Tuesday, 17 July 2012
An unexpected Liberty print cushion
My English paper pieced stars and hexagons have finally been made into something. Smaller and more humble than the fragile, but sizeable, quilt I'd been hoping for. After creating the middle panel of stars and hexagons, I'd intended to create several borders in hexagons, but somehow I couldn't get my colours and the visual symmetry I wanted to work for me...at which point my husband said he felt there were several things wrong with what I'd already created anyway, and that maybe I should consider starting again. Mmm. It's really, really difficult having your work criticised when you've already spent so much time on it. Even though I always want him to tell the truth about things, sometimes it's not what I want to hear. But basically, he felt that if I was going to bother with the stars I needed to have made them stand out more. He said he had trouble even identifying them as a shape and that it looked more like a blur of very lovely fabric.
I think in some ways this was the look I was going for. I find quilts with a lot of solid white bordering shapes often feel too modern for my own home (even though they look stunning). However, then he started pulling out my quilting books and showing me how I could achieve this kind of definition without using stark fabrics. And he was right. I agreed and appreciated everything he said and I know I will make a better quilt for listening to his advice. But I also felt a little deflated.
So I squared up what I had, quilted it with swirls and loops of free-motion stitches and made a wide border with mitred corners from a beautiful rose print that I'd bought from Aneela recently. And I fell in love with it all over again because the roses set off my stars and hexagons so perfectly. And then I made an error. At 6am on Sunday morning I was blearily listening to my children reading comic books to me as I installed the concealed zip. They were being very funny and amusing and I needed to make a calculation about where to install the zip and it seemed easier just to slice some of the edges off the rose border, than to do the sums while trying to talk to them. So I sliced. I don't know what possessed me not to think through the visual implications, but suddenly my rose border was half the width on all sides and instead of a luxurious frame it looked a rather mean, weedy border to the cushion.
At some point, when I've sourced some more of the rose fabric, I will take the cushion apart and re-do the border, but for now I feel too exhausted by it to do anything else. But my daughter, who was the recipient of the cushion is delighted with it and it sets off the cat nicely, who looks especially adorable when photographed on a Liberty print background. Please forgive me for posting far too many photos displaying the delectable tabbyness of her.
In this last photo she is gazing up at my daughter who was calling to her from above. She is a funny, easily startled cat whose levels of nervousness around people have barely dissipated since we brought her home from the rescue centre. However, my daughter can turn cartwheels right next to her, sing at the top of the voice and still the cat just gazes fondly at her without a hint of the frightened creature who will sometimes dart under a piece of furniture if you clear your throat unexpectedly.
Happily, after a few days to think things over, I've decided on both the fabrics and a pattern (yes, I will be using a pattern, which I rarely do, but I think it will be good for me) for my next English paper piecing project. Not having something to piece by hand and throw into my bag when we go to to the park over the summer holidays had been making me feel a bit stressed, so to have these things in place in my mind is a good thing indeed. I'll let you know more about the pattern and fabric in another post.