Monday, 21 July 2014

Cosmic Split

I know I said that I would not show you the finished quilt until after the show, but another read through the rules has reassured me that blogs, internet and other public previews are not forbidden - or even mentioned for that matter. So why not? Here goes.

Free motion quilting on metallic gold foil fabric, original free motion quilting design, art quilt, Festival of Quilts 2014

I left you last week pre-split. 
The name contains a 'Split', a split is required. Changing my mind is not an option. A few deep breaths, a bit of contemplation, a cup of tea, a meander down the garden, a few sketches, a trial on one of the 'failed' gold samples, another cup of tea, a walk along the country lanes,  quite a lot of worry, yet more tea, more deep breaths - a flash of the rotary cutter and for better or worse it is done.

Free motion quilting on metallic gold foil fabric, original free motion quilting design, art quilt, Festival of Quilts 2014

After - yes guessed it - another cup of tea, I face the two pieces with black fabric. I want to lose as little of the pattern as possible in the facing, so the seam is barely an eighth of an inch wide, neatened with a zig-zag to strengthen. 


The edge is gently rounded, sitting proud of the background, but less so than on 'Sidetracked' as there is no piecing with its thickening seams. 

The next task is to fasten the split gold pieces onto the background. Using something like bondaweb is not an option as the necessary heat can not penetrate all the layers. As with 'Sidetracked' I use a slip stitch catching alternatively facing and backing. On straight lines this works easily - just fold the backing back to reveal the edge of the facing and off you go. 

With curves, the folding back is much more tricky and the bulky layers are reluctant to yield to the shape. The result first time round is a wonderfully distorted quilt. This is a very useful bit of information if you actually want a distorted quilt. I don't. Obviously in all that folding and refolding around the curve, the gold quilting shifts around. It needs to held firmly in place for stitching. Pinning it from the font will leave unwelcome permanent holes. Pinning from the back must go through the background quilt, into the batting of the gold quilting but not through the metallic fabric. To do this I try to feel the pin through the gold fabric as I pin from the back and stop just in time to prevent the pin popping through the front into daylight. Think less Princess and the Pea and more the Commoner and the Pin! And on the third attempt at stitching I actually ended up with a flat quilt!


The background quilt is a black version of 'Sidetracked' - that is, adding a layer of the ruched black fabric to give more texture. The quilting uses several motifs, but draws on the gold quilting with pebbles and swirls, linking the two together.

Black fabric seems to have a magnetic attraction to any bit of fluff, dust and cat hair around. I have been over every inch of this quilt, front and back, twice with sellotape. I still don't trust it  not to pick up more fluff in transit! Cosmic Split, quilt number 404, is on it's way to the Festival of Quilt 2014. Good Luck and Enjoy!

Thanks for dropping by...


Hilary Florence

Please find below a list of linky parties. I may not link with all of the every week, but with some of them most weeks. Please go and have a look at some of the other wonderful quilts and quilters there.
Anything goes Mondays @ http://marelize-ries.blogspot.co.uk/
Linky Tuesday at Free motion by  the river­­­­ @ http://www.conniekresin.com/
Fabric Tuesday @http://quiltstory.blogspot.co.uk/    
Sew cute Tuesday @ http://www.blossomheartquilts.com/ 
WIP Wednesday at freshly pieced   @   http://www.freshlypieced.com/
WOW = WIPs on Wednesdays  @ http://www.estheraliu.blogspot.co.uk/  
WIP Wednesday at TN + TN  @ http://needleandthreadnetwork.blogspot.ca
I Quilt Thursdays @ http://prettybobbins.com/
Really Random Thursdays @ http://www.liveacolorfullife.net/
Needle and Thread Thursday @ http://myquiltinfatuation.blogspot.co.uk/
Off the wall Fridays @ http://ninamariesayre.blogspot.co.uk/

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Going for Gold

The 'Cosmos' for my piece 'Cosmic Split is complete.

Free motion quilting on gold metallic foil fabric show quilt for festival of quilts

Oh, I really enjoyed making the Cosmos! This is the part that I absolutely love doing - it is the reason I make quilts at all. I don't mark out the patterns in the circle, but just trust my eye and as I come to the end of the round, either squeeze up or draw out the last couple of  motives to fill the available space. Mostly, that works very well. If you look closely, you might find the odd motif that really has been hard done by!

