Thursday, 31 December 2009

A tale of two quilts

In 1986 Nic was still at University.  In the normal way of things I took over his room.  During vacations I had to make a hasty retreat, well not so hasty, boxes of bits everywhere.  In one box I found a pile of dyed fabric, experiments.   I had just started 'playing' and at that time not many dyeing books were available.  So I had fun.  Such pale colours - I had a lot to learn.   I pieced them all, free cutting, with a vague Log Cabin pattern.   

I love old Welsh quilts - filled with carded sheep's wool; the utilitarian quilts of India, stitched together randomly, and quilted to hold the layers together.   So this quilt has, possibly, Warm and Natural wadding, and a plain cotton backing.   It's quilted from the back with big stitches.  The back could be a whole cloth quilt.   

I love this quilt, it's randomness, the texture - over the years it is now getting that old 'lumpy' worn look.   I called it Indian Comforter - Winter (and it does!)  There is also a Summer Comforter, Thermofax wadding, much lighter. also hand stitched.  The colours on this one were really bright. No more pale colours for me.   This quilt was sold and is living in a cottage somewhere in Dorset.  

A detail of the quilting, seen only as points of colour

So now we come to 2009.  I have my own room, what a joy to settle at last with my 'stuff'.   I still continue to experiment with dyeing, moving on to screen printing, and the beloved Indigo vats.   Trips to India inspire, and I sometimes get to 'play' with master craftsmen, or at least watch the process of their craft.   I actually take dyeing workshops now, and I guess I am so lucky doing what I want to do, passing on knowledge and learning from students.   Never going to be rich, but as long as I have enough money to continue with my work, and then some over to travel to India I am as happy as happy can be!

The old shirts (pillow cases, kurtas, or anything white laying unattended) quilt completed.  Dyed, waxed, overdyed;  free cut and pieced;  Soft and Elegant wadding this time, and machine quilted with simple (not so) straight lines.   My dyeing skills have improved!   

These two quilts gave/give me such pleasure.   Just going for it, having fun and not sticking to any rules!   I can piece precisely if I want to, I am a Virgo after all - yeh, I might have broken out, and machine quilt pretty well too. It's good to know how to break the rules sometimes

I'm going to call this one Blue Moon, as this is the evening of such a moon.   It will be part of Raw Talent, the family exhibition - see link bar.   Guess this is only going to happen once in a Blue Moon.  

A Good New Year to you all.


tiedyejudy said...

Hi, Tiggy. I love your two quilts! I found you via Jude Hill's blog, and feel like I have found a kindred spirit... I am also a dyer, and do art and landscape quilts. And yes, I am also Virgo, but don't do much with pieced quilting... too restricting!
I am trying a little slow cloth right now with hand-dyed fabric, and love it so far! Can't wait to browse your blog more to see what you have done!
Happy New Year,

jude said...

hey. i like that i am seeing quilts here! lovely color movement in both of these.... everyone seems to be honoring that blue moon. happy new year!

Tiggy Rawling said...

Thanks both. Right now I can see the blue moon, but it is mysterious and hazy, perhaps the clouds will clear later tonight.

Julie said...

happy inspirational new year! I'm going to get my quilting and patching fingers out this year and use your blog for inspiration! my husband is a frequent flier so has free flights going to India in April so I'll look forward to his finds as well. It's a bit of a long haul from Australia.

Tiggy Rawling said...

Go for it Julie. Just sneak any unsuspecting white fabric thing which has seen better days. Hide it for a month or two - nobody will notice!

Eva said...

There is a special charm about things that mean a breakthrough for our learning process: Very often, we are not really satisfied with the result, but they are precious because they mark an important step.
Love your piecing method: So much room for improvisation!

Rayna said...

Ah - a liberated Virgo -- how lovely! Your random piecing is a pleasure to look at and I can see why these blue pieces make you happy. When do you go to India and how long are you going to stay? Lucky you!
What a great way to start the year.

Tiggy Rawling said...

Thanks Rayna. Oh yes, I did use soya wax. Wonderful stuff. I bought some about three years ago. It's been in a cupboard while I procrastinated. Now I need to buy more.

India in February for at least three weeks.