Wednesday, February 13, 2013
A Quilted Canvas
My Dad is on his way to the airport. He just spent a week visiting us here in Nouméa. His visit coincided with the last week of the school holidays which turned out to be perfect. His presence prompted us to do all sorts of holiday activities; swimming at the beach every day, visiting the aquarium, lots of meals out, picnics. It's very hard to see him leave, but that's the reality of living far from family. We only see him every 18 months or so.
Yesterday afternoon I decided I had to give him a handmade gift in addition to the other gifts I'd already organised (family calendar, favourite chocolates). I had made this orange peel block as part of the Curves Class and Dad mentioned he liked it.
It was crying out to be quilted but I had held off as I didn't feel like another cushion cover and it didn't jump out as a wall hanging. I asked the clever folk in QCA for suggestions. One lovely lady mentioned mounting it on a canvas.
I selected some favourite Aurifil threads to match the orange peel segments (1100, 1135, 2235 and 2810 in 50wt). I love how Aurifil threads glow, they are so vibrant and fun.
My Husband thought I was a little crazy when I told him the quilt told me how it wanted to be quilted. Do quilts ever talk to you? ;)
I flipped through Free-Motion Quilting by Angelia Walters for inspiration and then asked Dad to choose his favourite FMQ designs. I quilted each segment in one of the designs his selected.
I echoed the curves in corresponding colours but it felt a little contrived. I was really racing the clock, but I listened to the quilt and FMQed the heck out of the negative space using my all time favourite Aurifil thread (2000 in 50wt). I wanted to keep the texture of the Essex linen blend so I went with an uneven (verging on messy) skinny back and forth design. I love how it turned out, it really brought back the texture of the linen.
I managed to purchase a staple gun yesterday afternoon (it will be returned toute de suite as it does not work properly, but I managed to get the job done) and I had an old canvas hanging about that was the perfect size.
I love this wall hanging. The canvas is about 19" x 19", I used scrap wadding pieced together, my favourite threads (on hand) and a block that I loved but wasn't sure what to do with it. It was my first time mounting a block on canvas and it won't be my last! It was actually easy other than the totally dodgy staple gun!
Dad loves his gift. We're very sad to have seen him off this morning but it's nice to know that he is taking a piece of us with him. I'm also rather excited to have found a new use for orphan blocks :)
Do handmade gifts adorn the walls in the homes of your family and friends?