Here are a couple of close-ups.

Free motion quilting on gold metallic foil fabric show quilt for festival of quilts

I wanted the texture of the background quilting to be a different, much smaller scale to the spheres. I've used a mixture of pebbling and a motif much used by one of my favourite quilters - Jacqueline Heinz. These two motifs are mixed in with two others on the black background that the gold will be stitched to.



The gold fabric has just about held out. If you look at it through a magnifying glass, you can see areas around the thread where there is a threatening split and a peek of white batting underneath. Just cross your fingers that it holds out until after the show and that the judges don't used magnifying glasses!!

Next comes the really scary bit - the Split in 'Cosmic Split' - otherwise known as the rotary cutter. It is always a bit of a nerve wracking moment to slice hours of quilting in two! I plan to finish and get this quilt off by the end of next week. The show is 2nd week in August, and I will post the finished quilt then.

This quilt has been such a journey, I think I will really miss it when it's finished. What shall I do next? It is a bit like finishing a really good book. On the one hand it is great to find out what happens in the end, on the other hand there is a hole left by its absence. Yet I often feel I need to savour the story a moment before I am able to plunge into the next one. Do you find that - with quilts or books?

Thanks for dropping by...


Hilary Florence

Please find below a list of linky parties. I may not link with all of the every week, but with some of them most weeks. Please go and have a look at some of the other wonderful quilts and quilters there.
Anything goes Mondays @ http://marelize-ries.blogspot.co.uk/
Linky Tuesday at Free motion by  the river­­­­ @ http://www.conniekresin.com/
Fabric Tuesday @http://quiltstory.blogspot.co.uk/    
Sew cute Tuesday @ http://www.blossomheartquilts.com/ 
WIP Wednesday at freshly pieced   @   http://www.freshlypieced.com/
WOW = WIPs on Wednesdays  @ http://www.estheraliu.blogspot.co.uk/  
WIP Wednesday at TN + TN  @ http://needleandthreadnetwork.blogspot.ca
I Quilt Thursdays @ http://prettybobbins.com/
Really Random Thursdays @ http://www.liveacolorfullife.net/
Needle and Thread Thursday @ http://myquiltinfatuation.blogspot.co.uk/
Off the wall Fridays @ http://ninamariesayre.blogspot.co.uk/

Monday, 7 July 2014

Gold Fever 2

It would seem that my Gold Fever of last week was contagious, judging by your comments. How I wish those words of appreciation, encouragement and commiseration could, like the wave of a Fairy Godmother's wand, turn simple cotton into the much sort after gold cloth. Sadly, in the real world, the only allusion to it on the web that I have been able to find was to say that it is no longer manufactured. Thank you so much for your kind words and suggestions. They were much appreciated and at least raised my spirits!

Should any of you - particularly those of you able to go to the big shows in the States - see this fabric, please get the suppliers name for me - tell him I'll buy the whole bolt!


So I have gone with the last of the fabrics I showed last week, hoping that it will not split again. Colour wise and consistency wise, it was the best of my trials. I have been wisely counselled by Pam to consider it 'different' rather than inferior! Here is the structure outlined, ready to have the blank areas filled with pattern.

Making my marks

As I said in the last post, none of the usual markers work on metallic fabric and stitching from the back didn't work with this one, as it stuck to the sewing table. Incredibly, felt tip pen does mark and washes off! It does dull the gold where the line has been, but once stitched over that is barely noticeable. Still, it is a bit nerve racking doodling all over fabric with a felt-tip pen!

Going around in circles

The title of this piece is going to be 'Cosmic Split' - so think vaguely of space, orbits and heavenly bodies. I did not want perfect circles. After googling 'how to draw perfect eclipses' and playing around with pin, string paper and pen, I decided I didn't want eclipses either. A lot of paper covered with a lot of 'circles' later, I decided just to draw the lot free hand. Above is the 'artistic' photo with garden in the background. Below is a clearer version.


Oh for a long arm! At least I imagine circles would be a lovely easy sweep on a long arm. On a DSM, even non-circular circles are tricky. It is not possible to do any but the very small circles in one. Every stop to readjust the fabric is an opportunity for an uneven stitch length. Every start is an opportunity for a needle jump to the side. And at no point can you see the whole track of the circle. The end is not in sight! Welcome to the universe of slightly wobbly heavenly bodies!

