Sunday, 16 September 2012

Fun at a quilt show

Today I haven't been working on any quilts, but I have been looking at them. 

Earlier this week I got a delivery from Quilter's Haven, where I had some birthday vouchers to be used.  I used them to buy the wadding and what I hoped I could use for the backing for my treasure box quilt, which I have been working on for my UFO Sundays with Leah Day.  The wadding is just what Leah recommended we use, Quilters Dream, and it looks to me so far to be really nice.  The backing looks really good too, but I had thought the amount I bought would be just enough - turns out to be just not enough.  How frustrating!  It's also a little greener than I expected, but my treasure box quilt is all sorts of colours, so I think it'll work.

This pic is slightly greener than the actual fabric, but you get the idea...

Anyway, I spent the afternoon with my quilting friend Julie at a quilt show, the Quilter's Guild, Region 2 at Hever Castle's annual country life show.  It was full of amazing stuff, which I'm really not sure I'm allowed to post photos of, so I'll keep it to partials.  There were some amazing ones, but I was expecting that...

 This one was an amazingly pretty quilt, but I was more struck by the quilting than the piecing.  It was very skilfully done from what I could see.


 This was done by a mother and daughter group (If I remember from what Julie read out of her programme).  The whole quilt was just fantastic, using muted colours like this, with fabrics that were pieced then cut and put together in curves and circles etc.  Just mesmerising...


 Can you see a colour theme coming over here?  I always seem to be drawn to purples, jades, that sort of stuff.  This one, I wasn't too enamoured by the whole quilt, but the colours and quilting drew me in...


 Beautiful piecing, beautiful colours, gorgeous batik feeling...

I had some strange thoughts while I was walking round looking at all these quilts.  It's odd - I don't normally think about how much I've grown/changed, and I don't like the fact that I change - no-one wants to feel that they are getting older.  However, today it struck me that I now look at quilts in a completely different light to the way I used to a couple of years ago.  
The first time I came to the Hever show, 3 or 4 years ago, I walked round in awe.  I looked at everything, knowing how much work goes into making one of these (I was making my 'Seeing Stars' quilt at the time), and every quilt I looked at inspired a feeling of 'Oh my god, the amount of work in here is crazy, I could never do this sort of thing'.  
Now  I look at them and can evaluate the level of skill required to make the pattern, look at the piecing and tell if it has been done by a beginner or someone much more accomplished and look at the quilting and make up my mind about that one too.  Strangely, it didn't affect me in a completely nice way - I found myself looking at some and thinking that the skill of some of the quilters wasn't enough for the pattern they had chosen, and thinking negatively about the fact that some quilts hadn't been quilted in the way that I would have done.  Once I realised I was doing this I tried to keep a tab on when this was happening.  I realised that because my skill has increased over the years, and I have been introduced to more complicated quilting, I now think of quilting as quilting, not the piecing and sewing it together that most people think of.  If something has been pieced, with no thought to the quilting, say they have just quilted in the ditch, I now look at it and feel that there is something missing - it's not a completed quilt to me.  It's also making me re-think 'Seeing Stars', that maybe I should put some more quilting on it.  

What do you think?  As it's my first quilt, should I leave it as it is, or should I continue with it now I think it needs more work??

Anyway...
I also had a quick walk around the Italian garden, in the sunshine (maybe the last nice weekend we have this summer, Autumn is coming....)

I was struck by the textures and patterns, and I think I might use some of these to design a quilt someday.  Maybe.  When I get round to it...