Wednesday, 17 May 2017

What will future quilt historians think?

I am up to machine stitching some blocks which will frame the applique centre blocks of Diamond Hill and create borders. I could hardly go to sleep last night, visions of what I would need to take to Sewing Group today were drifting in and out of consciousness.

As it turns out, I took far too much with me to get done in only a few hours (no time to audition fabrics for baskets, or join blocks to even border one applique block!)

Here is the first "diamond" or "square in a square".


This is 21 finished blocks. Erm. That means another three hundred and sixty something to go. Yes. About another 360 to go.

I was hoping to have these done just in sewing classes over the next 4 weeks. Now, I am not so sure. Maybe I'll have to keep machine stitching these each week at the shop until just before I put the entire quilt together. And evening when toddler is in bed might just be the only time for preparing and stitching applique down. Somehow I need to speed it up, or it will take nearly 5 months just to make these blocks!

Think, brain, think! What can I do to find an extra 2 hours machine sewing at home each week? (That includes setting up the machine, pulling everything out.. hmm...)...

I decided to use three different cream-ish fairy frost fabrics for the diamonds. This should give movement across the entire quilt.

These fabric choices (fairy frost and grunge) had me thinking in a funny kind of way about how much I've enjoyed studying quilt history. I've looked at the fabrics used in different eras, why they used them (availability of colour fastness etc), the patterns that were popular (new kits and patterns in almanacs), the fashion of red and green quilts in the 1840s and 1850s through to the small prints of flour sack quilts in the 1930s....

and I thought about what I've been using lately: Grunge, Fairy Frost, Kaffe, Tula Pink, shot cottons.

Will future quilt historians be looking at the huge number of identical quilts made when a magazine puts out a free BOM pattern and hundreds of people sign up with quilt shops for identical fabric kits? What differences will there be?

Will there be a sudden surge in the popularity of particular types of English paper piecing after the glue sticks that can be unstuck became widely known?

Will there be a whole lot of quilts with markings that could never be removed, or markings that keep appearing as we tried out fadeaway and iron away products?

Will collectors find a huge surge in applique quilts as so many new and easy techniques were shared all over the globe on youtube, so you could see the latest fashions in techniques even if you couldn't get to Houston or AQC in Melbourne?

Did batiks suddenly become more popular? Does the finished quilt reflect that they were purchased as 5 inch or 10 inch squares? Will there he a huge surgence in jelly roll quilts for quilt historians to look at, or will they be the "utility" quilts that show the most wear in their antiquity, as they were used for everyday, rather than hung on a wall or on a bed in the spare room.

I had a giggle at the huge twists and turns in my own personal quilting journey (complete list with links to lots of (but not all) finished projects down the side of the blog). At the moment I am interested in very modern, maverick and unique pieces for myself.

And in between bursts of intense creativity choosing fabric and making our own unique changes, it's nice to follow a pattern written by someone else. Thank you Esther, for the free Diamond Hill BOM pattern.

I wonder how many different versions of Diamond Hill will be made and catalogued by future Quilt Historians that aren't even into a smidgeon of existence yet...

For now, I have 21 blocks that need foundation papers removed....


Glenda said...

Well you may only have 20 odd square in a square made but my goodness they look wonderful and will be a stunning edge to your 4 blocks. Cheers Glenda

Plum Cox said...

Love your blocks - but also love your musings about quilt historians of the future! I hope that you manage to carve out a little more machine sewing time for yourself to speed the processs up, but if you can't just accept that it will take you a little bit longer. Good things can't be rushed!

Maggie said...

I love the Fairy frost fabrics. I am not even thinking of stitching the connecting blocks yet. Still have to find fabric for the baskets of the the first four blocks. The purple looks striking.

Home Sewn By Us said...

Good Morning,
I love the fabrics you chose - especially together. So, just 360 blocks to go. (WOW) But if it takes you five months to get the blocks done, so what? As long as you are enjoying the project and life in general, that's what it's all about. ~smile~