Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Welsh Quilting Pattern and Design Handbook... A bit more info

I thought I'd provide a little information about The Welsh Quilting Pattern & Design Handbook that I put together in 1999 for my students. 

It isn't a fancy publication and the one in the picture is well worn.  There are 79 pages of drawings and notes about how different patterns were marked.

This photo show a page where I try to explain how I divide space up, mark the double lines and then divide and mark double line again.  In the Handbook, I used the term 'outlining' for the marking of the second but I think the word 'echo' might better explain how the second line 'echoes' the first.  One of the things you have to decide is which side of the first line you wish to mark the echoing line.  Mark them all the same... for instance, if you have marked the lines that divide the outer border on the outside when you start, mark all the lines the same on the other sides of the design.  But, if you make a mistake, the world won't come to a crashing end.

These pages are about marking motifs and tips for folding paper to make templates.
These pages show how I divide up border for filling with different patterns.  The left page shows the basic division of the border space and the right page shows the divided area of the border filled with repeating patterns and motifs.
The Handbook isn't like a book off the shelf at the quilt shop but it seems to get people started and when you've become good at looking closely to Welsh quilts, it'll help you see how the designs were divided up and the patterns were marked.  
May the Welsh quilts capture your imagination.

Monday, May 27, 2013

More Welsh Pattern Marking - Zig-Zag Borders

It's been raining here in Western Washington and it's too cold and dreary to do much of anything outside.  It's good weather to quilt so I've been working on my Welsh wall quilt and it's getting close to completion.

This is where the red quilt is at today.  I have two outer borders and one short border to finish and then I'll be ready to do the folded edge finish.  The finish size will be about 20" x 31".  My favorite part of the design is the zig-zag pattern in the short border.   I first saw it about 15 years ago stitched on a red and white Welsh quilt owned by Jen Jones and I've used it a couple times.  It's a great border pattern to mix with other Welsh patterns.  (There is a basic diagram for marking the zig-zag border in my Handbook on page 47).

To start, I divided the border into sections which is marked with the vertical soap lines.  There were only four because the border is so short. The next step was to mark horizontal lines along each edge of the border (ignore the diagonal lines for a moment).   I used a 1" ruler to mark the horizontal lines, the lines can be marked along the whole length like the lower line, without any breaks in the line or the line can be marked where it crosses the section lines as the line on top shows. 

Now it's time to start dividing the border sections into triangles.  The last photo (above) shows the first diagonal lines which is drawn and the photo below shows the second set of lines. The lines of the diagonal zig-zag  should be parallel.

The zig-zag is now complete and the lines are outlined on the outside of the zig-zag, not the inside.  The outline was done on the outside because I didn't want to lose any of the design space inside the zig-zag due to the small size of the quilt. The outlining could be done on the inside but make sure it's done the same way on all the borders of the quilt.
So now, it's time to fill-in the zig-zag.  The vertical lines that fill the zig-zag can free-handed or measured. The good news is that imperfections in marking or stitching don't show up when the design is finished.  I always wash and dry my quilts when finished and the texture of the quilting hides imperfections.
The nice thing about marking with soap and hand quilting is that you aren't stitching fast as with machine quilting.  If a soap mark isn't quite where it looks right, just use it as a guide and quilt where it looks right.
I'll show the marking for the little patterns altogether in a later post.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Rainy May Day

Back again... I doubt that anyone would ever get the idea that I really enjoy blogging but I do.  I struggle with simply walking downstairs to my sewing room and turning on the laptop.  There are so many distractions and I really struggle with keeping focused now that I have another person bumping around the house when I'm trying to concentrate.  God love him, he's a keeper of a husband but I've always struggled when distracted.  It's time to develop some new coping skills...

I'm not scheduling anymore classes in quilt shops and have just a couple to finish up my existing schedule.  I've actually pieced a quilt top that wasn't a class sample... what a new thing for me to do. 

Pieced from batiks with a flying geese ruler and free-form squares, very quick.  It'll be machine quilted so my non-quilter daughter with cats can enjoy it.
I'm working very short hours at Gee Gees Quilting in Yelm which is about ten miles from home which around here is really close.  I really enjoy keeping my hand in the bigger picture of quilting and being around quilters and as a former teacher of many quiltmaking techniques, I still get to help quilters with their questions. After all, teaching isn't something you can just turn off when it seems to be part of a person's very being.

I've been part of a Tuesday quilt group for years and the blue and white Celtic applique quilt below is a Califonia king, hand appliqued, hand quilted by my quilt group friend, Opal.  It's a stunning quilt.

Below is a picture of a Dear Jane quilt that was finished recently by another group member, Julie.  The quilt is amazing and the pictures really don't do it justice.  The whole quilt was hand pieced and hand quilted.  It's truly beautiful.

The red Welsh quilt sample that I've been working on has been on hold but I plan to do some more marking, quilting and pictures this evening.  If I don't get a new post up in a day or so, please bug me about it.  I could use a poke or a shove once in awhile.  So, please, don't give up on me... I'm hoping for good conditions to hang some of my old quilts out to get pictures of them.  For now, it's raining... normal for here in May.