Well the Mighty Rose Quilt of 2011 is finished and waiting for some professional quilting to happen.
It's weird but I've known about professional quilting services and long arm quilting machines ever since I first started patchwork sewing and I've always dismissed it as being too lazy or too expensive for me to consider. And all the quilt fairs, quilting & patchwork stores I've wandered through over the past ten years have been littered with plenty of notices and adverts offering professional quilting services high and low. But now when I actually know that I cannot handle the quilting of a quilt, I cannot line up anyone to get it done. Amazing!
I was checking out a site last night whose pricing included how a formula to calculate how many sq feet are in your quilt @ $9 per sq feet. The Mighty Rose Quilt is almost 45 sq feet. Aie-Currummba! That's expensive. Anyways, hopefully someone will call me back and we'll have some quilting organized before Ma'nPa make their way down south for Easter.
So today, while the heavens were saturating Brisbane and the environs I got to thinking about some of the languishing projects I've put on hold (or shelved) while THMR quilt was being created, and I've started working on a Doily Quilt.
Last year or the year before, a friend's friend created a wonderful quilt of 1930's fabrics and doilies which absolutely inspired me. It was fantastically creative and brilliantly inventive. I hadn't seen anything like it at all. It knocked me on my a*se as I should have thought of doing something like it, which isn't meant to sound as stuck-up as it looks.
I mean I spent all my time growing up in second-hand and charity retail stores searching for fabric and vintage styles that weren't available commercially and then collecting all my finds around me like a demented and colour-blind bower bird. I remember when Ann St in the Valley was just full of charity clothing stores and I often scoured through them scoring heaps of old tatty dress patterns which I would make up and wear to college. When they would fit. I wasn't great with measurements.
Since I encountered the Doily Quilt, I have been collecting some great doilies with the idea that I'll create a similar quilt. And today I started on an idea that has been percolating for a while using the doilies put together like a crazy quilt.
I thought about replicating the quilt I saw with using 1930s fabrics and sewing the doilies onto the fabric keeping the crotchet edging, but being a patchworker I didn't like the idea of layering the fabric needlessly.
I saw a magazine article where someone had created a bag out of old doilies but they had only used squares of the embroidery rather than the whole doily.
I have this idea of four corner blocks of doily embroidery sampled together haphazardly, joined together with a unifying fabric. I think it will be simple but effective and a lovely way to recycle these neglected household items of a bygone era
I often wonder about the creator of the doily, thinking about if there was a purpose why they spent time selecting colours and patterns and then toiled over it for hours to place it with pride in their home for all to see. Was it part of someone's trousseau? Or was it an obligatory chore to appease someone? Did they agonize over purchasing the threads or was it the last doily they created after a lifetime of sitting and sewing for relaxation.
And then I feel a little sad that there are bins filled with these gems selling for $1 a bag in dozens of charity stores around the country.
It feels good to reuse them.