I missed out on blogging last week. Mid week I had made such poor progress with my quilt that I couldn’t bring myself to admit how little I had done! My Sunday entry sort of just fizzed. I’d had a bad week with pain and I had taken pain killers, muscle relaxants and bourbon to make everything feel better and more normal, but I didn’t have a thought in my head to string together for an entry! Sorry to those that were waiting for words of wisdom and quilting tips.
Sunday afternoon we had our regular last Sunday of the Month quilt group gathering but most of the group were busy with family commitments – at one stage it was me and one other and then half way thru the afternoon a second member joined us. We started discussing quilting but clearly quilting wasn’t in our hearts this time and we talked anything but quilting, shared experiences, proved to each other that we weren’t freaks or lunatics despite our hoarding tendencies of fabric. It was a most bonding of sessions.
I love my quilt group – each and every one of them will call a spade a shovel. So if some information or suggestion is proffered, you know that it is from the heart and that it is meant as a suggestion for your growth not as a dig or a slap down. I could not be more blessed with my closest quilting friends and as our group continues to meet I realise that they are my bestest friends and better than family.
Our group is called Daughters of the Valiant South due to our love of reproduction civil war fabrics and the quilt designs of the middle of the 19th Century. For women of the south friendship between them became more important than blood (think of Steel Magnolias!) and after this weekend meeting I realise that I was inspired when I named the group.
I am in search of a small friendship quilting group in the southern states that will form a loose association with our group. Nothing too serious, the occasional block swap, exchange of information and the normal quilting fun. I have made several requests but nothing has happened. Maybe they don’t take us seriously. Maybe we are too serious! Maybe they can’t believe that an Australian group can be that interested in the American Civil War. A photo of me at the moment might make them change their mind – I look more like Colonel Sanders than the side of a chicken bucket!
That is not an accident, I am often asked to give talks to groups and I am considering using my collection of civil war era quilts to tell a story. I could dress up as a southern gentlemen or southern soldier and tell the story of the war from the southern perspective. Its always the winners that write the history but there is a big story that the southerners have to tell which is often missed out on and I have a selection of quilts that would help tell that story. Just an idea and might mean that I need to make a frock coat and some other costumes to tell the story. It certainly would be different from the normal trunk show.
That is a work in progress. As is General Jac.
This last week I managed to fuse and stitch most of the borders and now working on the cornerstones. I have redesigned them and the quilt now has some serious differences from the original antique quilt I was inspired by.
I must admit that I don’t normally change designs so much during construction but I didn’t feel that the borders were right when I sketched them initially. Even when I polled my Facebook friends and asked for their advice they too couldn’t come to a consensus which left me even more confused but still convinced that the original was too plain.
The resulting borders and cornerstones are more colourful and now compliment the quilt. It is more modern in feel but that’s not a problem. I always quilt in a modern manner which brings the quilt up to date.
I’ve started thinking about the quilting already and have decided that I will make the border a triple chain but not entirely sure how whether I use a feathered chain and then use a dense background to show it off or the feathered chain will be in a slightly contrasting colour which is not my usual method of quilting. We will see when I get there.
The main body of the quilt won’t need much quilting as it is filled with leaves. Once I echo the appliqué there won’t be much room for any quilting other than a small back ground.
I had a visitor on Wednesday. Noelene from my Block of the Month group at Ballan came and did some trimming of her blocks.
When we laid it all out on the studio tables we were thrilled with the way it looked. Its taken a little over a year for Noelene to get this far but it looks spectacular.
Its amazing to see how different it looks in an alternative colour way.