lobsterdesigns: (Default)
Having chosen a top fabric at last, I have started to think about designing the Welsh quilting for the owl wholecloth quilt. I've done a little Welsh quilting so far, and I know that I love it and plan to keep on with it, especially for traditional or geometric quilts. A typical Welsh quilt will involve various different patterns which you have to draft yourself. Now, my grip is poor and my hands aren't all that steady, and I am crap at drawing. Something to guide me is really useful. So I'm planning to place an order with the Stencil Company. It won't be cheap, and the shipping alone will be a good tenner, but I think I know enough about my quilting habits by now to know what will be useful.

Looking at a variety of Welsh quilts and also my books on the subject, the following shapes recur again and again: circles, squares (oten on point), double or triple lines, spirals, leaves, hearts, paisleys, flowers (including tulips and roses), fans, cables, zigzags, lines radiating out from the centre of a circle. Read more... )
lobsterdesigns: (Default)
I picked up this owl flannel fabric a while back because I simply couldn't resist. It is cream (not white as in the photo, which looks a bit bleached out) with owls and small dots scattered over it in shades of rich golden yellow, orange, pink, and a tiny bit of purple. The plan is to use it as the backing to a baby quilt, where the front is a single piece of plain or semi-plain fabric which I will do as a Welsh wholecloth quilt. Patterned backings of this sort aren't usual for wholecloth quilts, but who cares, it's going to be a baby quilt for my friend DG and I'm sure it will still be lovely. She came around yesterday, loved the fabric, and mentioned that she is perfectly happy to use pink for a boy, and that indeed her mother has given her some spare baby clothes in pink.

Meanwhile, I am dithering over the other side. Pink is out, I don't like it much, and I don't want to do purple either. Should I go for:

1) Yellow fabric with quilting in red standard quilting thread - while standard quilting thread doesn't always show up well, this level of contrast would. One snag here is that I'm having trouble finding a matching yellow, it's darker and orangier than most of the ones out there.

2) Orange fabric, perhaps a little lighter than the fairly deep orange in the owl fabric, with cream quilting thread. Possibly perle cotton #8, which is quite a lot thicker than standard quilting thread and will show up nicely. Perle #8 is getting popular these days for the "big stitch" quilting technique, you can look it up fairly easily in Google Image.

3) Turquoise blue fabric, with perle #8 (ordinary quilting thread wouldn't really show up) in cream and/or deep yellow, possibly even a bit of hot pink thrown in. Using more than one colour could be fun, though I'd need to spend a while working with some traditional Welsh wholecloth patterns to see whether it would work out or whether it would just look wrong. I'm also not sure if I want to be staring at a huge stretch of that strong a blue while quilting.

I'm trying to take into consideration how much the quilting on the top will interfere with the owl print on the back. I think that as long as I keep it to either a standard quilting thread, which shows more as indentations than colour on the back (hand-quilting, remember), or perle cotton in cream or yellow, where you'll see bits on the back but they'll blend in nicely with the general fabric, I should be OK.

Photo of the owl fabric with a few other fabrics next to it )

Start of a new year

Thursday, 6 January 2011 03:25 pm
lobsterdesigns: (Fish baby quilt)
I don't generally do New Year's Resolutions, but this year I was inspired by Mathematical Doodling and have just bought a shiny new diary. The plan is to try to doodle every day, which I know will seem laughably forced to some, but I've never been an improviser and it's high time I started!

Stitchy stuff )

Welsh quilting

Monday, 20 September 2010 12:17 pm
lobsterdesigns: (Default)
Not long ago, I fell in love with Welsh quilting. While America is undoubtedly the home of an incredible variety of patchwork blocks, the quilting, as in the stage when you go through all three layers with thread (let's call the overall process Quilting to distinguish them), has always left me cold. Modern free-motion quilters such as Leah Day are doing fantastic things, but the traditional quilting patterns are rather limited, sometimes twee, and designs such as the omnipresent feathers just don't do it for me.

I discovered Welsh quilting through a stunning red wholecloth quilt in one of Barbara Chainey's books, and was moved to buy Making Welsh Quilts. It's a fantastic book, containing a thorough discussion of Welsh quilting, photo gallery, projects, and a particularly useful bit at the back which assigns a page to each common motif, such as paisleys, hearts, spirals, leaves, gives a host of examples of how to vary them, and good clear instructions on pattern drafting. I've also found an excellent blog about Welsh quilting, Welsh Quilts, and you can see many beautifully photographed examples intelligently discussed there. The patterns in Welsh quilting really speak to me, being at once classic yet fresh and modern as well. The designs are graceful and elegant, with great scope for creativity yet easy to put together once you know the basic principles.

My second cousin is due to have a baby in about a month, and naturally it took me mere seconds to offer her a baby quilt when I heard the news. Plans for my first Welsh quilt )

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