Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Lots of drawing


When I look at the pictures of the old Tulip quilt, it makes me wonder who made it. Her handwriting is all over it, but it leaves out the details that I would love to know: her age, her family, her history … then on the other hand, it probably tells everything she would like us to know of her. There is 8 (???) quilting stitches per centimetre, that surely tells something about her character – I assume the maker was a she, at that time it was more common for a woman to quilt I think. And she chose white thread for all the appliqué – was she short of coloured thread or does it tell that she was not too fussy but relaxed and forgiving? Do you know where it was made and is it typical of the area? Is there any way of knowing when was it made? Maybe by making a repro of it, the quilt will reveal its secrets and start talking to you. Maybe if you have it on your lap in a quiet evening and sip your coffee in silence and close your eyes, you will get to time travel. Please, do share the stories…

I have been at the drawing board. I made one block in size 1:4. One block will be close to one square meter, so it will be big, very. Then I drew the same block into the real size and I tweaked the pattern a little bit.

When I was happy with the design, I marked all the appliqué patches with grain lines and then finally covered the whole big drawing with a film. I am going to need it a lot, so I don’t want to get it smudged.
The next step was to draw all the pieces to template plastic with the grain lines marked. This all took me hours. Now that the drawing and the templates are done, I will draw the pieces onto a freezer paper. I know this sounds like a lot of drawing, but I have done my appliqué with freezer paper always. But again, my history in this art is very short and hopefully one day I can get rid of freezer paper and be more free because I love the hand work feel of the old quilts. Somehow at the moment I am sure of not having to stress about the fact that this would not in the end look like hand work!

Freezer paper makes it so easy to move around the pieces on the background and I aim not to draw on either the background fabric nor to the appliqué pieces, but we’ll see about that.

Now that I have all these paper cuts prepared, I will start ironing them onto the fabrics and that means that I have to make decisions about the fabrics, but definitely yellows. But I will tell about them the next time. Because I need to take a trip to town and that will take most of my afternoon.

I found this old tool and had to try how my block will look when it is multiplied.

I did mention last week that the spring is finally here. It is… The water is high and one cannot walk on the ice any more… There is still some of that white stuff around and when I woke up this morning, there was a little more than yesterday. It snowed lightly again last night.

Could you please send me the sun!



Marie N. said...

I'm overwhelmed with the world of quilting, but I look forward to learning about it through your blog.

Lene the lake photo is stunning! It makes me want to trace my fingers through the reflection of the tree branches in the water.

Anja from Helsinki said...

Congratulations! This looks so promising. I have been reading both your blogs, and just as I was starting quilting comes this blog. It will be great inspiration, allthough I'll be machine piecing and quilting very practical things. -Did I just use a swear word?

suzanne said...

Dear Lene,

I can't tell you how exciting your and Cassie's blog is -- it's renewing alot of my own quilting ambitions. Re your applique process (you are so careful and persistent!), one possible short cut, if it's to your liking -- I took a class from Linda Jenkins and Becky Goldsmith, known here as "Piece O'Cake" designers and authors, who photocopy the applique drawing, as many times as needed, and then cover the photocopies with clear Contact paper and then just cut out the shapes on the lines. The resulting shapes are sturdy enough to use as templates and the tedious stage of tracing is avoided.

Your design is a gorgeous modern take on the traditonal pomegranet pattern (from one who doesn't usually like modern variations)!

carolyn said...

I love the block you've designed. This is going to be a beautiful quilt.

Ahrisha said...

Lene~ ~ ~
I come here from your knitting blog and am pleased to see you have again found your passion. It is wonderful that you are going forward in the flow of what is moving your creative soul at this moment. Sometimes I feel that I have so many different interests that if I were to let myself dive into each of them I would not have the time to do any to the perfection I know I am capable of.

Knitting is a passion for me right now and I am so enjoying the process. I never was a quilter but I have great respect for the handwork that goes into a guilt.My mother is and has been since a child. She is 87 years young and has 3 quilts she did as an older child and teen. I believe 2 are applique and the peach one is my favorite.

I will enjoy following along in your blog.

Anonymous said...

you both are very inspiring and I have enjoyed reading both the knitting and the quilting blogs.both of you have inspired me to start quilting again :D

Esther in Canada said...

Wow ! What an exciting project ! I share both your passions...doing more patchwork and quilting these days but still looking for knitting. Just a question of balance ! The weaving loom and the spinnig wheel are also waiting their turn after a winter episode. Now, it's gardening time, and maybe... I'll turn my hands to embroidery for the hottest days !

Kathie said...

Most antique applique quilts I have studied the thread was white too. I like my pattern to be full size as well
I use upholstery vinyl for my overlay, just makes it easier laying the pieces out for me.