My first quilt

There are a couple of photographs of my first quilt in the ‘Gallery’ section of the website. I was reminded of it yesterday when Laura Kemshall invited subscribers to the DMTV video series to submit pictures of work inspired by the videos. I’ve been a subscriber to DMTV for a couple of years now, but before that I read the Kemshalls’ book ‘The Painted Quilt‘. This was one of the first books I read about quilting and it got me thinking that I should have a go myself. Which I did. My first quiltI made this 2m square quilt while I was still doing the City & Guilds course which was not exactly good planning as it took time away from the course. However, I thoroughly enjoyed this initial foray into quilting. Here’s another photo showing a close up of the quilt.My first quilt close up

The quilt was made entirely out of commercially-dyed ┬ámaterial that I bought on a trip to the fabric markets at St Pierre in Paris (well worth a trip, although exhausting as it’s all a bit of a scrum). The material comprises silks, cotton (including a couple of batik prints) and a bit of something shiny and artificial. I pieced it on the machine and then quilted it, as you can see in the close up, with hand stitching.

It’s interesting to look at it now, because I wouldn’t make it like this again. I suppose this may suggest that some kind of development has taken place in my approach to designing things. For one thing that yellow looks awfully garish, although actually I think the photo hasn’t done it any favours and it’s more mellow than that really.

What would I not do again? Well, I think I’d probably try to use fabric that I’d dyed myself. Also, I’d put a lot more thought into how the colours fit together. One thing I really have learned is that you have to take your time over these things, and I think I rather boshed this up quickly. And, although I very much like the effect of hand-quilting, I have to say it took ages and I would hesitate to take on such a large project again.

What aspects would I repeat? Well, I love geometric designs, and I think I’ve got a lot left to explore with simple squares. And I continue to be very interested in greys. Also, although it’s difficult to do, I like the effect of using different types of fabric together.

This is all part of the process of learning by doing. I ended up with a piece that hangs on the wall and which I still like very much…. even if, every time I look at it I think about the things I would do differently.

I sent Laura Kemshall a photo of my quilt. The reason she was asking people to do this was because she is putting together a Pinterest board to show pictures of projects undertaken as a result of being inspired by DMTV. She has put my quilt photo on the board. It’s worth looking at the board, not to see my quilt because you can see it above, but to see the other contributors. There are some lovely pieces there.

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