Monday, May 17, 2010

A quick dip?

The biggest problem with having exciting new crafty books to read is that it tends to give me exciting new crafty ideas; sadly without magically providing me with either the time or the extra budget to start whatever new project my fingers are itching towards.  Very occasionally though, it might just all work out.

The book in question is my latest treat, The Gentle Art of Quilt-Making by Jane Brocket, which arrived just in time for me to take to the Lakes for visual delight once the sun had gone down and all the soaring hills were hidden from view.  It's not what you would call a traditional quilting book and I don't think it's designed to be; if you want a book where the pattern or the technical quilting takes the lead then this isn't the book for you.  A lot of the patterns are a very simple construction, and I probably could figure out many of them without detailed instructions.  But then I've got a heap of books on techniques and beautiful piecing and I love them to bits, and to the great detriment of their spine bindings; this book taps into the other part of my soul that resonates to quilt making, a serious affection for really stunning fabric.

As a book it is part coffee table, part inspiration to make my own versions of the quilts in the book, and part inspiration to take other things that I find beautiful and try to represent them in fabric.  Above all, these are not the quilts that take years to put together, and my inner speed demon combined with the knowledge that my crafty time is going to be seriously curtailed come September makes me think that simple but beautiful might be a good way to go.

Of all the quilts in the book, I really love the Swimming Pool quilt, a myriad of squares arranged quite at random as the light and reflections of neighbouring objects dance across the surface of a pool.  I started with a little internet surfing, making mental notes of what might work, what colours I would need to include for my own pool, and then I stopped, went upstairs, opened the stash cupboard and started pulling out all sorts of bits and pieces in blues, turquoises and greens.

Cotton Patch have a wonderful series of 10" square selection packs which I rather gravitate towards because it allows me to have a decent chunk of lots of the new ranges of fabrics without they're being too small to do anything useful with (charm packs) or too expensive to have a good collection (fat quarters).

I started with a Kaffe Fassett blues collection, rejected a couple but kept the rest, added a few squares from an Amy Butler pack, and a couple from the Kaffe Fassett greens collection and almost without trying I had nearly half the number of squares I needed, albeit at a slightly smaller 5" cut square to get four from each square.  I added leftovers from my stars quilt, fabrics rejected from my stars quilt, and two very special fat quarters which I used in their entirety.

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Both came from Paris on our first wedding anniversary; crazy wonderful colourful fabrics that needed to be used for something special and something lasting.  So now my pool has crazy daisy petals floating on the water,

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and wild blue Hawaiian blooms reflected in the ripples.

I did all the cutting up at the start of the month and the pile of fabric has sat on my desk, waiting for the day when I would have enough floor space to start playing.  And on Saturday afternoon I did (as long as I kept the baby bump out of the way of the cup final!).

A quick check for tonal balance (all hail digital cameras with black and white settings)
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and I spent a peaceful Sunday listening to Twilight on the audio book (again) and sewing long lines of squares together.

I still need to add a poolside edge as well as backing and binding, which I will have to buy but this:
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Is my fantasy back garden pool - and not a water meter in sight, or any newly purchased fabric!
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Don't you just want to dive in?

I'm contemplating a spotty border, possibly some of the slightly irregular spots from Amy Butler's Love range to mimic the raised tiles around the edge of a pool, but I don't know whether that's too twee or whether the quilt could carry it off - what do you think?

And now, lest you think that I had completely forgotten about my duties as a crysallising (is that even a word) Mummy blogger:

Carie 24weeks.5

24 weeks of baby bump, and it's mother.  Ages ago hopping through Ravelry I saw someone's profile picture that just said: "I'm so crafty, I make people!" - I've got to get it on a shirt before the summer is over!


  1. I love the way you are blooming, you look wonderful.

    The colours of your quilt are just like an open air pool that I spent the summers of my child hood in. Its lovely Carie, I want to dive in from the highest diving board.

    I think a small checkered border (in size of squares not necessarily width) to mimic the small mosaic tiles that were at my swimming pool would be nice, not in a solid colour though, it would compliment the squares of your pool. They would need to have enough depth of tone to contrast against your water, you wouldn't want to fall in!

    This of course would go against everything that Jane Brocket was trying to inspire with her book, simple beautiful quilts as it would then put many more hours into your quilt.

    I'm sure you will find the perfect answer.

  2. I'd use my standard border, a thin dark plain strip and then a piano key border. It would look like the edge around the pool.

    It could be another sort of pool with a few Koi and some water lilies.

  3. Oh man - I love baby bumps...makes me a little sad that I will never have another one myself!

    Your quilt top is beautiful - perfect block placement - I can see the ripples and shadows in the water!


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