Tying off loose ends

... as in thread ends - well over 300 of them to tie off and bury. I wish I had taken a photo of them. It made a fair imitation of a fringe dress. Lots of threading needles and not knowing which part of my vary-focal specs to look out of!!!



Thanks for dropping by...


Hilary Florence

Please find below a list of linky parties. I may not link with all of the every week, but with some of them most weeks. Please go and have a look at some of the other wonderful quilts and quilters there.
Anything goes Mondays @ http://marelize-ries.blogspot.co.uk/
Linky Tuesday at Free motion by  the river­­­­ @ http://www.conniekresin.com/
Fabric Tuesday @http://quiltstory.blogspot.co.uk/    
Sew cute Tuesday @ http://www.blossomheartquilts.com/ 
WIP Wednesday at freshly pieced   @   http://www.freshlypieced.com/
WOW = WIPs on Wednesdays  @ http://www.estheraliu.blogspot.co.uk/  
WIP Wednesday at TN + TN  @ http://needleandthreadnetwork.blogspot.ca
I Quilt Thursdays @ http://prettybobbins.com/
Really Random Thursdays @ http://www.liveacolorfullife.net/
Needle and Thread Thursday @ http://myquiltinfatuation.blogspot.co.uk/
Off the wall Fridays @ http://ninamariesayre.blogspot.co.uk/
Lizzie Lenard @ http://lizzielenard-vintagesewing.blogspot.co.uk/

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Gold Fever



This was the piece that started it all off. I wanted to see if I could make some of my designs circular. And I wanted to try something out on metallic fabric. I was thrilled with the results. It looks like beaten gold, and reminds me of Viking treasures. I knew that I wanted to do a second Fracture piece with this. Trials and design done, I  entered this piece for the Festival of Quilts confident that 3 months was ample time to make the quilt.


Then came the awful discovery that I could not get any more of this cotton backed metallic foil fabric. The shop I had bought it from had run out - were not going to get any more - couldn't remember the rep who had sold it to them. I started ringing around all the big stores in the UK and trawling the Internet but with no success.



My second try was with a gold lame fabric. It looks good, but it doesn't have that appearance of a metal sheet because it is a woven fabric. It also frays like mad and would be hopeless for fine piecing. It quilts OK in that it takes the stitching with no problem, but the non stitched areas bag and the piece looses all definition - I'm not sure how clear that is in the photo. It was also a very pale gold, almost a white gold which wasn't really the look I was after. I have a large piece of this quilted - about 36" square. It is no good for the FOQ piece, but look out for it somewhere else. Not sure what to do with it, but I don't want to waste all that work! Another, more personal problem that I had with it was its very high reflectivity. Like many migraine sufferers I find that bright lights can trigger a migraine and after about the 3rd one whilst working on this piece, I realised it was the fabric!! I tried quilting with sun glasses on, which certainly helped with the reflection, but alas I could not see where I was going. Slight problem!


The next piece was a metallic foil backed with an open net. It doesn't fray, but it is very flimsy and would be difficult to piece with cotton. One of the things I have discovered with this post is how difficult it is to accurately photo gold. Here, the colour looks fine - as it did on the net when i bought it. In reality it is very brassy. It looks bad imitation gold - cheap and tacky. I am not sure if you can see it here, but also the texture of the backing net shows through.


Version 4 was a fold faux leather. It cuts well and stitches well - no problem at all but you do need a leather needle. It is a very thick fabric. I'm not sure it would piece well with cotton and it certainly wouldn't do my favourite sliver piecing. Although it quilts well it doesn't look a bit like metal and colour wise it looks more like champagne than gold. So,on to version 5.


This is a supposedly gold spandex. It does look gold in the photo - which is why I bought it, but again colour on the net is deceptive. This is quite a dark metallic brown and looks quite dark and dull combined with black. It is also very stretchy so a bit tricky to quilt.

What the next fabric arrived through the post I though I had struck gold! the colour was perfect. It is also on a net backing, but not quite so loose weave as the first one. The problems began when I tried to quilt in the circle guide lines.

