Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Excitement of a New Project....

I KNOW I don't need to start a new project but when has need ever really come into play when talking about a passion.

I have way too many projects on the go right now as it is. But yesterday I picked up a copy of one of my favourite quilt magazines, a French publication called Quiltmania and fell in love with one of the quilts shown in an article.


No, its not the cover photo - though that is a very attract project. Its the one inside they call Japanese Boxes - but really it's the attic window pattern with a twist.


I've always wanted to create a decadent velvet and silk quilt to hang on the wall - something that screams 'this is art'. Well, I think I've found it in this project. Though I've never really been one to copy a project from books or magazines, this one to me would be perfect in velvets and silks instead of what has been used in their example, which is cottons. And I think those luxurious fabric hanging on the wall would certainly give off a texture and sheen that flat cottons don't. Yes, this project is an inspiration for me to stretch my sewing skills and dive into new quilting territory - the non-cotton world.

As the entire construction is nothing but set-in seams its definitely a hand piecing project. And working with velvet, ultra suede and dupon silk, I wouldn't consider attempting those kind of seams on such fussy fabric on a machine. I've decide to use black velvet and taupe ultra-suede for the box construction and iridescent dupon silks for the inside of the boxes.



After constructing one 'box' I can see this project is going to be a challenge.


The velvet and ultra suede are very heavy, dense fabrics. Not at all easy to pierce with an ordinary sewing needle. And the dupon silk is pretty tuff too. Certainly not the delicate, flowing silk that comes to mind when you think of silk. I can see now how antique dresses made of this material has lasted for so long.


You can see my stitches are certainly bigger and more spread apart then how I normally sew. Its because of the fabrics density. Also I have to make sure I use a thimble when working with these textiles otherwise I'm going to pierce my finger accidentally. Another challenge is keeping the fabrics from unraveling (the velvet) or fraying (the silk). I'll have to cut as I go instead of cutting all the shapes at once. That way I'll minimise the possibility of damaging the edges. And I'll have to store the blocks (as seen above...) in a ridged container instead of my usual plastic baggie. Again, to minimise the edges from damaging. Also I won't be able to iron press the seams open as that will flatten the velvet. That's not really a problem though as I don't usually press as I go. I'll just use my Clover tool to crease the seams a bit.

Hum.....this IS going to be a challenging project. But I love anything that stretches my mind and abilities a bit. And just think how great it's going to look on my wall! (in about 10 years time....)

Stay tuned.



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