What I did on Sunday

Well, I should have been working at the day job, but for some reason I have the big Urge to Create yesterday and so I gave in.

I finished the last of the little Laura panels just after lunch and I went up to my workroom and thought about what to do with them.  I was going to make them into a long band to use as a border on the big Laura Ashley quilt, but in the end I thought that they looked better as a mini quilt in their own right.  Here they are roughly laid out against a piece of fleece on the sofa.  These were just planning photos to help me to remember the placement of the panels, so they aren’t top quality:


I intended to stitch the panels together and then do some embroidered arches to frame them, as in this paper mock-up in my sketchbook:


But when I put the quilt together – very simply with two lines of topstitching in a blending in colour – it soon became apparent that the quilt with all the beads would be too heavy to move under the sewing machine – it would result in pointy stitching instead of smooth curves.  So I would need to think of something else.

The background fabric is a really tough upholstery Laura Ashley fabric which limits choices.  I thought about applique-ing on the arches over black tulle, but it didn’t read clearly enough against the gold background.  I was hoping to use some patterns from all the zentangling I have been doing, and this worked on the stitch sample I made, but again would not have been feasible with so much embellishment weighing the whole thing down.  So, I began to experiment with drawing onto the cloth:


Again, this is a working photo to see how this ‘reads’ from a distance.  What I decided I liked was the little highlights of white which the pattern provided, so I experiment with working with that:


You can see this on the left.


I extended it a bit to get an idea of what a whole row would look like.  I think it could look great.  So I thought about drawing directly onto the quilt top.  The only problem with that would be drawing against seam lines which would stop the flow of the pen.  Which leaves cutting arches from another piece of fabric and applique-ing them down.  This is fine, except that every archway will have to be different, which will look fantastic – I really like irregularity in these things – but it will take forever to draw up and cut out!  At this point the light was going, so I left it and decided to sleep on it.  Assuming I go back and finish it, it does mean that I will have something for the Bristol Quilters exhibition, which is a relief.

8 thoughts on “What I did on Sunday

    1. I think it will wear out several pens and my patience! BTW I have nearly finished the unicorn – I need decent light to do it which is getting more plentiful. I would be grateful for some advice on how to finish it – will send pictures. I have resisted the temptation to add a single bead or gold thread.


      1. it took me days just to do the line drawings for the antependium, and that was fairly simple compared to waht you’re proposing, so yes, you probably will need several pens!

        I’d be happy to offer advice, although don’t think you have to hold back on the ebads on my account – one of the excting things about doing the workshops for me is seeing what other people want to do with the technique, as I think it has potential beyond the pure historical stuff that I do. photos would be good though

  1. Wow! This is going to be one amazing quilt! I think you are very brave to draw on the quilt (!) but it is going to look so effective. Can’t wait to see more!

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