The strangeness of it all
It feels quite curious that I somehow haven't mentioned here on my blog yet, the English paper piecing project that I'm currently working on, especially when I've been documenting each step in its progress over on Instagram. I try not to do things in that order, as for me, I enjoy the process of writing about making things, just as much as I do the actual sewing element. I wonder how others feel about this - is Instagram beginning to replace the need for actual blog posts for you - either as a reader or as a blogger/Instagram user yourself?
Sometimes I feel unnerved that quilt-making may lack a sense of true purpose in a modern age, other than to give the final user a quilted hand-made cuddle…but does that really require so many hours, weeks, months of work? In unheated houses, quilts were once functional things made to give warmth and it was up to the maker as to whether to go about that task attempting to also make the quilt aesthetically pleasing. Ditto clothing. But while we still need clothes to hide our nakedness, we no longer need quilts for the reasons we once did…and so there is a strangeness to the activity and I sometimes feel as though I am sewing with some unseen gravitational force from my quilting ancestors being channelled through me, because I'm not sure how else to justify the urgency I feel to spend my evenings feverishly hand-sewing or my need to fill all our over-stuffed cupboards with more quilts, but it feels right and balancing in the most inexplicable way.
Anyway, the photos above show the beginnings of the Passacaglia quilt from Willyne Hammerstein's book that I mentioned in this post last year.
I think it's probably a rather long-term project. Over the weekend my son was helping me pick out some fabrics while studying the picture in the book and suddenly said: I think it's actually going to take you years to finish this. That's possibly a fair assumption when it's taken me three weeks to (nearly) complete just one cog, but that's mainly because I was paralysed by fabric indecision for several days at a time trying to pick fabrics for each new round.
The pieces you see here have mainly been fussy cut (cut so that exactly the same part of the print shows on each piece) from Tula Pink fabrics and a little bit of Anna Maria Horner. The Eclectic Maker currently have nearly all of Tula's Fox Field range in stock - I love the Sunrise colourway especially (and I don't think anyone folds a fat quarter more beautifully than Jo and Simon with their unique origami style - I love their parcels arriving!), while Annie at the Village Haberdashery is the only source of Anna Maria Horner's True Colours and Dowry ranges that I've found in England, so I snapped some of that up quite speedily too - again, it's great for fussy cutting.
I love making things that work in a round - it gives a really satisfying feeling of growth and progression each time a round is completed and I enjoy the feeling of starting afresh every time I move on to the next one.
I'll hopefully show you the finished cogwheel later in the week.
I'm really enjoying working with these fabrics. I was discussing what exactly the unique appeal of Tula's prints might be with someone on Instagram last week and eventually decided that it was the high creature usage, cleverly disguised in grown-up patternry and also how much she uses tone-on-tone colours. And also that her prints are crazily good for finding bits that can be fussy cut. I think I may have nearly exploded with the joy that was cutting out horses' heads and sewing them together into a whinnying union!
I'd love to hear your own thoughts about blogging, Instagram or whether you're also sometimes hit with a sense of oddness about your own quilt-making.