Tag Archives: work methods

Heirloom Poppies

heirloom doily for a pillow

This week’s pillow commission required extreme care.  It required symmetry and therefore measuring.  It required keeping fabric that wanted to crinkle, flat.  It required being able to FIND the doily.  My iron had to be pristine at all times.

Hole before -- muslin scrap slipped under, no glue

There was one minor flaw in the doily — the round hole shown above.  It wasn’t that noticeable until one placed the doily on the coral-colored silk, and then it was VERY noticeable.  I didn’t want to use a glue-product like WonderUnder to adhere a teeny piece of muslin under the hole, so I stitched it carefully — without turning under the edges because that would have required enlarging the hole.

Hole after -- edges left raw to minimize size of tear

Long ago, I learned that white-glove production is not for me.  Professional curtain-making was a casualty of this recognition.  I tried it briefly.  Loved the design challenges, fabric selections, and money, but couldn’t stand the sweat and worry.  And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, then you haven’t seen what schmutz on an iron can do to a fully-assembled white linen Roman shade — in about four seconds.

Exquisite embroidery -- tough to iron flat near its contours

I am hoping that my small quilting stitches don’t detract too much from the beautiful embroidery of the poppy.

Light quilting to anchor doily to silk

The process of working on this pillow has heightened my appreciation for working congruently… working in a style, palette, and scale that is in accord with one’s basic wiring and temperament.

For instance, do you plan or jump in and clean up your messes afterwards?  Are you a designer who makes sketches or who doesn’t?  And if you do, are those sketches made prior to taking a stitch and/or during construction?  Do crooked lines bother you?  Do straight lines?

What do you do if you are an improv quilter and suddenly must meet specific demands imposed by a commission? (this week’s rub, for me).  And, given your basic disposition, how do you tolerate being on a learning curve?

Coral-colored silk a winner with the poppies

There are fiber artists out there, by the way, doing unbelievably beautiful things with antique linens.  For an exquisite use of heirloom cloth, please visit Kaye Turner’s blog.

Yesterday, when I finally got back to ‘doing what I love’, I found myself stymied again, because this huge Global Warming quilt will not let itself be resolved.

Iteration 735! Horizon re-emerging

Pitbullish about its size, I am resisting the temptation to break it into smaller pieces.  I could easily create four smaller quilts.  It keeps morphing this way and that and I truly can’t tell if it’s getting closer to resolution or not.  Last night I lay in bed counting on my fingers how many BED SIZED simple geometric quilts I could have made with the time I’ve spent on this.

What I have decided therefore, is, to piece it up in its unresolved state and then to ‘paint’ with applique to bring the thing into harmony.

blue edge near top needs broken up

brown edge near middle needs disturbed

another Global Warming "spawn" quilt