Thursday, 22 November 2012

Paper pieced kaleidoscope update


The paper pieced kaleidoscope wall-hanging is growing again. For a brief moment it was squared up and could have been framed and left there, but I decided to carry on and it morphed again, this time into a shallow-pointed star.


It is a complete delight to work on something that takes on a different and interesting new guise each time a new round of pieces is added. It provides a form of instant gratification that belies the reality that this piece is taking a horribly long time to complete (I started the sewing on this three weeks ago).


And here you can see a little more growth of a round yet to be completed. It will measure just over 32" when it's finally completed and the end is now feeling so near that I'm starting to think about a trip to my favourite local antique shop to source a frame. My only worry is that frames this big tend to be quite difficult to find and they also tend to be rectangular, rather than square. I'm wondering whether I will have to compromise and create wider panels at the top and bottom to fit it to the right frame. I think for this I'd prefer something old, rather than having a frame made especially for it.

Thank you so much for all the lovely entries to the Christmas fabric giveaway in the last post - it was so lovely to read through all your Christmas traditions. The winner is Rachel of Contented who said: What gorgeous fabrics! This will be our first Christmas since we started homeschooling our son, so I am looking forward to doing lots of Christmassy crafts and activities with him this year! Congratulations, Rachel. Just let me know your address and which bundle of fabrics you'd most like and Dragonfly will be in touch.

I decided it was best to wrap this giveaway up quite quickly as I suspected that whoever won the fabric would probably appreciate receiving it in November and having a little more time to put it to use  - all apart from Jane, who (shockingly, but delightfully!) admitted to not having taken her tree down from last year and so who would have surely been the best candidate to have made use of the fabric all year round! Jane is an inspiring example of what can be achieved with this curiously unflinching attitude to what really does and doesn't need doing, as she is a prolific maker of very beautiful quilts. However, ultimtely, I felt that as Jane has had the fun of bucking social norms and conventions for the last eleven months of the year, the joy of free fabric ought to go to someone else, even though my initial inclination was to stop comments the moment hers came in and declare her the winner. Just think how quickly I could have done this damn paper pieced kaleidoscope if I were Jane. Today I am not going to vacuum the house in her honour. Thank you for the inspiration, Jane :).

Florence x

Ps. I feel compelled to say that this is not meant to imply Jane's house isn't spotlessly clean or that Jane doesn't use a vacuum cleaner herself. My lack of hoovering is simply my own rather insipid take on her carefree attitdue to freestyling with expectations.

24 comments:

  1. The project is looking lovely Florence. I really do think you should leave that vac alone and finish it!

    My attitude to vacuuming is even more casual... I bought a Roomba and let it seek and destroy to its heart's desire while I work/sew (okay mostly sew).

    I've just completed a scrappy quilt top but can't now decide if it needs a border or not, I guess this will be the dilema of the day.

    Ruth x

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    1. How amazing, although scary too - I frequently only just spot vital things in the moment before they are sucked up!

      I think I've seen your quilt top now - gorgeous! x

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  2. I love how much depth it has, the colours really work well together :)
    My attitude to cleaning is to do little bits when I can - I'm the person who wipes down counter tops and puts away dishes while the kettle boils, and scrubs tiles while having a shower.

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  3. holy moly, this is an amazing design, impeccably executed. whoa!

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  4. Congrats to the winner!
    And your piece is beautiful! I'm envious of your ability to design the pattern and select fabrics for something like this--it all looks so cohesive and meant to be. I must resort to a very scrappy look with my things as I couldn't achieve what you do no matter how very hard I tried :)

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    1. I don't think you do at all! Although, that's a look that's a skill in its own right - the few times I've tried to make something appear nonchantantly scrappy I realise what an art form it is and that there's a lot of intent in what at first impression looks carelessly thrown together.

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  5. I absolutely love your wall hanging! I can only imgine how amazing it looks in the 'flesh'. I'd definately like to work on a piece like this one day that could be passed down through the family. Do you intend it to become a heirloom piece Florence?

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    1. It's odd, isn't it. I'd love it to be, but you can never tell quite what will be valued by generations to come or what will suddenly look dated and unattractive to their eyes.

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  6. Oh my goodness, I nearly fell off my chair when I saw my name there! Emailing you now, thank you so much!
    PS. Your kaleidescope is amazing, I'm really enjoying seeing it "grow"
    Rachel x

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  7. This becomes more stunning with every stage. We can, as the branding goes, make a quilt in a day, but at a cost. You're creating something that will be appreciated for generations. I am enjoying the process!

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  8. Stunning! Nothing more to be said (although if you ever fancy giving it away.........)

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  9. Have you thought about making a frame from old wood instead? Fence and barn wood can be gorgeous.

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    1. What a lovely idea - although now have the frame sorted - I think!

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  10. I am not getting the connection between leaving the tree up and having lots more time - or the connection with not vacuuming. Presumably everyone else does!

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    1. Well, I don't know about others, but to pack the tree away at the end of Christmas tends to take nearly three hours by the time we've untangled the many sets of lights and hoovered up all the dropped needles and put it all back up into the loft...to me that seems like a fair amount of time Jane has saved! It was a rather tongue-in-cheek comment though and not intended to be taken literally.

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  11. Wow, it just keeps getting lovelier! You could put a square piece in a rectangular frame, couldn't you? You'd just have to put something behind it that would show more in some places than others. But I'm wondering why you don't hang it like a quilt, with no frame. My parents have various textiles hung on their walls, and I think it's nice for fabric not to be behind glass - you can see the texture much more. How did you solve your fabric crisis in the end, by the way?

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    1. Nina, hanging it without a glass frame would be so stressful with my Monica tendencies! My husband would accidentally knock and then it wouldn't hang straight and I would sit talking to people at dinner unable to focus on the conversation, just wanting desperately to straighten the wallhanging. It would be awful and I would end up loathing it. In my head a wallhanging is a very different thing from a quilt - I actively enjoy seeing quilts being used, dragged around the house and becoming part of a den...wall hangings fall into a different category for me where I want them to be neat and lie perfectly flat!

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  12. You can get 'old' frames made too. Frinton do mouldings in lots of ornate styles that I'm sure a local framing shop would be able to source for you. I think, having spent so much time designing and sewing this, it would be a shame to spoil it by putting it in a rectangular frame!

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    1. You're so right - a rectangular frame was a horrific idea. Sometimes I need to be saved from my own bad ideas. Thank you. x

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  13. It;s gorgeous. I would want to protect it too. Colours are sumptuous.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a message - it's always really lovely to hear from people.

I now tend to reply within the comments section, so please do check back if you've asked a question or wish to chat.

Florence x