Saturday, 19 March 2011

Doll Quilt Complete

Finished at last. Doll Quilt Swap 10.  My secret partner likes intricate tiny piecing, traditional and modern fabrics and is generally easy going.  I knew what I wanted to do but this one took a while to make.  I listened to a podcast from Radio Lab, this one was called Help!, take a listen, like all Radio Lab podcasts it's an interesting journey.  Elizabeth Gilbert quotes Tom Waits describing the creative process.  Every song has a distinctive identity that it comes into the world with.
There are songs you have to sneak up on like hunting for a rare bird.  Then there are songs that come to you  fully intact like a dream taken through a straw.  There are songs that you find little bits of, like pieces of gum underneath the desk, and you scrape them off and you put them together.  And there are songs that need to be bullied into shape to give itself over.
This quilt was one of those.  I had to kick it into shape, give it a talking too, and ask it to sit by itself until it was ready to  co-operate.  
There is a song theme to it too- can you find it amongst all the words?  Look for the stamped text...


I used a lot of different processes to make it including hand stitching and hand quilting.  On Heather Bailey's blog,  she and others are sharing tools of any kind that make life a little easier.  Check Florence's for great ideas on fabric markers
These sticky dotties make hand sewing just that little bit easier and reduce strain.  I had RSI for a long time and it still gives me problems, especially hand sewing, so anything I can find to make life easier is worth buying.
These are invaluable.  They give grip and stop the needle leaving long indentations in my fingers too- I've got skinny fingers, not much cushioning!  I have bought them at Hobby Craft and you can find them elsewhere online.
For piecing fabric and machine quilting, I use Clover Non Slip Finger grip.  I don't know what this stuff is made of but it doesn't stain the fabric and it doesn't irritate my skin.  It gives you an extra bit of grip or purchase (almost archaic word usage there, but I like it) and again reduces strain.  Easily available in sewing shops and online.

You just rub it on the tips.  When you have a big pile of piecing it speeds it up and allows you to put those edges together quickly and easily. It is not hot and itchy like quilting gloves- which have their uses, and their drawbacks-this is easy, I love it.

And I'll end today with a bit of Tom, a snippet and the whole song is here

sib blog

18 comments:

  1. Wow your doll quilt is fantastic!! I love everything about it. Here comes the sun and I say it really is all right!

    xx

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  2. Wow, that doll's quilt is really impressive! Well done :o)

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  3. Wow your partner is very lucky this is a beautiful little quilt!

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  4. Lucky lucky partner- gorgeous job Kerry!

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  5. That is an absolutely gorgeous piece of art. If you decide to sell it would you let me know? I think you have a very singular gift.

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  6. Kerry!!! Ticker tape, piecing, applique, machine and hand stitching?? Am I missing anything??? And I love the thought that went into it! Glad you could make it mind!! It is a stunner!

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  7. Amazing quilt Kerry! Somehow I don't think it's meant for me, which makes me a lot sad, and a little jealous. I will have to find the finger grip. Thanks for the tip.

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  8. Beautiful! i have been doing a lot of stitching lately and those dots would really come in handy, well fingery... ;).

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  9. Wow! I love the different piecing techniques you used and your sun theme! Your partner is going to love it! Penny was just telling me about how amazing your work is, and now I totally understand. Really, really inspiring! And thanks for the tips on the tools!

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  10. what a great post! I haven't had much time to be in blogland lately... but I am so glad that I made the time for this post. Your quilt is SO wonderful, I just want to look at the pictures of it all day long. Radio lab is one of my favorite podcasts, but I haven't listened to this one yet!! Also I have been thinking of starting a series of quilts with song lyrics... what kismet! Thanks so much for all the grip tips and great advice. Your work always makes me smile.

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  11. this quilt is really amazing! I am working on my DQS now!

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  12. Oh I sure hope I'm your partner!!! :) That quilt is amazing! Absolutely! And I do love the tiny - love love love! :) Thanks for sharing the tips and products... one thing though, does the non slip finger grip stick have an ingredient list? I'm allergic to propylene glycol (in a lot of things). I'd love to give it a try but can't find an ingredient list. :)
    Anyway, your quilt is amazing - hope it's coming to my house!!

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  13. I love your doll quilt! There are no appropriate words to describe it...
    It would be perfect for me:))) I'll keep my fingers crossed to find it in the mail:)

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  14. Love Tom Waits but will have to wait till school finishes to listen to him. I'm supposed to be working! Your quilt is magic. It is so original and the thought process and fabric choices are stunning. Thank you for all the closeup photos and handy tips.

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  15. Every one of people who was your secret partner for a swap is just super lucky. You are so dedicated to make something your partner will for sure like and it's so nice to see how you execute it.
    I was always wondering what the Needle Grip-it was. It looks very helpful.

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  16. What an incredible quilt. I have seen nothing like it before and it's just so well done. Your handstitching is a lovely effect. Now I've got to go favorite this!

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  17. your doll quilt is stunning. flat out gorgeous. but i keep coming back to this post for the tool recommendations to make hand sewing easier. i'm having a lot of thumb and wrist problems and i need all of the help i can get. thank you for sharing your tips. my thumb and wrist thank you many times over, also.

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  18. Melinda, I'll use anything I can to make life easier for my hands so I can continue sewing! The Needle grip it pads and the finger stick are the best things i have found to help hand sewing by far

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