Posts Tagged ‘wool quilt’

Major Decision Points, 2

Sunday, April 30th, 2023

Photos taken over the past couple of days show rapid progress has been made since I just took a couple of key decisions. With these wool coat fabrics, I’ve never had the intention of binding, hemming or facing even with cotton, as any of them would be too clunky, and buttonholing too much of a ‘blanket’ cliche suggesting a connection I didn’t want viewers to focus on, in the same way as if I’d included belt loops, collars, pockets and buttonholes they would have made it clear this fabric had a previous life as a coat or jacket. I didn’t even want it to say ‘this had a previous life’ of any kind at all.

Somewhere along the way I decided to make what appeared to be moth damage as the edge finish for this work.

Left – the last few threads of the quilting mesh grid pattern to finish off and darn in. On the right – a bit of the motheaten treatment at one corner, and I’m loving it.

The main question now is whether to put a woolly element at each grid intersection, or to park some in the triangular shapes – and if so, every triangle, the ones sitting base down point up, or some random distribution?

The large stitch quilting is done with one of the strands of the knitting wool – they easily separated out, and are quite strong enough for the job.

I’ve done enough on this today and it seems a good idea to sleep on it; but whatever I decide to add will need to be placed before I attach the sleeve to the back. I also think I’ll put either some black squares or some knit patches on the back in places, too, to ensure the 60% minimum wool composition on both front and back is beyond question. The minimum perimeter measurement is 300cm, and the work exceeds that comfortably, so that’s OK.

Major Decision Points

Friday, April 28th, 2023

A lot of my work is improvisational, and I find I need to keep an eye open for that point, which might come up unexpectedly early, when it suddenly becomes clear that I’ve done enough – that I’ve completed all I wanted to convey with a work and it’s done, bar the finishing off. Quite unexpectedly the other day I realised that enough squares, 49, have been stitched, and although the grid was basted envisaging all 225 squares would be filled in, I think it’s more powerful to stop, hand quilt and edge it, not necessarily in that order.

Using neon green over the yellow green strips, and black over the dark green/blue strips increases the dimensionality.

There are other times when I need to stop thinking around the subject and just start!    Burdening my mind for days has been the fear of how the hand stitched triangular mesh I’ve had in mind for the front will look on the black/red back side of the quilt. I just haven’t been able to consider any other possibility than this particular mesh pattern, and realised that it needed to be stitched first before I place some bits of knitted samples that I’ve been playing around with. I’ll probably add some small red pieces, but I might audition metallic leather, too, as the work progresses.  But for various reasons to do with construction, I determined the stitched mesh grid needs to go into place first, and that’s what’s been bothering me. I’ve been mentally going round and round, over, under and through, because as you probably know, the quilting’s usually the last process before finishing off and adding the sleeve .

So this morning I stopped mentally dithering, threaded up a fresh needle with one of the wool threads and just started stitching – big, freehand stitched lines, across the front from side to side:

The two wool fabrics are thick enough to not need any batting, and I found that the stitches I’ve done hardly appear on the back after all – this is so different from working in cotton! In this photo, the back edge has been folded over onto the front – to show the stitches on each side. The tip of the needle is at one stitch on the red – they hardly show at all – but I may add a few little black bits to the red on the back and now feel much more free about all that, too.

What an interesting challenge this work has turned out to be.

Working With Wool After All …

Sunday, April 9th, 2023

The project I referred to in my previous post continues. I had already decided to make this a 100% recycling of materials project because the gifted materials make it possible – but it is challenging.

Many who use recycled garments in their art include details like belt loops, button holes, pockets and collars, showing the work’s made from a recycled garment, with clues to its former life. Because I don’t want my wool art quilt to say ‘garment;’ or ‘coat’ to the viewer, I laboriously deconstructed the two coats. I’ve been making samples on the small bits, but for the moment I’m not cutting up the larger areas until I’m more sure of the composition.

The entry rules require the wool composition on both the back and the front to be at least 60%. The red fabric is 50% wool, and the black 70%, so I’m considering some kind of red/black checkerboard grid, but I might put that on the back, because I also have a 65% wool cape which I might use for the front if I further develop a radial design that I’m considering, too.

Whatever I do, though, there will be added woolly elements, so time to show some of the things I’ve been playing with:

Some of the stitched element possibilities I’m considering


Wool wound around my fingers and stitched down.
Overcoming my hesitation, today I cut into one of the knitted samples for a section of rib knit, which frayed wonderfully.
Some more possibilities…
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