Tag Archives: slow cloth

Wednesday: works in progress …

With the children back at school, I’ve tidied and reorganised the workroom, and taken stock of the various works in progress. I’ve been a bit of a butterfly over the holidays, so I’ve got several pieces on the go at once …

There’s the elemental quilt: ‘earth’ is finished, and ‘air’ is started – but I’m having a dither about what stitch to use, so it’s sitting to one side for a moment …

And there’s the Aqua boro quilt, which is calling me to finish it:

It will probably only stay on the hoop until I finish the diamonds in the centre … once I move outside of them, I think I’ll abandon it. I am pleased with the way the convention of stitches is reversed in this, with running stitch for decoration and cross stitch for hemming. The cross stitch is amazingly functional, in this context …

And, of course, there is the white pieces for the Embroider, Embellish, Create course … I’m happy with the stitching, but need to recover from the tailor’s chalk episode.


And then there’s the what-iffing rail … almost projects – ideas, sketches, beginnings, reworks – some of it may never become any more than this, some of it may become something else … I don’t know at this stage:


It is difficult not to feel overwhelmed, as though time is my enemy and that I have to rush through to complete, complete, complete.

But it’s not about volume, or quantity … it’s about working the piece through to its natural conclusion, and that can’t be rushed. Hand-embroidery is what I love most, and that takes time.

A time for each piece, and each piece in its own time.

image courtesy of Brad Vetter Design

Summer Quilt

The summer holidays are upon us, and I’m winding down for a couple of weeks … family holiday time – YAY!! I’m so looking forward to spending a couple of weeks with the family, without all the rushing about that seems to attend term-time life.

Of course, that doesn’t mean I’m not sewing 😉

I’ve started a little summer quilt – it’s only 1 metre square, but will make a nice little lap quilt, or throw, perhaps.

Lovely subdued shades of blue, turquoise and lilac woven into grey and smokey faded blue denims, seven delicious boro-woven blocks, on the hoop and ready for the surface embroidery that’ll hold it all together.

This is rapidly becoming one of my favourite ways of working … a little more time-consuming than conventional patchwork – even hand-pieced patchwork – but I love the way the stitching and the strips of fabric come together to make a new, complete fabric.

I’m keeping the stitching pretty simple, though – mostly just closely spaced running stitch, but with some detailed work in the two central diamonds … a little lazy daisy, overlaid with trellis stitch, and cross stitch to heal the edges. It is odd how working with stitches in this way sometimes reveals the original functional elements of a stitch that is generally used for decorative purposes: cross stitch is an excellent stitch for hemming (as is chevron stitch, I note in passing).

I have used the vivid orange just for a splash of contrast colour … I don’t think there will be a lot more of it, maybe a couple of lines more, enough to make it a coherent statement, but no more. I don’t want it to dominate.

I have been looking at Sami quilts, and admiring the way that fabric is so simple, but adorned with the rows and rows of running stitch, broken by stitched pattern here and there, uniting layers of fabric to a single and warm hole.

I’m experimenting with the same technique here … I haven’t put any wadding in this quilt, but there are four layers of fabric, not counting the quilt top, to manage the structural elements and cuts and twists I’ve made.

The weight is quite satisfying, and the softness of the worn fabric makes this quilt a pleasure to work. And its simplicity means that it’s a great project for the holidays ….

If you’re on your holidays, I hope you’re having a wonderful time. I’ll be back in the middle of August, hopefully with batteries fully recharged!