One problem with metallics is that none of the usual markers work. You have to mark and quilt from the back. As the only thing I mark is the circles, I had then preceded to the right side to quilt all the pattern in the previous versions. However, this gold fabric just stuck to the machine table - even with a Teflon slider. I tried lifting it and feeding it through. Not a technique that works folks, don't try it. Next I pin pricked the outlines. This was better, but very difficult to follow accurately. And with metallics, all pin pricks show - so no taking out. Whatever you do is what you live with.


And the next problem was even more serious.



The stitching has a tendency to split the fabric and the batting peeks through.

Well, I suppose you could say going for gold isn't easy!! Never have I had to do so many version of a quilt!

thanks for dropping by...


Hilary Florence

Please find below a list of linky parties. I may not link with all of the every week, but with some of them most weeks. Please go and have a look at some of the other wonderful quilts and quilters there.
Anything goes Mondays @ http://marelize-ries.blogspot.co.uk/
Linky Tuesday at Free motion by  the river­­­­ @ http://www.conniekresin.com/
Fabric Tuesday @http://quiltstory.blogspot.co.uk/    
Sew cute Tuesday @ http://www.blossomheartquilts.com/ 
WIP Wednesday at freshly pieced   @   http://www.freshlypieced.com/
WOW = WIPs on Wednesdays  @ http://www.estheraliu.blogspot.co.uk/  
WIP Wednesday at TN + TN  @ http://needleandthreadnetwork.blogspot.ca
I Quilt Thursdays @ http://prettybobbins.com/
Really Random Thursdays @ http://www.liveacolorfullife.net/
Needle and Thread Thursday @ http://myquiltinfatuation.blogspot.co.uk/
Off the wall Fridays @ http://ninamariesayre.blogspot.co.uk/
Lizzie Lenard @ http://lizzielenard-vintagesewing.blogspot.co.uk/

Monday, 23 June 2014

...and then 3 came at once!

It is a known fact in British folk lore that you have to wait hours for a bus to come - and then 3 come at once. So it is with my FMQ Cameos. I have been very lax about posting them in the past few week - literally sidetracked! So here are 3 at once.


That is the Question - fmq Cameo 35
The first one, based on a question mark is aptly named 'That is the Question'. I know I keep saying 'I really enjoy quilting this motif' but the curls on this one are fun to do. It took a bit of practice to get the thicks and the thins as I wanted, but I am pleased with them now. Putting the motif in a box allows me to also include the motif inverted. This is an idea that I use with quite a few of my motifs.


Ripped Ribbon - fmq Cameo 36
This is one of those motifs that looks different depending on whether you look at the positive or the negative. I conceived it as a ribbon with random rips in it and I think it may be more effective as a single row. There are 4 rows here, so that you can also see a very odd what? - tree trunk with short, stubby branches? Definitely go with the ribbon - it's prettier!


Fmq Cameo 37
I haven't come up with a name for number 37 yet (all suggestions welcome). I hope you can see what I have done because it is easier than describing it! The idea was that the little vertical lines joining the S shapes, themselves create  a curving vertical shape and also alter the balance between the two bowls of the S. I told you it was easier to look!

Thanks for dropping by...

Hilary Florence

Please find below a list of linky parties. I may not link with all of the every week, but with some of them most weeks. Please go and have a look at some of the other wonderful quilts and quilters there.
Anything goes Mondays @ http://marelize-ries.blogspot.co.uk/
Linky Tuesday at Free motion by  the river­­­­ @ http://www.conniekresin.com/
Fabric Tuesday @http://quiltstory.blogspot.co.uk/    
Sew cute Tuesday @ http://www.blossomheartquilts.com/ 
WIP Wednesday at freshly pieced   @   http://www.freshlypieced.com/
WOW = WIPs on Wednesdays  @ http://www.estheraliu.blogspot.co.uk/  
WIP Wednesday at TN + TN  @ http://needleandthreadnetwork.blogspot.ca
I Quilt Thursdays @ http://prettybobbins.com/
Really Random Thursdays @ http://www.liveacolorfullife.net/
Needle and Thread Thursday @ http://myquiltinfatuation.blogspot.co.uk/
Off the wall Fridays @ http://ninamariesayre.blogspot.co.uk/
Lizzie Lenard @ http://lizzielenard-vintagesewing.blogspot.co.uk/


Monday, 16 June 2014

Sidetracked finished

Here is the completed Sidetracked - somewhat bleached by the sun I think.


I've shown you the background and the making of the tracks in my last two posts



I debated several fancy shapes for tracks, but in the end I decided to stick with the simplicity of the piece and just go for a straight line down one side.

