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