My foray into thrifty quilting and

needle-turned applique

with thrift shop clothing

I'm setting out to be an anti-Quilting Industry rebel. Not winning any prizes for fine stitching, just enjoying laying down patches of colour in a design based on a Jacobean Crewel hanging.

I conceived it as my winter flower gardening project. 35 squares to keep me off the street. All from a $5 bag O' shirts from our beloved Treasure Trunk. The backing will be flour bags.

I think I was just planning a crazy quilt when I bought the bag of blouses. But the 'Quilts on the Tay' show happened to be on that day and I scooted over there thinking I'd get a bit of inspiration. I was totally taken with needle-turned appliqué. So then I had to look for a design with lots of curves.

I remembered loving a set of bedsheets in the movie Spanglish. The design reminded me of a cotton blouse I had when I was ten years old. I tried to find the sheets, but knowing it was based on 19th century crewel, which I've always loved, I looked into the whole history of chintz designs. In the process I found the tapestry that became my outline. (See below.)

I learned how to stitch the pieces on from Wendi Gratz here.

I imagined as I did the first square that each would have a brand-new combination of fabric choices, but after two squares I could see how I was going to continue the theme I began across the background squares. I'm OK with the matches of shapes between the sections being a bit wonky, but I really didn't want colour breaks across the flowers. Part of my rebellion is that as a graphic designer I have a tendency to go slick if I exercise all my skill and eye for precision. I just wanted portable squares to stitch while sitting down, with no prepping of the shapes. I'm in awe of precise quilters who use all the modern tools and techniques to create work you can show off in hi-res closeup photos, but it's not the process I want to execute. And if I did, I'd be taking advantage of the high quality, tightly-woven quilt prints available. These blouses are quite varied in their fabrics and this quilt is not being built to last for generations. It's just going to look very nice on the single bed in my studio.

I have 17 of 35 squares done. And I've been to the Lanark Quilters' Guild appliqué meeting where I found out the best way for me to quilt it without losing an elbow. It's called 'Big Stitch'. Sounds obvious for such a relatively sketchy quilt, but I had to know it's a Thing. I nearly wrecked my elbow the year I did my embroidered flowers, so I can't stitch all day, day after day.

This is how the Adobe Illustrator file looks with the tapestry photo I faded and the lines I've drawn. I blow up each square (just the lines) in a new file to print out. On my light table I draw with pencil on the fabric square and on the pieces. I don't care if a bit of pencil shows. What's wrong with exposing the process?

Make a free website with Yola