Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Alice's Cushion

While we were on holiday, Alice beguiled a wet day by creating two patterns which, she thought I could make into quilts. I made the first one into this cushion.

This is Alice's original art-work on A4 card.

I photocopied it in monochrome and enlarged it to A3 size.
I marked the outline of each shape using a medium black felt pen and identified the colour on each one.
Then I traced each shape on tracing paper and cut it out. I used the tracing paper shapes as patterns to cut out the shapes in fabric.

I sprayed a piece of calico fabric with temporary fabric adhesive and laid out and pinned the pieces on it. Next, the panel was mounted on wadding and backing and pinned through all three layers. Finally, each shape was outlined with a wide zig-zag stitch which had the effect of anchoring the pattern together and at the same time quilting it. A border was added to make a good-sized cushion.

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Quilts from the Alhambra

Another quilt in my series inspired by Moorish patterns, exemplified by those found on walls, screens, floors and, especially, tiles in The Alhambra Palace at Grenada. The six-pointed interlaced star is one of the simpler designs, easy to re-create in patchwork. Some of the more complex designs could be interpreted in appliqué - but the MOST mathematically complex are impossible to imagine in any form other than the original!

A detail is shown of the centre star. The pattern is created by the 'fusssy cutting' method - which is to say by choosing a particular element of a pattern in the fabric and cutting it out as many times as needed. The best way to do this is by using two joined mirrors - I just bought two mirror tiles from a DIY store and joined them with masking tape. Place the template (in this case a 60 degree diamond) between the mirrors and move them about on the fabric until you see a pattern you like. Mark the template to identify the exact place where it is to be placed on the fabric each time. N.B. that I've used a striped border fabric, which is ideal for this type of patchwork.

This detail shows the edge of the quilt with the border cut from long strips of the original border fabric. Another piece is used for the binding. Machine embroidery on the interlacing strips emphasises the directional nature of the pattern.

The quilt is intended as a wall-decoration and measures 30 inches from side to side.