Saturday, 17 November 2012

All About the Fabric

Spring Maid Founder's House Sampler reproduction fabric
Most quilts have a main 'thing' that drives the decisions about design and materials. Sometimes it's the piecing or the quilting. This quilt is really all about the fabric. All the decisions that I made about the layout, the colours, the threads and the quilting design were really all about how best to showcase the fabric. 

one of the Springs adverts, my mom's dress was similar
The fabric for this quilt is a reproduction of a fabric originally produced by Spring Mills in 1951. My mother had a dress made from this fabric. I borrowed it from the attic to use in a Harvest Festival folk dance  in 1975. I lost track of the dress during my move to England in 1989, so when I saw the reproduction fabric featured in a magazine advert in the 90's I had to buy some. 

piecing the borders
I'd been saving it for something special and when my son, Ben's girlfriend Jade admired it, I decided to make her a quilt. Jade shares my love of things retro so I knew that she would appreciate it. I didn't want to cut the fabric so I decided to frame it within a couple of borders. At first I'd considered using a pieced chevron border. I even dedicated a whole pinterest board to the idea. But I wasn't happy with the look. In the end I chose a lovely large Kaffe Fassett rose print against an aubergine background and a small blue print. It was simple. The colours were rich and it set off the central panel beautifully. 

 machine quilted with a JUKI TL98P on the 8 foot New English Quilter2
My next choice was the quilting patterns. I decided to quilt the borders differently from the central panel. I wanted to use Emily's pattern for the large rose outer border. But as I practised it on paper the design morphed into something a bit different. I used a stack of hearts for the small blue border.   The central panel is a series of stripes and I decided quilt each stripe differently. 

this #306 Buttercup Kimono Silk thread was perfect for the central panel
My thread choices also were aimed at showcasing the fabric. At first I chose a dark red Rainbows #832 called Rose Garden. But as I began quilting the Kaffe Rose fabric border it was just too good of a match and I found that I was quilting blind. So I changed to #814 Gypsy, a thread which showed up just enough so that I could see what I was doing. And no I did not unpick the first stitching! It was close enough. I used this same thread to stitch the hearts in the blue border. For the main central panel, I also wanted a thread to blend in, merely to create texture and not to draw attention to itself. This gold Kimono silk thread was perfect. 

subtle stitching that echoes the fabric design
 I've just taken the quilt off the frame and I'm so pleased with how it turned out. Now it just needs the binding! I take some photos in daylight and I'll post about why I should have called the quilt Eight Maids a Milking.

1 comment:

Emily Milne said...

LOVE IT! Can't wait to see your version of the pattern I did on dad's quilt!

The video is also awesome! Go Rosie! :)