Sunday, 27 May 2012

Heavy Metal

I was determined to get my Houston entry finished this week so after teaching 9 and 10 year olds how to throw a sponge javelin on Monday I had to devote all of my time to getting the copper piece quilted. The weather was beautiful but I did not venture out much. The silk quilted really well and the bird looked suitably coppery but I was conscious that it was not actually metallic fabric. I painted the back with fabric paint once the quilting was done but the silk soaked it up and gold splodges leached through to the right side of the quilt. This meant that I had to add more paint in rust and green colours to make it look verdigrised. Although it looked very much like antiqued copper, it simply was not the effect that I was looking for. An unexpected bonus is that this bird can be entered into a quilt show in its own right.

I drew out a new Viking shield and started another internet search for dancewear companies supplying copper spandex or tissue lame that could be delivered the next day from the UK. To my relief, the postie delivered the copper lurex from the USA that I had been waiting for in time for me to start yet another piece. Since I was running low on orange and rust thread colours I had to make do with what I had and get on with the job. I decided to quilt ridiculously small pebbles around the bird figures and Celtic knots so that the background would look like hammered copper. I am pleased with results but as usual, I could not just leave the back alone so I sponged on some copper and green paint – some green has leaked through but I am going to keep my fingers crossed that no-one else can see it as I dare not start adding gilding and paints at this late stage in case it also goes pear-shaped!

I have attached the machine sew bindings to all three quilts but still need to add the tiny gold braid before I can take the Houston entry photos and the deadline is looming fast. Anne from Skye called in for help flattening out some fullness in a huge bargello quilt that she made a few years ago. We trimmed up some generous seams to reduce bulk and gave it a serious dose of steam. I will give it an overall version of plumed quilting that will scoop up more of the excess fabric that often appears in multi-seamed quilts and bias joins.

A friend got in touch to enquire whether I would eventually sell any of the Norse pieces. He came for coffee and brought a selection of books on Viking symbolism. It sparked an entirely new idea on how to develop the totem pole idea that I had a while back. I can visualise a series that involves leather, lame and something that looks like amber... I may have to start investigating materials soon ;)

By the weekend the weather here was unusually fabulous so I camped out in the Yurt on Saturday night and had an almost-day-off on Sunday. I will have to have an actual-day-off soon to buy some summer shoes in Aberdeen as I don't think that sheepskin boots or Doc Martens look all that good with my denim skirt: unlike trendy, skinny celebs who may be able to pull it off, I look like I forgot to take my slippers off!

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