For reasons which we don’t have to go into here, I have been spending quite a lot of time recently staring at a wall in my living room on which this quilt is hanging. The first thing I noticed is that it really, really needs a good wash; the second thing is just how much Laura Ashley fabric there is in it, and how well it has aged. In this block, for example, you can see a dark blue print with tiny pink rosebuds on the right, and, on the left, a pink block with a vaguely mauve piece of Indian block print that was originally a deep indigo:
I don’t mind the fading; I think it gives the quilt a more interesting look than when it was new, but I am surprised at just how fade resistant the Laura Ashley fabric is, and it is now quite old. Some of the commercial prints have also held up really well.
These yellows are particularly vibrant. I will wash it, although when it comes to the colourfastness, to adapt one of my Mother’s phrases, I am a bit worried that it’s only the muck holding it together. None of this is helped by the fact that the dog likes to like against it when she gets the chance.
Incidentally, the quilt is paper-pieced. When this method first came out I thought it was the answer to all my problems with accuracy. It does improve precision piecing, but at a price. All that tedious pulling out of the papers. It took hours with this piece, particularly as a fellow Bristol quilter showed me how to line up the pieces by sewing just outside the stitching line. This means that you get pieces of paper about 1/8th of an inch wide in the seam lines. Tweezer job. I also learned that if you stitch the blocks together just outside the sewing line you keep the sharp points. So I am proud of this one, but would never do it again. I was asked if I would make one for someone else on commission. Absolutely not. This one took years. Trying to do it to a time limit. Nooooo.