Tag Archives: stitching

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!

Cool Brittania?

More cloth weaving ….

This time a fun experiment with different shapes, and hey presto, a union jack. Almost from the beginning, I saw this as a cushion cover, and once I’d done the stitching there was no doubt in my mind.

It was strange, that I was stitching this down, I was thinking about how the UK is effectively a patchwork kingdom of nations, cobbled together with a framework of laws and customs and shared beliefs and values … and that I really liked the way that this piece kind of reflected that (right down to the fraying around of the edges of the unions). I also loved the way the weaving of different fabrics in the reds, and the embroidery of the flowers on the blues, is almost a side comment on the enrichment and change that multiculturism brings to the country, softening the rigid lines of tradition and class.

Hmmm.

Maybe I just spent too much time on it. After all, it’s just a cushion cover 🙂