Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Quilting stripes


I'm taking a quilting course at the workroom. If you've followed the blog for a while you'll know this is my second quilt. The first one I made I a) taught myself how to make it b) use printmaking methods on every single panel and c) took me over FOUR YEARS. So, I'm taking this course and attempting to make a (much smaller, mind you) quilt within THREE WEEKS (there's a lot of 'homework' in this class). It's a lot of labour! However, I thought it was worth my while to learn the tricks of the trade, as it were. In fact, advice I've had about measuring, cutting and pressing fabric, not to mention stabilizing small pieces, in our first class, has been tremendously valuable and could have saved me a lot of grief. A lot of it boils down to using the proper tool for the job (oh! the irony! that's practically my mantra as ocean-going geophysicist) as well as (another shocker) proper maintenance of tools. So, I'm going to make a somewhat more traditional quilt and once I learn how to do that properly (which, in fairness, could be a life-long process, but I mean once I have a firm grasp of the fundamentals) then, I can mess with these tools and methods and try the crazy quilt-like textile schemes in my head.

This is the stage where the interesting mathematics of quilting starts to come into play, if you're into that sort of thing which I don't think you are, so don't panic. The basic planning is just arithmetic, but now we have permutations, tessallations, algebra and geometry to consider. We could make x's, chevrons, zigzags or diamonds. This is my plan. I scanned all my squares and then played with orientations in software, since floor space is scarce.


By 'plan' I mean, this is the way I intend to make groups of four squares, and the sashing I have in mind. There may be some more variations.

I've used a lot of my scraps and bits of nifty contemporary prints, but I've also thrown in a lot of crazy thrifted vintage fabric. I'm quite pleased how beautiful that combination can be. You can look at each square by clicking on it. I wonder if you would know the age of the fabric by looking at it.

RJH picked me up after class last week. He said a group of 'drunken party girls' stumbled by and one exclaimed, "They're quilting in there! Quilting!" in complete disbelief. They were followed by a couple. The young man said to his girlfriend, "Maybe I should ask those ladies to sew me some drapes, because you're never going to." They rent machines by the hour - I hope she suggested he could sew his own drapes. Ah, Parkdale on a Thursday night.

No comments: