All together now

I started this quilt some time last year, rounding up (squaring up) all the scraps into 6” blocks and then assembling them into a kind of square colour wheel with all the whites in the centre. It’s 11 blocks square, so 66”-ish, all paper-pieced. I had to abandon it when I broke a bone in my right hand in October, but that was no great hardship as by then I didn’t really like it. It also had no name, so I didn’t know what it was trying to be.

In progress
Lots of seed-stitching

Last year I had started seed-stitching the central panel to define the circles, and it quickly turned into one of those things I wish I’d never started. Seed-stitch takes a long time, and there was acres of it. OK, about a square yard. I tend to exaggerate.

Seed-stitching around circles

So since October it has been rolled up in a corner of the room, nameless and baleful, scowling every time I passed it, and now I need to finish it before I feel free enough to start something else. A few days ago I steeled myself to set about finishing the seed-stitching. And what do you know? It didn’t take as long as I thought it would, and it looks OK. The texture is really interesting. The backing is made from a vintage silk sari, and the middle layer is cotton flannel, so it isn’t too bulky but is still quite substantial. It’s surprisingly heavy.

Quilting the edge

And then it named itself: All Together Now. So now I need to figure out what to do with the rest of it. I’ve couched some two-tone silk bourette yarn down to create a couple of borders around the central panel, and I’m starting with a meandering line just to see where it goes.

First line of quilting

Sometimes making a large quilt by hand feels a bit like wrestling with an alligator (no, since you ask, I have never wrestled an alligator). I do feel as if I am starting to tame this one.

Author: Karen

Textile and mixed media artist

17 thoughts on “All together now”

  1. this project pre-dates finding my way to your blog, so I’m now thinking I need to do some backtracking to see what other treasures are here …

    and I don’t think I’d ever tackle this much seed stitching, even as good as it looks here … kudos to you for making it through!

    1. Ha, I will NEVER do this much seed stitching again, ever. I only came back to the blog 6 months ago after fracturing my hand, and I deleted everything from ten years ago – perhaps a little ruthless of me, on reflection. But then I’ve never been keen on looking through the rear view mirror 🙂

  2. Seems like quite an undertaking but the most beautiful pieces prove that. I first tried large areaz of seed stitch with mediation scraps and it’s a learning rhythm. Enjoyable. Can’t wait to follow the wandering stitch next.🤗

    1. I’ve spent the last two days thinking about how I’m going to quilt the borders and didn’t like any of the options. The second I started a wandering line I could see it as clearly as anything. I always forget this is how I work 😆

  3. I’m sure all that small stitching has been a pain, but the quilt is coming along nicely. I’ve had more than a few “why did I ever start this?” moments, but i end up finishing most of them.

  4. Although sometimes frustrating for you to create, this is a simply lovely. I can look at this for a long time and would love to run my hand across it.

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