Tuesday, 28 October 2014

One stunning quilt ...

made by my sister-in-law, Eileen Charleston!  

In Eileen's words ... "The quilt was made for my wonderful daughter Katherine and I'm currently stitching a dedication to her into the work.  I hope that it brings her many happy memories in the future and that one day our descendants might look at it and wonder about our lives.

"I started my quilt at a workshop at Quorn Country Crafts here in Loughborough about 5 years ago!!  Because I tend to be a slow worker, after the course I still had quite a bit to do and it's been a comfort and delight to keep picking it up as and when I could and see it slowly evolve. Barbara from the shop says that everyone needs to have a big project on the go that takes time, it made me feel better to hear that!  

"It is a candlewick quilt, it's widely thought that the name originates from the women who went west in America to settle new land.  Because what they could take with them in the wagons was limited they sewed using calico or canvas and ingeniously used candle wicks for thread hence the work generally being white or cream on white/cream.  Colonial or French knots and backstitch were traditionally used but I've used chain, stem, back, running and whipped running, buttonhole, coral, knots, satin, lazy daisy, fishbone and lattice stitches as well using DMC Perle thread and a chenille needle.  

"I embroidered 16 squares using designs supplied by Quorn Country Crafts and some that Katherine drew for me; she drew the irises, her favourite flowers and the peacocks, I included a rose design since it reminded me of the white rose of Yorkshire where both Katherine and I were born.  The squares were sewn together by machine and bars were added to make the quilt big enough for a double bed.  I then hand quilted each square and the bars and edges of the work using cream quilting cotton (it took over a reel of thread!) and a quilting needle.  The thread was waxed to make it stronger and easier to get through the work.  

"Although it's a long process I absolutely love sitting quietly and working by hand, it's so soothing in difficult times and so creative since you can chose what to quilt and it's great to see the embroidery suddenly have a 3D look to it. 

"My nerve failed when it came to binding such a large piece of hand quilted work so it was undertaken by Steph at Cup Cake Cottons and she did a wonderful job.  I finished off hemming the bound edge by hand and it went together beautifully."

It's absolutely beautiful Eileen!  Well done you! 

Vanessa x

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