When I made Fracture, I appliqued the quilted body directly onto the background with a machine blanket stitch. This works well, but does leave a raw edge of sorts. This time, I decided to face the quilted part and then hand stitch it to the background.



This is a lot of extra work but it gives a totally different finish; much neater - the stitches do not show on the front or back as I didn't go all the way through the backing. It is also raised up, sitting on the surface. I would be interested to hear what you think of this and which finish you prefer.


I had intended to tuck the end under, but didn't leave quite enough length to do that and I quite like the small overlap.


I also faced the edges of the background giving a similar finish to both.



One mistake I did make was to forget that in facing the tracks, I would lose some of the width. They are therefore I bit narrower than I had planned, which I think shows. I like this piece, but I'm not entirely happy with it. I think it is because the tracks are just that bit too narrow. Humm. What do you think?


Thanks for dropping by...

Hilary Florence

Please find below a list of linky parties. I may not link with all of the every week, but with some of them most weeks. Please go and have a look at some of the other wonderful quilts and quilters there.
Anything goes Mondays @ http://marelize-ries.blogspot.co.uk/
Linky Tuesday at Free motion by  the river­­­­ @ http://www.conniekresin.com/
Fabric Tuesday @http://quiltstory.blogspot.co.uk/    
Sew cute Tuesday @ http://www.blossomheartquilts.com/ 
WIP Wednesday at freshly pieced   @   http://www.freshlypieced.com/
WOW = WIPs on Wednesdays  @ http://www.estheraliu.blogspot.co.uk/  
WIP Wednesday at TN + TN  @ http://needleandthreadnetwork.blogspot.ca
I Quilt Thursdays @ http://prettybobbins.com/
Really Random Thursdays @ http://www.liveacolorfullife.net/
Needle and Thread Thursday @ http://myquiltinfatuation.blogspot.co.uk/
Off the wall Fridays @ http://ninamariesayre.blogspot.co.uk/
Lizzie Lenard @ http://lizzielenard-vintagesewing.blogspot.co.uk/

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Sidetracked - the tracks

Progress - such as it is or isn't - on my show quilt has still come to a halt as I can't find my cotton backed gold material. I am awaiting one more delivery of my last internet find. If that isn't right, I'll just have to do with what I've got. And what I have got is a lot of various types of gold lame and foil material, so gold will have to feature somewhere in my future quilts!

So on to my tracks for Sidetracked.


I've pieced together irregular strips of various cottons and silks in neutral colours. I've put in random slivers of gold just to give a bit of a highlight. This is a technique I have used in quite a few quilts, such as Ugly Duckling see here. The gold lame just frays too much for this.


As you can see, I got a little bit carried away with my strips - this is a long piece - about twice as long as I need. Never mind, more to play with. I tried quilting with white but that was very insipid, so I switched to gold thread. You can't really tell in the photo, but that had a lot more kick.


It was a beautiful day, so quilting out in the garden again. Please don't think it is always beautifully sunny. It is because we don't get that many sunny days that I can't bear to be inside sewing when it is dry and warm.


Here are a couple of close ups. Each strip is quilted with a different motif, many of them you will recognise by now. I think I counted 59 in total. This is my absolute favorite part of the making a quilt, so I had great fun doing this. Some of the beige silks I picked up cheaply at a market and they are in reality furnishing fabric. They are a bit tough to quilt and you can see it bubbling a bit. A good bit of steam should fix that.



Thanks for dropping by...

Hilary Florence


Please find below a list of linky parties. I may not link with all of the every week, but with some of them most weeks. Please go and have a look at some of the other wonderful quilts and quilters there.
Anything goes Mondays @ http://marelize-ries.blogspot.co.uk/
Linky Tuesday at Free motion by  the river­­­­ @ http://www.conniekresin.com/
Fabric Tuesday @http://quiltstory.blogspot.co.uk/    
Sew cute Tuesday @ http://www.blossomheartquilts.com/ 
WIP Wednesday at freshly pieced   @   http://www.freshlypieced.com/
WOW = WIPs on Wednesdays  @ http://www.estheraliu.blogspot.co.uk/  
WIP Wednesday at TN + TN  @ http://needleandthreadnetwork.blogspot.ca
I Quilt Thursdays @ http://prettybobbins.com/
Really Random Thursdays @ http://www.liveacolorfullife.net/
Needle and Thread Thursday @ http://myquiltinfatuation.blogspot.co.uk/
Off the wall Fridays @ http://ninamariesayre.blogspot.co.uk/
Lizzie Lenard @http://lizzielenard-vintagesewing.blogspot.co.uk/

Monday, 2 June 2014

Side-tracked

When I am working on plain white fabric as a background  one of my concerns is that it is - well just that - plain white. It doesn't have colour or the texture of dyed fabric to add interest. So I have been experimenting with adding texture, using scrunched up very find cotton.


