Monday, September 9, 2013

Feeling quilty

I've had this niggling quilty feeling for the last few weeks.  I keep thinking about the quilt I accidentally started (when I was making a patchwork panel for a small handbag) a few months ago.
I woke up on Sunday and started stitching again. I needed a day to let my brain freewheel and unwind, and this seemed like the perfect meditation.
Every fabric is designed by an Australian, and I'm lucky enough to call some of those talented designers my friends. These were scraps that were too precious to throw out.
I had visions of floating these strips in broad bands of a solid colour, but couldn't decide which colour.  After bit of experimentation, I thought a mix of red, black and grey would be interesting...
I started cutting up fabric and began the well-practised art (read: habit) of flying by the seat of my pants.  There was no clear plan.... just the enticing notion of a finished quilt and a strong sense of very little time in which to make it.
After I cut up all the red fabric I had, I decided that there should have been more thought put into proportions and layout, with a few much wider bands.  I didn't have enough fabric to re-cut. 
In came a 3-D shadow effect with grey and black.... which appears to be overwhelming the subtlety of the pieced prints.... I'm not sure about it... but it's sewn together and there's no more red and.... well... let's just see what happens, shall we...?

My approach to quilting appears to be of the improvised "from little things, big things grow" variety, which - as an amateur - could lead me into all sorts of unforseen  trouble.
My girl, on the other hand, is a planner.  She dreams big.
She talked about "an idea for a quilt" for a week before she suggested starting it at a time that wasn't two minutes before bed, in the middle of dinner or just as we were simultaneously brushing teeth and running out the door to get to school on time. 
  We found an appropriate moment and she started vliesofixing and sketching out shapes for applique.
There were flower petals cut and flower petals fused, and then the addition of a caterpillar... and then the retro-fitting of some caterpillar-bites out of a flower petal....

 ...and then the narrative of the caterpillar story was 'adjusted' to fit in with the designer's waning enthusiasm for flower-petal cutting and fusing.
"The caterpillar ate the rest of the petals."

It was quilted, "bound" and declared finished.  
I think that maybe, some time in the future, she'll be employing me.


A Peppermint Penguin said...

glad you two got to sew for yourselves!

I'm sure that caterpillar has been munching all sorts... would explain all the UFOs about the place

Katy Cameron said...

Well really, there's no point in keeping a dog and barking yourself, of course you should be the girl's sewing slave, capturing her every whim in fabric :oD

Leanne said...

Both fantastic quilts but the girls quilt is amazing, so much talent in such a small body.

Jan said...

No doubt about it, Nikki - your wee girl is a true artist. Hooray for your inspiration - and for letting her just run with it.

Ann Ferguson said...

I like that uber modern caterpillar one…and yours too of course, Nikki!

Fer said...

So so precious!

I love your quilt too, sort of has an Aboriginal feel to it. :-)

Jessica said...

That is an awesome quilt!

Lisa M said...

I have just caught up with all of your blog posts over the past 3 months, as tonight my family have been self-sufficient, YAY!!
Loving everything you have been up to. I spied quite a few fabrics in your quilt that I have from all those fabulously talented Australian artists. I think I may end up sewing all my little precious left overs into something of a scrap quilt, as I too can't bear to throw them out.
The wee one's quilt is delightful. I wish I had her 'let's go to it and get it done' attitude.
One last thing, I'm so glad you don't post the faces of those precious children you have on your blog, especially your own. They are so precious, that only those who truly know them, should get to view them on the web. I wish more people thought this way.