Monday 5 December 2011


I've started binding the dolls quilts I've been making and it's highlighted the problems you get if you don't think things out carefully in advance but throw things together in a haphazard way.  The backings are in pink and yellow Tree Peony by Amy Butler from my stash (in this case more a very small pile of accumulated leftovers and impulse buys), and the first thing to note is that I was ignorant enough not to know to ask for a fat quarter when I ordered them, so these are skinny quarters joined down the middle.   Second problem was that when I came to think about binding and decided that something in red would be really dandy with the blue and white it eventually struck even me that this would look truly horrible against the Tree Peony. 

Incidentally, I really admire people who have a consistent sense of style - mine is a bit too open to influence, which means nothing in my house matches and sadly not even in the trendy way they call "eclectic".  It's hard to acknowledge the fact that the height of my aspiration in the early 1990s was to have a black watch tartan duvet cover and matching lampshade - a bit like an old crush, sometimes you look back and think oooh, how could you?!  As soon as I see a new fabric collection I like it more than anything else.  So that's the reason for using up the Amy Butler: sorry, Tree Peony, I still love you very much, but it's time to move on!

ugly join!

one of the neater bits of quilting!

My main problem has been trying to square up the quilts before binding them.  Since all the lines and angles in my piecing are off I just could not get it to look right, and began to fear that something like this would happen.

(From The Penguin Max (c) 1962 P L Giovannetti)

In the end I had to pick my best straight line, and square up everything else by it, and hopefully the sprogs won't mind.


  1. Dont be so hard on your self...I am sure they will love your efforts xx

  2. Sometimes it's the imperfections that make a quilt special. Look at the Gee's Bend quilts, (which I saw some in person and believe me when I say it was like a religious experience!) Many are full of off-kilter lines and angles that don't square up. Not to mention imperfect stitching, quilting that seems to have a mind of it's own and unusual fabric choices. And yet there is a power to the work that has elevated them to true objects of art. So perfection may not be all it's cracked up to be, hmmm...

    And in regards to developing that consistant sense of style and not being so influenced by the trends... that comes with time. Sometimes lots of time. I've been quilting for about 15 years and most of that time was spent first trying what others were doing, then exploring lots of my own ideas, all rather diverse. Then and only then was I able to start to determine what I really wanted to say visually.

    I did a guest blog post on this very topic over at Whip Up, where I give some tips on things you can do to help get in touch with your own style. You can find the post here: Finding Your Creative Voice

  3. Hi Victoria, I have read and reread your post and found it really helpful and inspiring, thanks for pointing me in that direction!


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