There are rather a lot of textiley things I could update you on, I've been busy with all sorts; my stitching in Studio 11 time is coming on slowly, as it often does; we had a lovely talk recently at the Embroiderers Guild from Emily Jo Gibbs, which included a brief tutorial at the end to show us the techniques she uses to create her beautiful stitched portraits; I've also been learning to use a small rigid heddle loom, having been inspired by the weaving I saw in Bhutan. I already have a much deeper appreciation of the skill that goes into weaving their beautiful textiles. But today it's patchwork that I'm sharing with you. One of our Guild members is also a very good patchworker, and she offered us a course to teach us the basics. We started in May with an introduction to patchwork and quilting, both the technical aspects and some history. Over the year we are to make nine blocks, each in a different technique, all hand pieced, quilting as we go. These will all come together to make a nine patch quilt.
So, below is my most recent block, Rocky Road to Kansas.
Each of the four arms of the star are pieced using the crazy patchwork technique; delightfully fiddly, each little scrap is stitched down onto a foundation fabric, with lots of puzzling and careful folding and stitching to get the bits to fit together. Crazy patchwork is a way of using up all sorts of scraps, and is often further embellished by decorative surface stitching. I cannot imagine making a whole quilt using this technique, but one block was terrific fun.
The pictures below show the block in context. Naomi's idea was for us to use just three different fabrics to keep things simple, a light, medium and dark, but because I have a bit if a stash already I thought I'd use a series of related fabrics, mostly fat quarters, and try to balance them across the quilt.
I've enjoyed selecting fabrics that work together, and have been adding in different fabrics to bring variety to the blocks, along with ones I've used previously, so that none of the blocks is out of kilter with the rest. So far it seems to be working. The Rocky Road block hasn't been backed and quilted yet. Once I've done that it will be joined to the top row and then on to the next block, one with needle turned appliqué. I'll update you as I go :-)