Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Shibori quilt

Here's an attempt at an art quilt which I sat down and made today. It's about 12" x 14".

I've been browsing art quilts a lot recently but don't really know where to start. I often plan complicated things in my head and then can't make them happen so today I thought I'd just start with a piece of cloth and see what happened. I picked out one of the shibori pieces I dyed a while ago and mentioned here. It looked like this:


I really couldn't decide what to do so I cut it in to strips, sewed them together and cut them up again till I had this:


Well, some time later I'd ended up with this. I quite like this:


And maybe I should have left it there, but it wasn't very 'quilty' so then I added some batting and backing and quilted it. Not terribly successfully I have to say. Anyway, here's the finished piece again:


Not as good as I'd hoped but I did learn a lot. In particular I learned that I need to be a lot more accurate with the sewing. As you can see from this close up, I was a bit hit and miss.

Also, I needed to spend more time getting the distances between the lines even. To be fair, it was all a bit of a struggle as my machine isn't built for quilting - there is no way to drop the feed so I can't go freestyle and it doesn't really like the thickness.

On the plus side I also learnt that if you don't like something you can just keep trying different things. Originally the buttonhope/zigzag stitch diamond was just sewn in a single line which looked a but weedy and confused with the other straight lines running through it. I added some zigzag stitch and it looked a bit better, then I did buttonhole stitch over the zig zag and quite liked the result although again, I wished I'd done it more neatly.

Oh, and as for the back looking as neat as the front. Well it doesn't!

I didn't bind it properly, just turned the edges in, as the whole thing is really just a trial piece. Next time I'll try being a little more careful!

With hindsight, one of the reasons this piece doesn't quite work is because the lines of the quilting don't have anything to do with the lines of the dyed cloth. The lines of the cloth are so pretty that they really don't need stitching over. I think I would have done better to just stitch in the ditch of all the little seams and leave it at that. Never mind, it's all about learning.

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