Saturday, 15 August 2009

A day off

I stood outside the Moot Hall in Keswick this morning, dutifully kitted out ready to take a guided walk up Bleaberry Fell in the pouring rain and do you know only 1 lady turned up. So she and I agreed that we could postpone it and think again. She headed back to her B & B and I headed home to reflect on what to do with my day off.

So the beneficiaries are you, because I am now blogging away like a good un. I have updated the Keswick Rambles blog and now I am doing my other one. So its on to the second instalment of the Wainwright Quilt which came 2ND in the Rheged North West Regional Day Rosebowl Competition. Of course you all know that this is judged by you... so its very special to be awarded a prize, (I still have not spent the book token), so on with the details.

First up is one of my favourite bits on the little quilt, its the bit which started me off on the road to discovery because it pointed me in the right direction. So here is AW sitting on a sort of stile gazing over the quilt towards the centre piece which is a view of Angle Tarn Pikes with Brotherswater in the foreground.

I had great fun with this scene because I clipped around the piccie I had printed of him and just pushed him into place on a little calico creation I had made with Shirley McKeand which I had daubed with some green silk paint to blend in with the rest of the ink jet printed cloth I had produced. Then I added a few more colours to the cairn with Berol fabric pens and embroidered more french knots on his socks.

This next feature is self explanatory I think, I just loved the way he drew his doggie friends and had to include as many as I could.So 'Barmaid 'of the Melbreak foxhounds is shown with just a simple organza bushy plant behind her and some simple whip stitch grassy looking fronds ahead of her. To keep the continuity going I made sure she too was pointing in towards the centre of the quilt.

Next up has to be my favourite piece of the quilt, the Christmas scene. I had a wonderful time with this as you can see. I added a little torn patch to AW's bottom as if the little terrier busy shredding his trouser bottom had previously attacked his derriere ha ha. I made AW puff angrily on his pipe with a whiff of curly smoke going into the air simply with curly straight stitches. The Christmas tree was added because my own little terrier Bella had run across the quilt at that point a few days before and left a little muddy paw print. So I covered it up with organza and just machined in the branches of the tree with straight stitch and a zigzag trunk with the final touch, a metallic star on the top which I hoped would look very 1950's. That gave me the idea for the paper chain (whip stitch) and the lantern and I finished these with beads.

Next I went wild with whip and feather stitch and added as many effects to represent water and fells and stones as I could. I tried to make the raw edges of all the separate components come together rather like a medieval manuscript page. I doodled and dashed about and had a look at a medieval manuscript too whilst I was at it to make sure I was creating the right effect.The edge of the Great Gable page in the right centre of the finished piece shows this best.

The final stage came when I actually sandwiched the quilt with its wadding and backing fabric and just quilted it together in a very restrained manner, after all it was covered in machine embroidery and did not need to have too much quilting, just enough. You can see this best in the final piccie which shows AW staring across at Blencathra with some quilted gusts of wind in a much paler colour than the embroidered pieces. The little grasses at the bottom were done before I quilted in whip stitch.

Finally I added a couple of tabs for hanging which I made from fabric printed with his book covers. I had tried to put a book into the quilt but it did not work, so they were perfect hangars, you see the idea for the quilt all came from the books so it was only right that they were included. All said, this project was one of my most productive and creative times and I enjoyed every minute of it. I want to thank all of you who voted for me it was such a surprise and very kind of you.

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