Sunday, 29 April 2012

To Bead or not to Bead?

When designing my quilts I prefer not to have every step worked out in the beginning. I usually have a rough idea of what I want and have a few sketches worked out and just get started. This means that I am never quite sure how it will look in the end and I think that it keeps the project fresh for me but this approach can also create more work
I am finishing off my quilt named Holiday Waltz and because of the looming deadlines for this quilt, I am under pressure and time starved.

When I first started designing this quilt I was going to add some blanket stitch around the peach flowers. By the time I had finished quilting the quilt I was starting to lose enthusiasm for the idea. I did the blanket stitch around one of the flowers and asked my daughter Alison which one she liked best, the plain or the blanket stitch.

She liked the blanket stitch, so off I went stitching a blanket stitch in a single strand of embroidery floss around 42 peach flowers.

After I had finished I didn’t like the result at all. Some of the flowers looked too messy. It’s hard to embroider on a quilt that has already been quilted. I preferred it plain. I pulled out all the stitches and had the idea of putting some Mill Hill miniature beads around the flower centres instead.

I liked that much better. I managed to bead 5 flowers in an hour and so it ended up taking 8½ hours!! The blanket stitching took longer than that, it’s too depressing to add up that time.

I even ran out of beads and my local shop was out of stock as well. I rang up Bustle and Bows and they had one packet left. They put them away for me and I was so happy to collect that packet of beads the next day.

So, my free form approach to designing does have its drawbacks and can make extra work for me, but it keeps the project interesting. Whenever I have a problem with a quilt and have to work out how to solve it, the result always makes the quilt better than it would have been.

The good news is that I love the quilt now and I am nearly finished, just the binding, rod pocket and label to go.

I am honoured to be invited to enter my quilt in the Master Class Category in the Sydney Quilt Show in June. It is the NSW Guild’s 30th birthday and they have invited 30 quilters from all over Australia to be part of the Celebration.

Bye for now,



Julie Johnston said...

I am also a quilter, or perhaps more honestly, I have been a quilter. Time constraints leave me wanting to quilt instead of doing it. I admire you determination to make the changes in your quilt until you got it right (the way you wanted it). Congratulations on being invited to enter your quilt. Loved reading about your frustrations.

cat in tassie said...

Hi Linda, thanks for your comment on my blog. Just looking at your green crazy quilt block - ooh lovely.

Linda Steele said...

Thanks Cat, it is a much brighter gree tan I usually use.

Linda Steele said...

Thanks for your comment Julie,

I think that we all have a problem with time. So much to do and so little time!