Friday, 15 February 2013

Gone quilting

I've been a bit silent again. It's that time of year when I don't seem to manage to pack quite as much into the days, and I suddenly turn around and find that a whole three weeks have passed. But now it's half term, a welcome break after only 5 weeks back at school, particularly after the tortuousness of those long weeks of the Winter term. So I've been potching* about with my scrap vomit again, trying to make a decision on quilting those inner diamonds.

planning

I've had Making Welsh Quilts: The Textile Tradition that Inspired the Amish? on perpetual renewal from the library for a while now, thinking it was out of print, but I've just stumbled upon it over at The Book Depository for a mere £5.68, so I'm adding it to my library guilt-free! It's a really wonderful book, with lots of historical background to the Welsh quilting tradition, as well as projects and quilting designs, which has really inspired me to want to branch out into some serious hand-quilting. I've also pencilled in another pilgrimage to Saint Fagans, the wonderful National Welsh Life museum near Cardiff, where you can see some beautiful examples of Amgueddfa Cymru's Welsh quilts collection in the flesh.

I'm very taken with the idea of all-over quilting patterns, without being constrained by the pattern of the actual piecing. This time around, however, I really was constrained, as the frequency with which you encounter bulky seams when hand quilting a scrap quilt like this really precludes any overambitious designs. I've already broken several needles stitching those diagonals! Instead, to pick out the big expanses of multicoloured blocks in between the diagonal lines of the dark grey solid, I've gone for a very simple circle, made by drawing around my largest dinner plate, divided into quarters by inner segments traced from the edge of the same plate.

simple medallion reverse of scrap vomit

With decisions finally made, I'm quilting on apace, four medallions down, several more to go. Still slowed down by the threading of the teeny-tiny eyes of those clover needles though. I really love Helen's suggestion in the comments to this post, that I resurrect the tradition of having my children ensure my needles are kept threaded. Can I sell that to them as a useful life-skill?

Scrap vomit, handquilting



*South Walian dialect, meaning something like fiddling with/messing about with. Implies aimlessness. It is a word which suits me well. 
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