It was also a lovely day, so I took the sewing machine into the garden.




Here is a close up of the final effect. The cotton is rushed and then stuck down to a backing fabric. I tried using both bondaweb and temporary glue spray and both work well, but for this larger piece I used bondaweb. I did quite a few trials of patterns to see which worked. Some are too fine and just get lost in the folds, but line, particularly across the fold work well. For a background, I always like to mix and match the patterns a bit, so I've used 3 here. The quilting has to also be quilt large.


The patterns are more obvious from the back. I also had to quilt this from the back, to avoid getting the quilting foot caught up in the folds.


Here is back and front together to see the contrast. I really like this. From a distance what you get is a much stronger, more vibrant texture than quilting alone will provide. As you come closer, variations in pattern become clearer and draw you in.

I have in mind some pieced neutrals to applique onto this. I'm going to call it 'Sidetracked' because the piecing will look a bit like tracks - but also I am of course getting sidetracked from my show quilt for the Birmingham Festival of Quilts. Some ideas won't wait to come out!

And talking of show quilts, the two quilts I sent of to the Malvern Quilt Show have returned. As well as 'White on Black, Black on White' that I blogged about a couple of weeks ago, I had also entered 'Fracture' into the small wall hanging category

Malvern Quilt Show judges' merit 2014 quilted wall haning free motion quilting

There were no judges comments, but 'Fracture' came back with a 'judge's merit' rosette. I am really thrilled as I was afraid my ribbon for 'Square Spiral' might be a one off. So now I should get back to the FOQ quilt (to be named Cosmic Split) - or maybe I'll just get sidetracked again!!

Thanks for dropping by...

Hilary Florence


Please find below a list of linky parties. I may not link with all of the every week, but with some of them most weeks. Please go and have a look at some of the other wonderful quilts and quilters there.
Anything goes Mondays @ http://marelize-ries.blogspot.co.uk/
Linky Tuesday at Free motion by  the river­­­­ @ http://www.conniekresin.com/
Fabric Tuesday @http://quiltstory.blogspot.co.uk/    
Sew cute Tuesday @ http://www.blossomheartquilts.com/ 
WIP Wednesday at freshly pieced   @   http://www.freshlypieced.com/
WOW = WIPs on Wednesdays  @ http://www.estheraliu.blogspot.co.uk/  
WIP Wednesday at TN + TN  @ http://needleandthreadnetwork.blogspot.ca
I Quilt Thursdays @ http://prettybobbins.com/
Really Random Thursdays @ http://www.liveacolorfullife.net/
Needle and Thread Thursday @ http://myquiltinfatuation.blogspot.co.uk/
Off the wall Fridays @ http://ninamariesayre.blogspot.co.uk/
Friday linky party @ http://www.confessionsofafabricaddict.blogspot.co.uk/
Lizzie Lenard @http://lizzielenard-vintagesewing.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/where-has-free-motion-friday-gone.html

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Finally - the 9th and final square in Learning Curves in 9 Squares

First of all I am going to start with a plea for help. A couple of years ago I bought a cotton backed gold foil fabric from a quilting shop - it was part of their Christmas range. This is not gold coloured, but a true metallic foil stuck to cotton. It cuts, stitches and FMQs beautifully. And I can't get hold of any more. The shop has sold out, can't remember which rep they have got it from and has no plans to get more. I have tried many shops in the UK, even big ones like Cotton Patch who can not help. I have searched on the internet and bought several things to try, but have not been able to find this cotton backed foil. I can't be the only person to have used this. If anyone could let me know of a source I would be VERY grateful!

I can't remember when I posted the first of the 9 squares from this piece, but there have been so many diversions to show quilts and bloggers festivals and other things. Sorry about that.

