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Tuesday 28 August 2012

A Chinese Coins Quilt

We've just enjoyed a lovely, long bank holiday weekend which proved the perfect time to make a start on my Chinese Coins quilt. A few posts back, I mentioned that it would probably be inspired by my love for the Swale, well it still will but it's going to be a simplified version of my original plan. It won't have masses of free motion stitching, (because I've yet to master that particular technique) it won't have lots of curved shapes to contend with, there won't be any layering of fabrics, while the Suffolk puffs and pleating ideas have been filed away in a memory drawer for later use.

Just because my next quilt is now less ambitious in scope doesn't mean I haven't put a great deal of thought into how it might look. For weeks before buying my fabrics I played around with swatches and colours until I finally decided what would look right. So, as soon as I got to the Festival of Quilts, I made a beeline for the Japanese woven fabrics on Quiltessential's stand and took my pick of the best. I adore the warmth and texture of these fabrics, and, that many of them are double-sided. However, I also decided to add a few pieces of silk velvet–just to give the quilt a little shimmer. (No matter how hard I try to be puritanical and restrained, the magpie in me can't resist a touch of glitter).

You can see the silk velvet in the above picture, it shimmers beautifully but I should have realised that beauty comes at a price. I found it a nightmare to work with and as slippery as seaweed: but then, anything that can be described as having a 'liquid-like sheen' is bound to be a fiddly fabric to work with.

Anyway, through gritted teeth, and with much hissing and cursing, I persevered and at last the strips are all joined together and ready to be backed. These strips will be hand-tied, which isn't something I've done before, but I like the rustic look they add to quilts. I'll leave the machine embroidery to the plain linen sections in between. I've got my eye on a vintage French linen metis sheet that I think might work perfectly here.


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