One of the cruel ironies of owning a fabric shop is being constantly surrounded by inspiration and temptation. Its been a busy few months and I have been finding less and less time for just sitting and sewing at the machine.
No complaints mind you! I love getting up in the morning and chekcing out the fabrics you have chosen in your orders.
Pretty much The Next Stitch' catalogue of patterns reads like my to-do list. For different reasons, there will be something about each and every one that I have chosen that speaks to me and makes my fingers itch. It could be:
- the utter originality of Carolyn Friedlander,
- the scrap busting potential of Irene Blancks designs,
- the beautifully clear instructions from Aussie Keera Job, or
- Denyse Schmidt's modern take on tradition.
So getting back to the crux of the problem - so many quilts to make and so little time....
I decided a quick and easy quilt was the order of the day and settled on Denyse Schmidt's Big Charming quilt pattern.
I knew those simple squares would come together quickly and easily, but also would provide the opportunity for some fabric play. I also love the negative space and off-grid layout of the design.
My initial fabric pull was initially inspired by a selection of Carolyn Friedlander prints I had helped one of our customers with the day before. I added some scraps of Carkai from my stash and some extra Kona cottons to build out my palette of blues, greens and greys.
I had a lot of fun playing with the flow of colours across the charm square panel. Even after it was pieced I couldn't help myself, and had to do a bit more tweaking.
As I was working on the charm panel, I was reminded of pool tiles and the way that blue appears darker as the water gets deeper. While I still did'nt know where I was going with the final quilt I settled on the name 'Deep End'.
When working on the flow of colour I aimed for an imperfect graduation from light to dark. Perhaps I'm kidding myself, but those unexpected pops of lightness in some areas, and dark in others give a watery shimmer.
That grey square fourth from the left on the bottom row was still bugging me. Its value was reading just a touch too dark, and with the saturated blue sitting just above it looked a bit block-like. I decided to add a bit of light with a little free-form applique. Its still there as it did the job and broke up that dense area - but I'm not sure if it will stay. Lets face it, while not planned that way, its just a bit phallic. Or is that just me?
I chose the grey (actually, I think its officially called pepper!) bones print from Carkai as the background fabric.
After cutting the panels, I lay it all out with the charm square panel. I thought the colour and scale of the print was bang-on, but it also seemed a bit too minimal. I put it aside and I thought it over some while going about the usual day to day activities of shop life.
I'd been wanting to make a Caternary quilt for a while - actually ever since I saw all of the amazing work from the workshops Carolyn Friedlander taught at the Modern Quilt Show Australia last year.
I was still stuck on the impression of tiles in a pool and it occured to me that the elegant arches of the Caternary pattern sort of echoed the powder coated pool fences in so many of our back yards. You know - that curved aluminium profile that was everywhere in the noughties.
I traced out the Caternay template out and cut a strip of Kona Pickle . I was still a bit undecided until I lay the arches over the carkai print. And then I knew...
I appliequed one long row and another 'broken row" above and below the charm panel. the broken row came about because two long rows looked a bit predictable. Afterwards it also occured to me that The viewer may see the gap as an open pool gate - or not ;-). Perhaps I'm being a bit fancifful here.
i have also used a few of the 'molehill' shapes that I had on hand after cutting out the caternary arches in a free form way on one of the panels. Each of them is different, and I reckon are a bit of fun.
Apologies for the dappled light - it ended up a bit quilt and I had trouble finding a place to photograph it easily. But here she is folks - Meet 'Deep End': my Big Charming and Caternary hack.
I'll endeavour to get a better flat shot once she's quilted.
I hope Carolyn Friedlander and Densye Schmidt think I have done their designs justice