Sunday, 4 May 2014

Kitted Out

I cut out two quilts for a customer using Kaffe Fasset shot cottons so she has two patchwork projects to work on in kit form. Some of the colours appear more “shot” than others and they are really tempting. There is also a new range of heathery shades of shot cottons from Oakshott which I would like to get my hands on after the totems are finished.

I had to get the Dutch quilt out of my system so I quilted and bound it all in one day. I got the quilt-computer to stitch out Amsterdam canal houses but it is difficult to make out the tight linear design. I had hoped to add a tulip border but I am not expert enough at the software to get it all to fit so I used a traditional pumpkin seed pattern instead. I could have freehand-quilted the Dutch quilt far more quickly but I wanted an excuse to practise using the computer since my customers all seem to prefer my more organic looking quilting. 

My week was a little broken up by being Freya’s taxi service during exams. This gave me an excuse to turn down supply teaching to concentrate on the totems and assemble kit  lists for forthcoming school residential trips.

I cut into a large foam sheet using an electric bread knife and tried to roll it into a neat cylinder for one of my totems. I tried a few different ways of rolling and sticking but the result was not a lump free, smooth, round column. I prevaricated for a while, thinking how I could wrap it in wadding before deciding to order proper sponge cylinders. I have spent months perfecting the quilts that will be displayed on the totems so I want a perfectly smooth finish rather than a wonky, amateur effort. I now need to get rid of 4 large sheets of foam and a couple of cans of industrial spray glue.

I started the copper tissu-lamé quilt for one of the autumn totems, quilting it with circles, filling these with vaguely Celtic inspired doodles then quilting the background with swirly plumes. It is not an easy fabric to quilt as it is almost like tissue paper and very fragile. The gold totems might be the usual white backed lame or gold stretch spandex. Maybe there should be one of each fabric since the spring and summer totems will both be gold. 

I used leftover pieces from the curved strip totems to join onto dyed linen for the totems onto which I will display the beaded skins. These will all be quilted in vertical lines, exactly like the winter totems that I made last year. I sent a message to a talented dyer in USA and asked if she would create me a large dyed piece of fabric to look like grey granite. I decided to make a circular floor quilt on which to stand the 9 totems. I have not yet decided whether this will be pebble quilted or more formally quilted with concentric circles like “Dunes Duet”.

EQ7 for Mac arrived and a Facebook friend suggested that I should use a graphics tablet to design quilt blocks more easily. It occurred to me that this may also be a useful way to draw diagrams for my Ebook if only I can find a simple drawing program that I like. The new tablet arrived but the Mac did not recognise it. This led to a fruitless few hours trying to figure out why my USB ports were not working and a useless session with an Apple Care assistant who concluded that I would need to take my beloved Mac into an Apple shop as it obviously had a serious fault. Feeling fairly despondent, I downloaded a tablet driver from the Wacom website and solved the problem. It does not explain why my flash-drives are not opening properly but it prompted me to do a major backup and I miraculously remembered my installation password after just 3 tries. All I have to do now is master the new kit and caboodle and do some serious designing…

1 comment:

  1. Hi Linzi,
    I just found you through watching a Bonnie McCaffery video - you were chasing chocolate M&Ms around a quilt with your longarm - with fantastic results. Hilarious! I'm a keen fmq auilter but not longarm. I have to try that on my DSM! I love your metallic pieces. On the video you said that you put that on the bottom of the sandwich to avoid shreading, but I notice you have it on the top in the photo above? Anyway, looks fantastic and I hope you will show more details of the circles when you are finished. And the dyed charcoal fabric - is that next to be quilted? Thanks so much for the fun and the technical tip - chasing chocolates - I'll never forget it and it might just revolutionize my quilting!! Best wishes Hilary Florence