Sunday, 8 February 2015

Making the Moors

A couple of people had asked if I had painted my Moors quilt, so I thought I would just give a bit of information on how it is constructed.

The central panel is made by curve-piecing strips of 14 different fabrics together. If you haven't discovered curve piecing before it is very satisfying - and you can find tutorials online.   (My first attempt and things I learned from it are here.)   I included quilting and shot cottons, klona, calico and linen for variation in texture, and starting with the darkest of various shades of grey at the top, fading to a pale neutral, then onto beige and through various shades of brown.


Quilting added a lot of colour and also softened the transition in colour from one strip to the next.  I used black, grey and a grey/blue/green variegated thread at the top, gradually changing to various buff and brown threads. Then I started adding in some lines of green, and a range of heather colours, from dark to light pink to suggest moorland vegetation.  Just as with the fabrics, the threads are all different weights and fibres. Sometimes you have to take advantage of things that happen by themselves - I deliberately left some strips unquilted because the slightly puffier texture seemed just right for hinting clouds or different layers of landscape/vegetation.  Halfway through, I fused on the dark strip of fabric in the middle because I felt it needed it.


It was interesting to see quite how much thread colour does affect fabric colour.  In the pic below the brown strip in the middle is the same fabric as the one right at the bottom, but even a few lines of deep pink quilting gave the bottom one a purple tinge.  Similarly the fabric which looks green in the pic below is actually a beige brown - if you look at the first picture in this post you can see how it looked before a couple of lines of green quilting just outside the ditch between it and the adjacent strips.



I trimmed away the excess batting and added some fresh strips all the way round to bring it up to 12 x 12 inches, which is the agreed size for Four in Art quilts, then made a kind of 'mount' for the picture with an off-white Oakshott leaving the top edge of the pieced section curved.  I mitred it, because that seemed the right thing to do, but it was very fiddly - I should have followed a tutorial!  Then I added the binding in one of the browns - a textured solid - to look like a frame.

There is the usual list of things not to do next time.  (The subtitle of this blog should be "Learn from my mistakes")

- My carefully measured angles in the mitred border don't actually line up with the final corners of the quilt  - partly because I forgot to take into account the fact that the central piece isn't actually square whereas the quilt is.
- There is a join in the binding which is right next to one of the corners.  Careless.
- There is a tiny piece of red lint trapped in behind the border.  Luckily it only shows through in a particular light.  This is even more shameful because I have done it before...  I mention this as a cautionary tale.  Obviously it is as important in quilting as in cooking to keep your work station clean...

But I still like it anyway!







`

18 comments:

  1. It is very pretty!!!! I love all the layers!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am SO glad that you took the time to explain your process! It is fascinating to learn about the effects of colored quilt stitches on the design -- it seems to almost add another design element. The quilt is absolutely lovely.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for the explanation of the process, very interesting to see the difference that the thread colours make. I never thought that they had that much of an impact. I do love those mitred corners (even if they were a complete pain), they just really set off the whole 'piece of art' vibe!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love it! I'm still amazed at the effect quilting has, taking fabric from rather flat to so subtly textured adn coloured! Fantastic! I keep wondering when I will be able to do something (like mitring) without a fiddle, but I seem to always need to look up a tutorial-I suppose before the Internet we would all have had encyclopaedic sewing manuals!

    ReplyDelete
  5. The Moors are wonderful. I love the quilting lines and was looking for your join in the binding and found it and it is so wonderfully handmade.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Lots to love! First, I love seeing the moors, something right out of classic literature. And secondly, I love the thick thread. It really adds texture. I appreciated all your build details. I think I would have missed the mitering issue with an almost square too. As for the join I'm the binding right by a corner, I've never understood the problem, especially when your angles are parallel. It's such a nice reminder of process. In this case, where the binding is standing in for a frame, I think the join looks like a bit of texture in wood grain. I just love this!

    ReplyDelete
  7. That is really lovely - thank you for the tutorial on it. these kind of freeform ideas always scare me.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I want to do something similar to this, but a different scene, but I can't quite get it to come out of my head and into real life. Thanks for the explanation.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I really envy people who have the creative, arty gene. A really interesting post.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love how the threads completely changed the look of the fabrics!!

    P.S. You might be able to get the red thread/lint out - use a fine needle (or pin) and poke it between the threads of the fabric and see if you can 'hook' it out. I do this all the time with stray threads (no matter how carefully you trim before layering, there's always at least one that escapes and then does a 'look at me!' dance once it's too late to peel back the layers) and it's quite easy, you just need a bit of patience...

    ReplyDelete
  11. I admire your curved piecing skills Catherine! There is so much depth of colour and mood in your mini quilt! As I have said before- a real piece of art!

    ReplyDelete
  12. It is always amazing how much difference the stitching makes. And I was too preoccupied with the perfection of your moors theme in the last post, but I also love the white mount effect with frame, brilliant idea.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks for sharing your process. It is amazing to see how much subtlety is added to the finished piece by the changes in thread colour - a really beautful effect.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Catherine, the more I look at this mini, the more I like it. I absolutely love it! Thank you so much for taking time to explain "how it was done", it's very helpful and inspiring. It's amazing how much quilting changed the look of this piece, how much texture and depth it added. I like your list of "what not to do next time" :-)

    ReplyDelete
  15. This is my absolute favourite! I grew up near the Peak District, and this really captures a landscape close to my heart. Sigh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know exactly what you mean Yzo, this makes me think of home! Beautiful work Catherine 😊

      Delete
  16. I just love this more and more each time I see it. Having just learnt to sew curves I can understand a bit more how you made it. I don't know how you had the patience to quilt it with so many coloured threads though!

    ReplyDelete

I love hearing from you and always try to reply - please forgive me if I occasionally forget! If you don't hear back do check you aren't a "No Reply Blogger", and look for a reply in the Comments section.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...