It’s been such a long while since I last wrote a blog and so much has happened since my last proper entry more than a year ago. We have moved from one end of the world to another, settled back into life in Canada, acquired a new member of the family (Milo, the dog) and I took what I thought would be a permanent break from applique and quilting. However, in spite of all my threats to family and friends, vowing never to pick up a needle and thread again, within a few months I had new ideas emerging unsolicited and before I knew where I was I was rummaging through my packed up fabrics, chastising myself for giving away needed silks and colours, trying to sort packed up sewing bits and pieces. These had all been thrown hastily into boxes in a huff in Chile such was the bitterness of the ending of my love affair with all things textile. No-one was more surprised than me to find myself happily back in my studio and sewing again. The family didn’t even both to resist their smug expressions and “I told you so’s” muttered sotto voce as they wandered through my fabric strewn studio.
It turned out that the idea of having completed all the designs I wanted to complete was truly liberating. I found myself dreaming up new ideas, new techniques, new embroidery, new designs. In fact I rather think that there is a whole new Beautiful Botanicals ready to be written.
I have been sewing steadily for the past few months now, and although perhaps not quite as manically as before (puppies see to that) I have never been so happy in my work and have really enjoyed being back among all my fabrics. I suspect my love affair with silks is over and I don’t see myself buying more, although always thrifty by nature, I will use those that remain. Don’t get me wrong, I love silk quilts. I love my silk quilts. The final results gleam and glow but they are vulnerable with time, they are impossible to wash, and silk does have a tendency to fade over time.
Here is a photo of the first project I completed earlier this year when I was having some fun with experimenting with new ideas. It uses a mixture of silk remnants and Oakshott cottons, a whole new quilting technique, new embroidery techniques and an easy quick version of reverse applique. Gus calls it my “Greek Flag Pillow”. There are two in this series and they make a refreshing change from my floral pillows.
Meanwhile back to my more traditional look, Michael Oakshott and I are launching a Block of the Month in October. I am confident that those who like my work will love this quilt, a mixture of my designs and traditional block by block make up. What is more the designs and a whole year’s worth of e mail support from me will be totally free to those that buy the fat quarter pack of his new Impressions range. Watch this space for details!