Old textile work was found in my drawer last week. I had discovered a few unfinished projects. This week I had planned new art quilts I had mentioned in last week’s blog. However, having been ill all week, I could not manage much at all.
Friday saw me scramble to get something done and I started my second project with the pink and green fabric. However it is feeling a bit like the other project and I want it to be different. I have an idea for it now.
Old Textile Work
First though I went back to the old textile work. In my drawer was a four year old project (does not feel that long ago). Based on a photo in Tunisia, and a subsequent drawing as well as an altered image idea. I had gathered all my fabrics only to shove it all in a drawer owing to the death of a loved one. Yesterday I managed to finish it. Not strictly a quilt as it has no wadding, this stitched picture is now complete. I think my object here was to use as many fabrics as I could and this packs in at least eight. Is that a record for a tiny piece?
No sooner have you finished one, that another old textile work beckons. This is one I lost confidence with. It was my very first piece of free motion stitching on a painting. So wobbly, but I think I can pull it together now.
There are still lots of art quilts to get down into fabric and stitch. I am also about to launch my next Inspiration ebook – Domes, Towers and Turrets. It’s been very exciting to work on this one and it is the last of the themes for the moment. There are 14 of them and 3 art/travel ones. Next up in February or March will be the original themes I started doing before I got waylaid. These are not just photos but textile work. More about that next time. Visit the website to see all my work.
With my small art quilts I am moving on this week to new ways of creating art quilts. I am working with scraps, paint and digitally. However before I show you those, I want to show what I finished last week. No less than five small art quilts. I did not make any changes to the Seagull quilt but he is now on the website for sale as are all the quilts, just click the links. However, the Kingfisher quilt has a few new tail feathers. I also made a change to the Bird Quilt, he now has an eye and the gold pieces are couched onto the black. The skeleton leaf was causing problems but is now fixed. How? See the ecourse for modern quilts to learn this and many more techniques.
There Are Always More Fish In The Sea
Three fish to be exact. This was a small art quilt that I thought was finished, but I had a little niggle, the left hand side looked empty. I tried a buoy, but making it look as if it was submerged was difficult and I abandoned that idea. Then looking for something else, I came across a piece of silk rod that was perfect. Then to finish it off, in the same bag was a plied yarn. I am really happy with this now.
This is the largest of these small art quilts. Inspired by the River Don and the cutlery industry in Sheffield, this quilt was made with my handmade rusted fabrics. It is a subtle palette and good viewed up close. It has the most quilting I have done to date. N.B. Yes I know stainless steel does not rust. You can see the quilt here
I am working on more ideas and hope to finish three pieces this week. There is a small scrap picture quilt. I have started the sky, not thought about the rest of it yet. I have ideas for four larger pieces, one based on my mother, the others city scapes. More about that next time.
Art Quilts Birds added in my second week in January is three art quilts birds finished and two more I shall finish tomorrow. It’s looking good. These make superb wall quilts or wall decor.
New Art Quilts
It’s always lovely to start new projects, but it’s even lovelier to finish them and that’s the goal for this year. All these art quilts form part of my new forthcoming ecourse and you can join me online. I am teaching all aspects of art quilts of every kind. It’s good for beginners up as the quilts start off easy and build your skills as you go. You’ll learn many different techniques.
Kingfisher Art Quilt
I have also started off small. I believe this is a great idea for beginners because small quilts are easier to handle. I have painted kingfishers in the past, so I had a reference of my own to work from for this quilt. He was fun to do and also fits into my River Don series. This is also a good design for using large scraps. This one is already up on the website for sale.
Seagull Art Quilt
My seagull was inspired by my own photos taken in Bridlington in 2015. I am not the most confident at drawing, but I did a whole sheet of seagull drawings before choosing three to make in fabric. The background to this one is a leftover from another art quilt.
Bird Art Quilt
My bird came from a bought fabric that I could not resist. I put the finishing touches to this one this week. I am pleased with the outcome of all three. They use similar methods. Next week, I’ll be using a different way to make art quilts. So see you then, take care and happy quilting.
It was such a busy week, I also launched a new ebook. Reflections is also now available on the website. It features over 470 images and examples of my work too.
Day 22 quilting, means I am two thirds of the way through this epic blog challenge. I got so carried away I did not realise. This has become natural to me now, to get up and write the blog each day. Today is all about checking finished quilts that had not been uploaded to the website and getting that done. Not my favourite task, but it won’t sell if no-one sees it.
Not as much missing as I imagined. Guess who has a very tidy workroom now? All ready for the next episode in my quilting adventure.
The pattern for this one was up, but not the actual quilt, which is for sale as a one-off. So grab it while you can. It is rather a favourite of mine.
For some reason, I finished this one but it did not get listed in any format at all. There will be a pattern for this too, but for today, I’ll just list the quilt itself. Again an original one-off. Another one I am fond of too. This quilt forms part of my River Series of quilts, based on the River Don as it flows from the Pennines to Goole.
