Happiness is …

working slowly ….

In the intermission between tea-time, bath-time and bed-time, I sat on the bench in the garden and worked some quilting. One stitch at a time, the project is slowly filling out, from the centre of the piece, reaching the edges and starting to near completion. In the peace of the evening garden, still full of sunlight and shadows, all was quiet … and it reminded me how wonderful it is, sometimes, to just be able to sit quietly and absorb the silence, letting my thoughts run where they want, while my fingers are occupied.

 It all started as a simple log-cabin patchwork cushion … destined as a gift for a friend who is moving away at the end of term. She’s going on a big adventure – she and her family have rebuilt an ancient cottage and are hoping to move into in in the middle of August, so I wanted to make her something for her new home, but that would remind her of her time here. The central hearth is cut from a school sweatshirt, and I chose scraps of co-ordinating linen to surround it.

 As chance would have it, I had an old man’s shirt in stash, and I thought that the colours and pattern would work perfectly with the front of the cushion …. and because I’m most dreadfully lazy, I thought I could massively cheat on the closing by using the existing button fastenings.

With the piecing done, I pinned on batting and backing … lots of pins to hold everything steady until the stitches joined it all together.

The surface quilting is done in cotton thread, in alternating white, pale blue and pale gold to echo the colours of the fabric beneath. I love the way the quilting helps to make a series of separate pieces of fabric a single, coherent whole.

It’s been a lovely project to work on … I like being able to take my time and let the piece evolve – all the flowers are free-form, and I hadn’t initially planned on incorporating the text ‘Bless This House’ into the piece … but it just worked.

I want to do more work like this … I hoped to join in with the mini-quilts quilt along over at WhipUp, but  I’ve got another commission on hand for a wedding gift which will also be a small, quilted cushion cover, and that will pretty much knock me out until we head out for our Summer Holidays.

I will have to hold on … I’m going to treat myself to Jude’s ‘Cloth to Cloth’ quilt weaving workshop in September, and I’m incredibly excited about learning this new technique and exploring how it will change my own work. A new adventure for me to look forward to :)

5 Responses to Happiness is …

  1. lol … lazy arse? :)

    The hand-quilting is the *fun* part, for me … it adds that extra element of depth and texture and detail that goes beyond what a machine adds. It is, though, such a personal thing … I don’t enjoy knitting at all – it drives me demented, but I’ll quite happily spend forever hand-embroidering/quilting – in a process that is equally repetitive and endlessly detailed.

    (Though I have to say that with HTRYN, I will, effectively, be rewriting the novel from scratch having analysed it to the n-th detail).

  2. That’s lovely. You know, you’re inspiring me. I’m considering trying to do a small lap quilt or miniature, doing hand quilting. Something different for me, since I love the speed of the machine!

    • Machine quilting … well, it has its place and I use it from time-to-time. But for me, there’s nothing that can beat the satisfaction of a hand-quilted piece – both the process and the end result! I hope you try it out … I’d love to see where you go with it :)

      • It’s funny — I can’t imagine using a knitting machine, rather than knitting by hand, but I have this block when it comes to hand-quilting. It just seems so much work for something that’s already *done.* (Think that might have something to do with why I’m skipping HTRYN and embracing Dean Wesley Smith’s mantra of “don’t edit beyond a spelling and grammar check”?)

  3. Delightful. Thanks for sharing your moment of peace.

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