Sunday, 29 May 2011

A New Direction


Click on the picture to visit the author's web site.

For some time I've been think what to do next - of course there's still a pile of quilts at various stages of finishedness (is that a word?) but how many quilts can a house take?  Occasionally I have commissions but they're not really my pleasure - not yet anyway.  They make me nervous - when I ask what colour, what style, even what size, the person who has asked me to "do them a quilt" sometimes waves dismissively and says "whatever you think", "they're all lovely", "You Choose".  That leaves me in a state of anxiety throughout the whole mission - will they like the colour, will they like the size, will they enjoy the design?  So far everything I've done for money has been greeted with enthusiasm and a cheque book so maybe I should drop the panic attack status and adopt the philosophy that whatever I do will be acceptable........mmmm I tend to think that's some way off.
Anyway to continue my quilt journey I need to downsize, not everything that is big is beautiful, it often causes a storage problem.  For most of my life I have not been interested in frills and fancies and things without a purpose hence my sewing has been dressmaking things to wear, then quilting things to keep one warm or decorate a rather plain sofa.  Making bedding and curtains to achieve a better quality and uniqueness than you can find in the shops and protectors which cover beautiful table tops which really deserve to be uncovered so we can appreciate the natural splendour the tree gave up its life for.
I saw this book reviewed Fanciful Stitches Colorful Quilts and despite it was so "Not Me"  I bought it and loved it.  It's currently out of stock at Book Depository and quite expensive on Amazon.  I purchased through Amazon Market Place and got a better price - however, the Amazon seller was Book Depository so not sure why it is OOS on their own site......a mystery not worth delving into here of course.
Laura Wasilowski's style is bright colours, small quilts, fused together and embellished with hand stitching - look at the book, you may find a Google Preview under the image on this page so you can look inside and you'll get the idea.  Perfect for preparation at home, then it can travel with me to be embellished as much or as little as is required.  They can end up as a thing of no purpose, a wall hanging, a book cover, a bag flap and countless other items which float in and out of my mind.
Here is the author's blog with some videos of embroidery stitches to help me on my way.  I'm finding handwork easier with the arrival of some quality daylight lighting (thanks Mum!) last Christmas.  Then there's information on thread types and sizes and appropriate needle types and sizes.  Fusing tips page and another on combining embroidery stitches - I have enjoyed reading this blog but have barely scratched the surface so more time needed there.  If you like the look of these quilts, you'll love the blog.
This looks like bright, simple and FUN!
All fired up with enthusiasm to make one of these quilts I gazed in disappointment at my extensive stash.  I've been a dull, earthy toned girl most of the time with what I've made so whilst my stash could compete with the best of the rest, there's not much in there to brighten up my life.
At the back of the book there are adverts for other C&T Publishing titles and Fun, Fast and Easy Fabric Dyeing by Lynn Koolish caught my eye.  Might that be a possibility?  How can I justify buying lots more fabrics in lots more colours?  I'll leave all that for another post......

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