About Me

My photo
Denman Island, British Columbia, Canada
Jean Cockburn retired from her professional career as an academic librarian in 2008 to become a textile artist living on Denman Island, British Columbia. She draws, quilts, embroiders, knits and crochets, makes wearable art, weaves baskets, dyes fabric, and paints watercolours. Her work has been exhibited locally in juried and group shows on Denman Island, in Courtenay, Comox, and Duncan on Vancouver Island, in West Vancouver, and across Canada with the Surface Design Association.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Rose Garden Quilt

Ta da! Finished! Hurrah! I have been working on this quilt, off and on, for more than 5 years.

My Rose Garden Quilt airing on the deck railing.
I started this quilt when I knew less about quilting than I do now, and at that time I was committed to making quilts entirely by hand. The nine-patch square-in-a-square pattern that I found somewhere and photocopied is called Canadian Flower Garden. I made it in colours that I love, intense cool pinks and glaucous greens, without naturally, enough fabric at the start to make all the squares. I kept looking for more fabrics that would work, and sewed all those small squares and larger triangles by hand.
Then I unpicked a whole lot of squares that did not work, resewed them, and finally put the whole thing together, again by hand. It took a while before I pieced the backing and basted the quilt sandwich together with an all cotton batting. I hand quilted in the ditch along all the diagonal lines where the larger squares joined, then I bound the quilt, as I find it much easier to do hand quilting when a quilt is bound.
By this time I understood where hand sewing made a difference and where it did not, so I seamed the binding on by machine, but hemmed it to the back by hand. Then I began the process of quilting the 3 flower shaped motifs in each block.  I used a template cut out of sturdy sandpaper and traced around it with a variety of markers. I started out with a 5mm mechanical pencil, but it dragged on the fabric and did not show on the darker fabrics. I read about using Crayola washable markers in a quilting magazine, so I tried them. They are much cheaper than the washable blue marking pens that quilters use, and they made a nice definite line. But the lines were so definite, that I became timid that given my slow work rate, they would not after all wash out. So I switched finally to quilting blue pen as by that time I was working on the lighter coloured end of the quilt.
This afternoon I put in the last hand stitches, then put the quilt into the washing machine with normal detergent and a delicate warm wash/cold rinse cycle. Wow - all those markings washed out perfectly. I will watch over the next year to see if any shadows appear, but right now I would say that Crayola washable markers are a great product for marking quilts.
The quilt back.

The quilt back again.

Hand quilting detail.

The binding was cut on the bias to made a nice effect with the striped fabric. The same fabric is the main part of the backing.

Hand quilting detail.

No comments:

Post a Comment