Monday, 22 January 2018

The art of Patience.

We all have UFOs of some sort be it, knitting, quilts etc.  They are usually put aside because we loose our enthusiasm for it, hasn't worked out, needs unpicking,  you are stuck in a rut or you just dont like it.  I noticed recently when I tidied up my sewing room, that I had many project bags and shoe boxes full of unfinished projects. Most have now been given away to groups who make charity items for others.  Yes I know thats cheating but it lessens my guilt and creates more space for new projects!

May last year I said yes to making a large wall hanging for a small community. The challenge began with the initial diagram given to me.

Level One of City and Guilds - you are taught to plan a piece, from drawing, measuring to collecting fabric swatches etc.  The thing about plans - they usually get thrown out of the window!!  Every step I made, something would go wrong or just didn't work.  For example I couldn't use batting - it made the selected background fabric look like a block of chocolate - not like a piece of metal.  Then there was our cat who sprayed in my sewing table and managed to get some on this quilt!! Yes he's still alive.

Incidentaly I mixed water and vinegar and wiped down the whole quilt so as it dried there was no water marks.  I got the stain out, there was still a some spray smell.  I have now lightly wiped the backing fabric of the area concerned with eucalyptus oil.

Im glad to say I am nearly finished however this has really tested my patience and I have learnt that I have buckets of patience.  Just as well!!!!  The added challenge was not giving up as this couldn't be put into a project bag and stashed in my UFO pile.  It has to get finished.

I stitched the metallic background and placed silk pieces (A4 size).  I visited every store in the Wellington Region looking for the right shade of braid.  In the end I had to stitch and make a braid using two types to give the right metalic effect I needed (see previous post).

With the delicate fabrics and the height of the braid I had no choice but to spend hours upon hours hand stitching the braid in place draining every inch of patience out of my body LOL.  Especially in some cases redoing letters that were not sitting correctly.  I don't enjoy hand stitching and so gave  myself deadlines each week to get it all stitched.  Some days I would start at 4 or 5 am to beat the heat of the day (its currently our summer here in New Zealand).

I won't be able to show you the whole work (its not finished anyway).  Its very metallic so the shine of the threads don't come through in these photos.

I plan to have this quilt completed by the end of January.  Looking forward to the prospect of starting my next creative project which is busting to get out of my brain.

Incidently - I have another small problem.  The thread I was using required a top stitch needle to prevent the thread from breaking so when I hold the quilt up to the light you see all the needle holes.  I have an I an idea on how I will fix this - will let you know in my next post.

Happy stitching.

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