Top Quilting Tips
Do you have lots of UFOs? Here are my top tips for finishing work:
When you design it yourself, you know you can make it and finish it
Choose what interests you
Challenge yourself every so often but within reason
Stick close to your ability but learn something new
Set aside a time each day or each weekend to quilt
Only move onto a new project when you have finished the last (that’s a tough one!)
On day 22 quilting we have looked at original quilts today, so take 20% discount on any of the original quilts for sale. Some are already marked down, if they are not, please contact me, and I will do the discount for you. If they are marked down at 20% or more already, there is no further discount. Check back tomorrow for another discount. Some discounts end shortly, so do not miss out.
Day 21 quilting, the solstice. The longest night. The shortest day. The marking of winter. Yule tide and the Norse god Thor. Do you celebrate? Whilst I do not light fires, I do inwardly celebrate the returning of longer days. At each of the solstices the sun actually stays in one place for a while. The sun is at its lowest point for us in the northern hemisphere at 4.20 am on Sunday the 22nd. It is a huge difference of less than 8 hours in daylight time to the summer solstice. No wonder things start to look dark and depressing at this time of year. Yet inwardly we mark the significant step of the coming of spring. You can read more about it here
One way of getting rid of winter blues, is to use this period of time for inspiration. Whether it is as a design subject for quilts or a way of having a ritual cleansing. Ridding yourself of everything old and unwanted and making way for the new.
I am engaged in a bit of that myself. Looking at the fabrics I have left, looking at what I have designed and how far I have come on my quilt journey and more importantly, where I want to go next. For me, it is a time to move forwards. I have also been through all my writing, checking what needs finishing and what needs to get going. I’ll talk more about this in the coming week. Some of my ice quilt designs:
Two New Inspiration Books
Winter Inspiration is about to be launched highlighting my photos taken during winter for the past several years. The second launch is my Quilting Journey so far. In the latter you can read about the quilts I have made so far and how I designed them.
Day 21 quilting why not order an ebook for someone special? Did you know that the ebooks can be delivered straight to the email of the person you are ordering them for? This means they could be delivered on Xmas morning. An ideal last minute surprise gift, or great for someone you have overlooked. They are all full of colour images and inspiration sent as pdfs, so easy to read. At just 7.99 they make a wonderful gift. Take 20% off today only, making them even more of a bargain. All the ebooks can be seen here. You’ll find quilting ones, textiles, inspiration, artworks, publishing and gardening all covered.
Day 5 quilting of the December challenge. I am in for the long haul, others might not have the stamina. Initiated by Muppin, we (those of us taking part) blog about quilting for the whole month. Stick around for tips, techniques and discounts.
Theme of the day for Day 5 quilting is the first project I made. I am going with my first machine made quilt. Sometimes I might deviate from the suggested theme, but today seems like a good topic for any quilter. My quilting started slowly, very slowly. I found it hard, no that is too gentle, impossible to follow instructions in books. I had dreams, big dreams of making quilts, but I was stuck on square one. There are only two things to do in that position a) give up or b) find a way through. I am no quitter, so the latter was the way to go.
Designing My Own Quilt
I got up one day and thought ‘There is no way that fabric can stay in the drawer any longer’. I took it out and began to quilt. A simple strip roll with two added fabrics as ominous as an old bed sheet and broderie anglaise turned into not only my first bed sized quilt but one of my favourites. It’s on my bed for some time to come.
Advent Calendar Christmas Countdown
My gift to you today is 20% off any finished quilt design. A quilt ready to enhance your own home. These are mainly lap quilts or large wall hangings. Some are one-offs, some are repeatable, some even have a bigger discount. All are unique designs. Grab them while you can. They are on offer for one day only. Tomorrow there will be another discount.
From Quilt Design to Completion, this morning I finished designing the scrap quilt. Boy that feels good. It took a few twists and turns along the way but it is finished and I love it. Finishing a quilt design always brings euphoria! Or should that be sewphoria!
Progressing the Design
Last time I left you with the rectangles made and pondering where to go from there. It seems a lifetime has passed by. Many quilt ideas came and bit the dust since 31 October 2019. I spent a lot of time pinning things to the design wall and taking them down and re-pinning. From Quilt Design to Completion has been quite a journey. I kept an open mind throughout.
All design brings challenges and it is how we deal with those challenges that make or break the design. The particular challenge here was that I was dealing with different lengths and different widths of rectangle. Somehow I had to make it coherent. There were a few crazy ideas along the way.
Bringing It All Together
Eventually something always clicks. It might come immediately, or it might take weeks, but it always happens. Patience is a virtue. Once it falls into place, it is like a dream. Every scrap of that Eagle fabric was used. Each decision you make along the process affects the final design. I had to add more length and width and opted for bands of colour. I also chose a matching fabric in colour and theme for the main player.
The Finished Lap Quilt
Finally everything fell into place and the quilt was easy to finish. This unique quilt is on sale here, ready for one lucky buyer. The full instructions to make a quilt like this will be on sale in the quilts and patterns section of the website, so please take a look. You can also take the Design and Quilting ecourse to learn how to design your own quilts. Last of all check out the past blogs on this quilt and don’t forget to read the blog every Monday. Thanks for stopping by.