Red is a really strong colour.
After I had made these blocks and laid them out on the table I took this photo to see whether the red was evenly distributed across the quilt.
Sometimes, after stitching a lot of blocks together, I suddenly see an unexpected pattern caused by a dominant colour. I don’t like it when that happens, but a quick photo lets me see it with different eyes.
It’s a whole lot better than unpicking…
PS I have already moved one of these blocks. I didn’t like the two red horizontal stripes diagonally across from each other.
Last night I was determined to stitch all of my blocks together.
Then my bobbin ran out…
so I went to bed.
Hopefully tonight I will be less easily distracted.
Although I doubt it…
Last night I decided to make Lemon Delicious pudding for my Pete. I had bought the ingredients and mentally commited myself to making it when I re-read the recipe. It called for melted butter. At this moment I remembered that our microwave is being repaired.
For the first time in my married life I had to do this.
It felt like the olden days…
This arrived at my house yesterday.
It needs to leave again in just five weeks as a quilt designed for a special edition of the Quilters Companion magazine.
I had better get cracking…
Recently I agreed to take a Process Pledge and share how I work to design and make my quilts.
Firstly I should tell you that I make quilts just because I want to. I have no practical reason for quilts. I just like to make them.
I enjoy the thinking and problem solving processes involved in designing my own quilts. I want to do my own maths (there’s A LOT of maths involved in quilt-making), make my own mistakes (there are a lot of mistakes involved in quilt-making) and draw my own pictures.
My quilts do have a quality about them that makes them able to be identified as mine. People who have seen several of my quilts can tell at a glance that I designed a particular quilt. I don’t see that myself, but I quite like that I must have a style.
I know that I use simple piecing. I don’t really like sewing lots and lots of little pieces into lots and lots of little blocks to make a quilt. I prefer to whip up a pieced top in an afternoon. I know that every quilt I make has my drawings made into applique. I like to draw. I’ve always like to draw. I remember the day in grade 5 when I drew a kangaroo, looked down at it and realised that it really looked like a kangaroo. I feel proud that I can draw, so I include my drawings on every quilt I make.
Mostly my quilts are fabric inspired. I see fabric that I love and want to use it. It’s usually colour that attracts me to a fabric first. I love reds and browns and pinks and turquoises. I generally work within a fabric range. I like to challenge myself to use as many fabrics from a range in one quilt as I can. When I see a fabric I begin to think about my drawings. I think, “That fabric would be perfect for pirates/ elephants/ dragonflies.” The piecing for a quilt is the last thing that I consider. I think of piecing as a way that the colours and design will bring your eye to my drawings.
I always think about the quilting when I am making a quilt. I want every element to work together. Long before the quilt is finished I know how the quilting stitches will pull the background back and allow the applique shapes to pop.
Along the way I have learnt a few very important lessons:
- Once a long time ago someone said upon viewing one of my new quilts. “Huh! All of your quilts are designed for children.” I had never noticed this, but on reflection realised it was true. For some time after that I tried to be a grown up and change the way I designed quilts. That was silly of me. I don’t really believe that I am designing a kids’ quilt when I am making it, but if that is how it turns out I don’t mind. I like kids and all kids should have quilts.
- I felt like a dodgy quilter for always working within a range. I thought the best quilters used a variety of fabrics and tried to change my process to seem like a clever fabric selector. Now I don’t worry about that at all. I admire that designers can use a limited palette of colours and designs to make 40 different fabrics that work together beautifully. I celebrate their cleverness in my quilts.
I recently read a quote and I am paraphrasing it here. It said that power and freedom come from not having to please. I think this is how I feel about quilting and perhaps about blogging too. I don’t do it to please, but it pleases me to do it. I am what I am and so are my quilts. I love my quilts, every one of them.
I feel creatively free when I make quilts for no reason at all.
I just want to make quilts…
Today I would like to share with you my new quilt design “There’s a Bird on Me.”
Inspired by a song featured on Sesame Street remembered from my youth, this quilt has a small red bird on the back of each of the animals.
I’ve used a fabric range called Playday by Sei for Robert Kaufman. I adored the white fabric with little bluebirds from the first moment that I saw it. There is also an elephant fabric in the range which was the inspiration for my quilt, although I haven’t used it in this quilt.
I’ve listed the quilt pattern in my Etsy store. I have also started another page to this blog where I am keeping a list of all of the quilts that I make this year. I am attempting to be organised and productive!
Lastly I have made a video tour of this quilt. (I’m so pleased that we bought Pip that little video camera for his birthday!)
Listen out for a little nod to you, Melinda…
More photos on the Peppermint Patch Quilts facebook page.
Have you seen the new issue of Quilters Companion?
Issue 44 features Christmas quilts, including my Christmas quilt.
The styling and photography is always beautiful in this magazine.
The quilts are pretty good too…
Can you believe I made this in January? It was a strange time of year to be working on a Christmas quilt.
Merry Christmas everyone…
You can see more photos on the Peppermint Patch Quilts Facebook page.