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Sunday, 10 November 2013

Liberty star quilt (soundtrack not suitable for work)

Oooh! Hello! Who are you? Who am I? (I'm kidding. I know these things. You are very nice people (as evidenced in the last commentbox) and I am a woman who has left all the recycling all over the floor in order to come here because I am an URBAN REBEL.

I sewed a quilt. By hand. Oh yes. And it has stars on it. Take that, society, and all your petty expectations.

(We're singing Rage Against the Machine now, if you hadn't already started before me.)


I slept under this quilt for weeks before getting round to blogging it. Because rebels, we don't do deadlines. We don't do admin. We're not cosy. (Unless we're under quilts.)


It took me over a year to make. I shed blood, man. I carried the tools of my anarchy everywhere. Pins. Tiny scissors. Bits of cut-out paper. It was toil: sheer English paper piecing toil.



Tracy told me I could handquilt it. I bought a really expensive thimble. I am supremely grateful for her belief in me, but it turns out it was unfounded. I can't handquilt - at least not happily - so I quilted it on the machine. I make no apologies for this.

(Soundtrack changes to I Am What I Am, by Gloria Gaynor.)


I am so incredibly happy with this quilt. It's made of Liberty scraps, which I bought over months in scrumptious little rolls. The white is provided by an old sheet which had seen better days. It took ages; matching the colours, unpicking when I thought they didn't work. It became an obsession: to the point where Eldest would sit down on family film night, grab hold of my wrist and say, firmly, "No English Paper Piecing".


It could stand to be wider, by one star? maybe two? But I only had enough of one of the fabrics to make ten stars; so ten stars it was.  It would have been shorter, had I not come into some gorgeous new scraps which demanded to be included. I had to physically stop myself adding extras, turning it into a constantly lengthening quilty strip. It's backed with two or three Liberty misprints, and I love them. They were 50p each; they're bonkers, they're soft, they're unseen.



Special thanks go to Tess, who more or less designed it; and who showed me how to do the wibbly-wobbly machine quilting thing.

(For an excellent tutorial on English Paper Piecing, look no further than Flossie Teacakes, whose blog got me started with the whole thing.)

Tune in next time for the tale of the Quick Square Tablecloth, made on a day when I really should have been going to the supermarket.

28 comments:

  1. You write the best 'ta-da!' posts ever. The quilt is pretty stupendous too.

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  2. Absolutely stunning quilt...AND hand sewn...awesome

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  3. So that's what you've been up to, VERY impressed.

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  4. Wow, it's amazing. And it's finished too, what an achievement. You have my permission to take the rest of the year off.

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  5. It's absolutely beautiful, well done you. I make most of my quilts in the same way, but nothing so amazingly intricate or beautifully designed. I just like the easy hand sewing that can be done in the evening when I'm tired and watching television. But like you I quilt on the machine. What are you doing next..?

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    1. That's a good question. I'm thinking hexagons.

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  6. and you've not only finished it, you've hung it on a line and photographed it. and blogged about it. now sit down for goodness sake and have a glass of Aldi Baileys to celebrate x

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  7. Beautiful. I now don't quilt by machine - I have slowed down even more than you - I hand quilt. But I would piece on the machine I think. Still as a peaceful pastime we should do it our own way and enjoy it. I love your colours and the backing is wonderful too!

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    1. I can't get the handquilting stitches to be anything like I want, if I'm honest. Also, the thing I enjoy about EPP is how portable it is - not something I can say about an entire quilt!!

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  8. Well, no wonder you've been neglecting us! English paper piecing takes all of one's time, and not just *spare* time. It turned out beautifully and you should be proud of yourself. Well done! (and there is absolutely no need to apologize for the machine quilting)

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  9. Cripes, I am decidedly impressed! It is a thing of beauty and, no doubt, a joy for ever; well done, m'dear!

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  10. I love Liberty and I love quilts and holy moly, that is gorgeous. Well done!

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  11. Absolutely, amazingly beautiful. I'm impressed that it only took you a year. My patchwork quilt has been on the go for several years and it nowhere near finished.

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    1. I do fear starting up again, in case I'm a one-trick pony...

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  12. Beautiful! Well done for persevering, and for making such a lovely thing. And a year in the making? Fiddlesticks- my paper pieced quilt has been on (and off) the go for almost twenty years now. I really must get round to finishing it...

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  13. It's beautiful:) What dedication!!! I can't imagine doing anything for a whole year and I would definitely want something to sleep under at the end of it if I did.

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  14. This really is beautiful and inspiring.

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  15. Utterly, utterly gorgeous! I am completely in awe.

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  16. You and your 'La la I'm not a craft blogger and can't make anything' COBBLERS. Wotevs. Ffs

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  17. it's absolutely beautiful!! And I bow to you for the patience of EPP.... it's huge!

    (yeah, and I'm with Silverpebble... don't EVER moan about 'I can't make anything'... blah blah blah)

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