Monday, February 12, 2018

Quilt Journal 2018 - A Year In Colour

I finished my quilt journal, made for the Solway Quilters group. We were to aim to make one panel per month, although mine mostly got sewn in the last six months.

My idea was to abstract colour palettes from photographs that I had for each month (some of the photos were mine, some from our friend, Neil), and use the colours to make an abstract pattern that would all join together when finished. Each panel would evoke a month and a place.

I began with a small drawing of what I imagined, then scaled that up to 12 sheets of A4 paper, which I had taped into a 3 x 4 grid. The curved parts were drawn freehand with a Sharpie pen, and the straight lines with a large ruler.

It was then a case of cutting the A4 sheets apart again and using each one as a template. Each A4 page was photocopied, then stuck to thin card before being cut apart into the separate shapes formed by the lines in the drawing.

I gathered the fabrics that I thought would represent the chosen photograph for that month, giving preference to pieces from my scrap boxes. A layout that would give some tonal contrasts was worked out, before using the template pieces to cut out the fabric. I hand-pieced the shapes, as I am not very good at sewing curves on a sewing machine, and I prefer it.

The completed top was layered with a backing fabric and wadding before being sewn together by machine with a 1/4 inch hem, but leaving a gap for turning. It was then trimmed, turned and ironed before the gap was hand-stitched closed and hand quilting could begin. I aimed for a very simple running stitch, usually in an embroidery thread or quilt thread that matched the fabric, so that the emphasis remains on the colour. Each panel also has two areas embellished with buttons or beads.

It's the first time I've made a multi-part piece, and it is an enjoyable way to work, as you don't end up with a huge, heavy quilt to work on, until the very end.

The individual panels...


Sunrise, nr Bargrennan

* Neil's River Photo*


 Cherry Blossom, nr Kirtlebridge

Selkirk Arms Garden, Kirkcudbright

Rhododendrons and Bluebells, Carlisle

*Neil's Beach Photo*

Tobermory Harbour

 Samye Ling Café

Castle Maol at Sunset, Isle of Skye

Beech Leaves, nr Kirtlebridge


Frosty Morning, Sprinkell Estate, Eaglesfield

Tyre Tracks in the Snow, Kirkpatrick Flemming


If you are in Dumfries in April or May, please drop by the Gracefield Arts Centre, where I will hopefully have a few pieces of work on display, along with those of hundreds of other exhibitors.


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