Thursday, 23 April 2009

Journal Quilts

I've got my Journal Quilts (for the Contemporary Quilt Group) done safely inside the deadline.
To remind you, my theme for the year is "steps", and each of the first four features feet in some way.

In March I began the redecoration of the house with the bathroom and loo: easy rooms or so I thought (especially as I'm not going to do any tiling myself). Looked drab with just paint and tiles and fully tiled wasn't an option, not with one curved and four irregular Edwardian walls. Wallpaper seemed sensible and I found a pretty but fairly sophisticated blown vinyl washable paper. And yes it did have a large repeat but hey I work with fabric so that isn't a problem.

Two days later and I was tearing my hair out - or I would have been if it hadn't been stuck firmly to my scalp with wallpaper paste. The paper didn't stick to itself and didn't allow for overlaps: eventually I did manage to fudge it so it looked OK but the air turned blue in the meantime and the cats hid under the bed. And fudging involved the bottom corner of the loo with a thin line of acrylic to disguise a narrow gap (and it did work thankfully).

So inevitably, I had to use the experience for my journal quilt: it's my first experience of doing a full year's worth and I want to record actual events wherever possible. Here's the finished item:

I've used hand-dyed felt and wadding for the main fabrics (two layers for the shoes) and bonded print fabric to tissutex for the wallpaper. The whole thing's machine stitched and quilted, with fancy yarn couched with a zigzag stitch round the edge. The wallpaper is 3D which I haven't done much of before.

The April one celebrated (if that's the word) minor surgery to remove a distorted and ingrowing toenail. I'd been told to sit with my foot up (I'd managed to steal the footstool back from Pepper when he wasn't looking) and was beginning to get bored (why is it than I can sit for ages doing nothing if there are things I really ought to be doing, but the moment I get told I have to do nothing I get restless and want to be doing things?). Turning over ideas for a journal quilt, I realised that the foot with the bandaged toe was pretty well the right shape for a JQ, so out with the sketchbook.

The first version was too close for comfort and rather too gruesome (especially after I'd stitched through the edge of my finger sewing the bandage on and got real blood on it):

So I decided something less realistic was needed, and came up with the idea of a blue foot. The actual foot for this one started not from the sketch but from me drawing round my foot and I think I had the pencil leaning in slightly, hence the elongated shape, emphasised by the fact I gor the ankle in the wrong place:

This one was pretty straightforward to make: the print fabric based on Gaudi seemed to work well with the shape, giving it a slightly art deco feel, and the spirals on the blue fabric seemed to go along with this. Straightforward fused applique, edges with satin stitch, and with details drawn in freehand using a triple (stretch fabric) stitch which gives a chunky line. Plus pale blue scrim folded and stitched for the bandage. All finished with satin stitch edging - all a great improvement on earlier attempts at satin stitching.

The first group of four together look like this:


maggi said...

They look great together. I love that you are working with a theme. Wish I could be that disciplined.

Julie said...

Ouch! The toe op and the stitched finger sound painful! This group look great together. Well done for finishing inside the deadline.

hippopip said...

What original ideas for your quilts,do hope that the toe heals up well Doreen G from Oz had the same op earlier this year

zquilts said...

What a wonderful piece this is ! Well done !