Thursday, 19 January 2006

Quilty

It looks like I might actually finish my patchwork quilt this year. Inspired by Jac's recent notable success in this department I dragged my longest standing incomplete project out of the cupboard a couple of weeks ago (the garage sale cleanout helped me locate it) and gave myself a sore arm in a two-day stitching frenzy. Consequently the quilt top is almost done - only one seam of nine squares to go before it's ready to be backed & quilted.



This quilt has been a classic decide in haste repent at leisure exercise. It is all handstitched. There are nine hundred squares; each square is 6 x 6 cm; there are about 5 stitches to each centimetre; how many stitches does that work out to? Too fecking many, especially considering that the basic design is SQUARE BLOCKS and there is ABSOLUTELY NO REASON it couldn't have been assembled on a sewing machine in a week's worth of evenings. For all that work I could have at least used a more interesting design. But I was so eager to get to work that I just went with the very first idea that came to mind.

Tosh was still on The Bill when I started. I've been using pages cut from a magazine to make the little paper squares which each bit of cloth is wrapped around and tacked to (more unnecessary labour) - the mag is 21.C: the Magazine of Culture, Technology and Science. Here is an advertisement on one of the pages remaining.



My original grand ambition was to make a quilt that a person could look at in say thirty years' time and not be able to confidently place a date on it. All the materials in the top are vintage & many are recycled - most of it is cut from vintage aprons found in op shops. Since not many people are all that interested in aprons it's still a fairly good bet that you can find some interesting old fabric in reasonable condition in the apron box even though the pickings in op shops are generally very slim nowadays. So the materials date from 1950s to 1970s and have had varying degrees of wear. But I don't think the plan succeeded. The colour combinations now look typically 1990s to my eye. Perhaps you can't ever escape your era.

Think I like the back more than the front, too....



19 comments:

Ampersand Duck said...

Looking good, needs more cat hair.

Brownie said...

front looks pretty 50's to me.
I think the 50's and 60's would have had the least quilting done of any decade.
With the reverse photo I think you are just showing off - it is so neat.
duckie - cat hair stays in the rinse water if half cup of white vinegar is added. I swear it works.

Lucy Tartan said...

The back looks like that because of the cloth being folded round squares of paper before being sewed together.

How do you add vinegar to rinse water in a front loader? I guess it doesn't make the washing smell vinegarey?

You're undoubtedly right about the lack of quilting in the 50s & perhaps the 60s - though I thought patchwork kicked off again in the late 60s - I have some funny "artistic" quilt design books from circa 1968.

Jonathan said...

Did you quilt a map of Cranford yet?

elaine said...

Is there a reason that you can't suddenly decide in another fit of rashness that what was originally the reverse side will now be the right side and make it a deconstructed (I hate that word as it applies here) quilt?

And I love old sciency type magazines. I remember once finding an astronomy mag from the late 70's. The 'showcase' pics were faint fuzzy blobs.

Lucy Tartan said...

Elaine: only that there would be no going back once the quilting got underway. There'd be loose threads everywhere too.

Jonathan, what I ended up with turned out to be quite critical and I can't post it in that condition, not if I ever want to get a job that is.

Lucy Tartan said...

You did a terrific job organising this event. It turned out really well.

elsewhere said...

I think you're just a bloody saint to embark on any such craft extravaganza, esp in the heat of summer.

(Have you ever thought of taking up residence in an Amish Community? You might have at least one thing in common.)

Hil said...

I'm afraid I remember Jim Carver in the first episode... A few years ago when it turned to soap we weaned ourselves off it by watching back episodes of Seachange, but then went back to the silly thing.

Lucy Tartan said...

A yes, once The Bill has you in its slack-lipped dentured curry-smeared maw, that's it, you're feckered forever. We make arrangements to tape it when we go overseas, even if this entails setting up several video recorders and / or having someone come over to change tapes halfway through.

It's really gotten bad lately. Nevertheless outside of Australian Idol season it's the only thing I watch.

Elsewhere, funny you should say that...today I would join anything, even the Amish, to get away from writing. Any nobleness derived from embarkation on a quilt project however belongs to 1995, when the stupid thing was started. All I did last week was sew the last three big squares together.

Jonathan said...

Post it. Critical's good. It will only improve your reputation capital, or whatever it is that John calls it.

R H said...

I like these interior photos. They're like those real estate adverts in local papers showing photos of people's furniture when it's really a house they're trying to sell.

Kate said...

I think it's a lovely quilt. I'm inspired by all you sewers and I'm tempted to buy a sewing machine. But then I think my knitting might suffer...

Lucy Tartan said...

My impression of interior photos in real estate agent ads is of really horrible furniture shoved up around the edges of the room, the centrepeice of which is a monstrously overblown TV.

Apologies to anybody who is trying to sell their house.

R H said...

Yes well I see lots of adverts showing a beautifully made up double bed, a bit of wall, and a slice of window.
'Open For Inspection' days are popular with neighbours. There's no better chance to cop onto the wall prints, the furnishings, and what's in the fridge. "OOOH, she's not very clean is she, look at that grime behind the stove!"

Hil said...

'once The Bill has you in its slack-lipped dentured curry-smeared maw, that's it, you're feckered forever'

LOL. So it would seem. Then you are in danger of sliding helplessly into the paws of Inspector Rex.

BTW, since one of your previous posts, I now keep a look out for Woods china in the Bill. My family had Woods crockery when I was growing up, and I still have two of the teacups. I have friend here who has collected a whole dinner service.

Helen said...

Tosh was still on The Bill when I started.

God, that's a long time ago.

Anonymous said...

Oooo, I like it. You can tell I do because I am accessing it through DIAL-UP. Also I have forgotten my Blogger Identity (probably a good thing) and must post anonymously. The shame!
- jac

Lucy Tartan said...

Jac your quilt is a billion times nicer, as you well know. Congratulations on forgetting your blogger details - that shows real strength of character.