Atomic', as in mid century, like my Nanas groovy bedspreads from the 1950's. Full of new age optimism and bold colour choices. In the end the Ode to Orla block of my pattern ( middle right) decided it for me. I wondered how cool it would look in these Orla-ish colours, and then Bang, I was away. I made a 6 block version of my pattern as an example for my class as 9 blocks can be intimidating to new hand applique students. I added some extra applique to the sashing too.

 I quilted my favourite random circles. This quilt was made almost entirely by hand, hand applique, hand quilting, hand finished binding. I love this kind of quilt that takes time to come to fruition, it's been a pleasure to make and actually a little bit bittersweet to finish it. That's the thing about hand swing, it's never overwhelming, it never feels like a 'job' to be completed, it just gets chipped away at, picked up and put down again,gradually, imperceptibly, finished.

I have the perfect place for it to get shown off, somewhere vintagey with cool grey walls and splashes of mid century colour .I can't wait to show you what else I've been working on this half term. Watch the blog for more.

NB: The Modern Applique class starts again on 2nd May, come and join us, and check out last years finished class quilts in my Students Gallery page.