I wish I could ….
September 20, 2012
How often do you catch yourself saying this? I confess that I do it all the time, particularly when it comes to quilting and design. We are so lucky to have so many opportunities to see the work of other quilters and designers – shows, magazines, books, internet, YouTube etc – but sometimes the viewing and admiring can make you envious (or even despondent!). Instead of getting envious (or despondent) on my own I thought I might, from time to time, post a few pictures and links to quilters whose work I admire so we could perhaps share the envy and wishing we could!
Why not start at the point where I had the idea? – in front of Borderline Quilter’s (aka Kay Bell) quilts at this year’s Festival of Quilts (Click through to Kay’s blog here to see lots more of her lovely work – and maybe leave her a comment too.) Late update: Kay has won Best in Show, Judges Choice and a whole fistful of ribbons at the Scottish Quilt Championships this week – very well-deserved!
I’ve wished I could quilt and design like Kay for a couple of years now – she has a particular gift for space and proportion in her custom designs which have a satisfyingly classic appeal. Her feathers are graceful and really “flow” well. And her machine quilting is pretty good too!
Also hanging at the NEC show this year was one of Andrea Stracke’s beautiful handquilted wholecloths – Andrea’s work is awesome in the true sense of the word. Like Kay she quilts her own designs and the excellence of all aspects of her stitching is completely inspiring. I had seen one of Andrea’s quilts at the Open European Quilt Championships earlier in the year. On that occasion her quilt was hanging in one of the darker areas of the large hall so it was difficult to get a picture that did it justice. Here’s a detail -
And I know I wasn’t the only one battling to get a good picture of Andrea’s quilt at the NEC – the overhead sodium lighting turned the colour of the quilt from a soft lime green to a moderate yellow. This was the best I could do -
Andrea’s work is packed with interesting design detail – she has certainly made her mark with her traditional style quilts. Lots more on her website too ….
My major “I wish I could” for this week is to find some more time for stitching – there has to be a secret to this that I don’t know about. Perhaps it’s too much blog reading or just the start of autumn, but I’m certainly not managing to connect needle to fabric in a meaningful way. Not helped by a slight sidetrack into the murky world of quilting ufo’s (WIPs, PhDs and other stuff you never finished first time around). Buried about halfway down my ufo stack is a set of about 40 handpieced Sawtooth Star blocks. These were begun about five years ago as an aimless project, no deadline, just make cut up fabric and make blocks. And so I did, and it was great – begun with fat quarters from “The Carriage House Collection” by WindhamFabrics, and others added to when they ran out.
An excellent carry-along project and much-used as demo pieces for various classes. Then the day dawned when I’d had enough, knew that a reasonable size quilt could be made with them, and promptly put them away for when I had the time. Does any of this sound familiar to you? Two days ago I was enthusing about the Antique Rose project I’ve just started -
and we got onto the topic of handpiecing, how it’s become SO popular again, how easy and portable it is etc etc. So I fetched out my various hand piecing projects that are waiting for the next stage, including the Sawtooth Stars, some Dresden Fans, the Whigs Defeat blocks … and then everything suddenly became clear. Put the Sawtooth Stars together with the first Whigs Defeat block, use plain muslin for spacers and narrow borders and it will be much better than working with them separately. Here’s the rough floor layout – what do you think?
We thought it looked quite good at the start when we were shuffling blocks around on the table, so this might be a possibility -
At the weekend I’m teaching a Tentmaker applique class, so not much time to pursue this right now. Maybe next week ….