This is a long post - lots of photos - so get a cup of tea/coffee ready!!

Today we have arrived at the 9th and final Square 'How does your Garden Grow'

How does your Garden Grow form Learning Curves in 9 Squares

And looking at this photo, you might be forgiven for thinking how your garden grew was upside down! Or could it be the photo that is upside down? However, I think this motif works any way up and think of it as hanging flowers here. It is another design that you can stretch and squeeze at will giving short dumpy flowers to long thin ones and anything in between. It is what I call a 'there and back' design, meaning that it ends at the starting point. You need to travel along the guide lines to the next start point - or do an awful lot of stopping and starting. Guess which method I used!!

And now for the whole piece - all 9 squares together. I promised you a bit of a surprise with this. It is a very small surprise, and I think you will have guessed what I was planning before now. If not, just look at it for a moment or two before reading on.

Learning Curves in 9 Squares

I hope it is pretty obvious that the lines flow across the squares to form one continuous design. If not, let me know!!

The embryo of this piece was in a stitch sample that I did in orange thread with no other aim than to practise. I had some fabric dyed in the same orange and used it for a binding (and no, I don't usually put bindings on my practice pieces!). I really liked the look of thread and binding in the same colour. I had also wanted to vary/develop what I had done in Strata - my first show quilt.

Strata
So I thought I would experiment with similar organic flowing lines but this time divide the piece into squares, with one motif per square. The colour scheme was dictated by matching thread and dyed fabric that I already had.

Arrow Head and Cobbler's Nightmare from Learning Curves in 9 Squares

I call it 'Learning Curves' because it is a trial piece. So, what have I learnt?
Dividing it into squares certainly makes it a lot easier to quilt, and I do think the method works. I've slip stitched the squares together with double thread. The stitching isn't visible and it is strong enough to hold the weight of the quilt. Having one motif per square I think works well, as does the thread/binding colour link.

The importance of colour I have already touched upon. Paler colours just get lost at a distance.
For me, the biggest problem of the piece is a lack of focal point. Strata suffers from the same problem, (which is why I think it only got a 'satisfactory' in the show). Both pieces are an excuse for me to indulge in FMQ which I love so much, but I need to find a stronger design to carry it off. Humm. Back to the thinking board.

Oh, and one last lesson - don't take so many photos. I think this post has taken me almost as long to prepare as to quilt!! I hope you enjoy them.

All Aflame and Swirls from Learning Curves in 9 Squares


4 squares joining from Learning Curves in 9 Squares

4 squares joining from Learning Curves in 9 Squares

Fly away home and Sticks and Stones from Learning Curves in 9 Squares

4 squares joining from Learning Curves in 9 Squares

Arrow Head and How does your Garden Grow from Learning Curves in 9 Squares

Learning Curves in 9 Squares - detail

Hour Glass and All Aflame from Learning Curves in 9 Squares

4 squares joining from Learning Curves in 9 Squares

Learning Curves in 9 Squares - detail


Learning Curves in 9 Squares - detail

4 squares joining from Learning Curves in 9 Squares

Cobblers Nightmare and Not on my Parade from Learning Curves in 9 Squares

Thanks for dropping by

Hilary Florence

Please find below a list of linky parties. I may not link with all of the every week, but with some of them most weeks. Please go and have a look at some of the other wonderful quilts and quilters there.
Anything goes Mondays @ http://marelize-ries.blogspot.co.uk/
Linky Tuesday at Free motion by  the river­­­­ @ http://www.conniekresin.com/
Fabric Tuesday @http://quiltstory.blogspot.co.uk/    
Sew cute Tuesday @ http://www.blossomheartquilts.com/ 
Show and tell Tuesday @ http://ihavetosay.typepad.com/randi/
WIP Wednesday at freshly pieced   @   http://www.freshlypieced.com/
WOW = WIPs on Wednesdays  @ http://www.estheraliu.blogspot.co.uk/  
WIP Wednesday at TN + TN  @ http://needleandthreadnetwork.blogspot.ca
I Quilt Thursdays @ http://prettybobbins.com/
Really Random Thursdays @ http://www.liveacolorfullife.net/
Needle and Thread Thursday @ http://myquiltinfatuation.blogspot.co.uk/
Off the wall Fridays @ http://ninamariesayre.blogspot.co.uk/