Full to bursting with ideas

Ideas of all “kinds” have been racing around in that head of mine, from creation myths to creating huge interior projects and drawing out designs or my new quilting obsession.

Its been awhile since I posted anything, I have been sewing, reading, writing , researching and getting ready for the workshop I am facilitating in Malta  with two dear friends,

A fruitful time in many ways, designing and detailing an interior design project thats being installed in March, and another in Leamington spa which is the most amazing building see here .  Then I have been sewing my first large bed size quilt.  Up to now have been practicing on small items, lap quilts, sewing accessories for the kitchen and amassing fabric!

In between all this activity it was my birthday, a very special day indeed, felt very loved by my two children and all my friends.

Here is a pictorial diary of the last weeks…………….  Off to Malta Tuesday, so no posts for week !

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A quilt from the heart

Wow I am humbled, I have just come across the most amazing quilts all made in  by the beautiful creative women of GEES BEND, ALABHAMA.

striking  powerful colours, their abstract vision, made from scraps of clothes, bed sheets, work clothes, some from as far back as the Great Depression.

These women have amazing stories, heart wrenching stories of the depression, the hardship and struggle, and yet there there were making scrap quilts to adorn the walls to keep out the wind in their cabins and to keep their children warm and night

Watching one of the videos on you tube one lady said these words

” Back then nobody had nothing and everyone was happy. Now a days everybody has everything and everybody is unhappy”. These ladies may have talking about quilting, but to those who will listen they teach the best life lessons.

We can all learn from these beautiful women.

 

I tell you it bought tears to my eyes, these are REAL quilts made from somewhere deep in the soul

 

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Missouri Pettway, 1902-1981. Blocks and strips work-clothes quilt, 1942, cotton, corduroy, cotton sacking material, 90 x 69 inches. Missouri’s daughter Arlonzia describes the quilt: “It was when Daddy died. I was about seventeen, eighteen. He stayed sick about eight months and passed on. Mama say, ‘I going to take his work clothes, shape them into a quilt to remember him, and cover up under it for love.’ She take his old pants legs and shirttails, take all the clothes he had, just enough to make that quilt, ahd I helped her tore them up. Bottom of the pants is narrow, top is wide, and she had me to cutting the top part out and to shape them up in even strips.”

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My new year starts today

two weeks of rest and relaxation and I am ready to face the world again.  Its been an amazingly fruitful time, as being away from my own environment have felt free of the normal daily burdens that can sometimes reign in the creative process.  Towards the end of last year and rather by accident I stumbled into the area of quilt making: making several as christmas presents was quite enthralling. The colour mixes one can achieve is so magical.  Being a complete novice and going totally solo with it I seemed to be making it up as I go along !   The quilts so far have just been throw size, but larger bed quilts beckon,  although at the moment they do feel rather daunting, not from the piecing side of things, but from the quilting aspect.    I can see that I may end up with lots of quilted top pieces and not attempting the quilting.  Guess I could always send them away to be quilted

I would like to share this video which I have found  on the Contemporary fabrics blog.  It’s a catwalk show with designers piecing together patterned fabrics.  I found this really inspiring, hope you do too…………………..

So much to say but have to get on with the day job,  adios folks, have a great day

 

sewing and singing, hemming and humming

The big presentation is over, have been tying up all the loose ends, putting all the samples, together,  double checking codes etc in readiness for admin to start ordering, There are several hundred different items to purchase, some items have to be made up, ie window treatments, cushions etc, furniture has to be placed and with one manufacturer alone there are 140 items, this is one of many suppliers who will be making bespoke items to IDC exacting standards.  Then there is all the artwork to sort out, visiting museums, choosing images to be framed and selecting photography from all the great images from Yao and purchasing all the objet d’art that bring the interiors to life.  With this design hot of the press I am now ready to start detailing up the next one, an amazing tudor gothic pile in Leamington spa.  Have already finalised the layouts, worked on the lighting etc, now I will be detailing all the separate items for the various rooms.  The best bit really !

In between all this I have found some soothing time sewing and making quilts, none are totally finished yet, although I am working on it, caught a sneeky few hours before I trottted off down to the studio this morning.  Its so nice, sitting and sewing, sometimes singing along, sometimes just humming, something very magical about quilt making.  I am a mere novice and can see how one can get hooked , already I have sketches in my art books,  little swatches of fabric to record colour combinations,  tufts of crewel wool, ideas for crewel work patches, intertwined branches bearing fruit, and some just plains with a real graphic style with huge blocks of colour.  There is something really enriching in seeing all the colours build, and amazing when unexpected colour combinations appear as one pieces the blocks together.    Magic happens.

I will post some pictures soon, cant let the cat out of the bag yet because there might be spies around,  After christmas  watch this space.

In the meantime here are some more quilts that  have caught my attention

 

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The joys of felted wool

The feel of this wool is so soft and so easy to put together.  My first ever wool quilt in process……….

Many moons ago I made many starts of hand sewn hexagons, know the type? cutting out paper templates, patches, hand basting the fabric around the patch and then hand sewing together, well not one was ever finished.  The idea of using a sewing machine for a quilt was only just emerging, but by me was frowned upon as not being traditional and most of all not PERFECT………

Many years have passed since, and recently when browsing Etsy, I came across this felted wool, so much softer than the normal felt you by and it comes in such beautiful colours and textures.  Having purchased many bundles and looking at the rich coloured stacks of fabrics, the idea of making a machine sewn quilt seemed perfectly acceptable!  So after watching numerous tutorials on you tube, off I went,  and in no time at all the squares were cut and sewn into blocks.

Laying them out and sewing together in the right order and trying to match all the seems was a little tricky.   I did not want my usual perfectionism get in the way of the instantaneous joy of working with these beautiful colours, so I tried to disengage the brain and just enjoyed the process of feeling the colours together, so what if two of the same sat  side by side or  the seams were not perfect joins. I set my intention that the quilt I was about to create was the one I was meant to have and whatever the outcome it would be beautiful to me.    So gentle music playing, the rhythmic whir of the machine, the warm soft touch of all these jewel like colours and not too many hours later the “quilt top” was finished.   It has a kind of retro look, its rich, colourful and will be oh so cosy and warm.

Now I need to apply the batting and reverse fabric and bind the edges…………………

I have already started another one, this time in cotton, same half square triangle design but in many colourful patterns.  But back to the day job today, a week of creating interiors, putting together the final scheme for my latest project for presentation on 6 Dec.  Then its on the next one…….

felted wool quilt