Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Sewvivor Sew-A-Long

Let me tell you a bit about my entry for the Sewvivor Sew-A-Long first challenge which is Nautical.

This one has been so much fun to do especially since i had absolutely no idea at all what i wanted it to be and zero grand plan, it was improv all the way which suits me fine, it's how i normally work and how i love to work. My first thoughts were to just try out various improv type pieces of patchwork under a Nautical/Maritime theme square them all up and make a quilt from them..... not how it ended up at all.

This first picture was just me starting to piece some scraps together in the hope I could make them look even slightly like the underside of a whale. I stitched together some randomly placed squares and half square triangles for the top half of the whale body and trimmed to a whale-like shape. I wanted the background to be simple square patchwork in low volume prints to make the whale really stand out when appliqued on top.

At this point i thought it would be nice to link the finished piece to Dundee and remembered the story of the Tay whale and the poem written about it. I soon realised i wanted to include some hand sewn words, so i chose these lines, "Small Boats were launched on the Silvery Tay, While the monster of the Deep did sport and play." They are from the poem The Famous Tay Whale by William Topaz McGonagall who was widely hailed as the writer of the worst poetry in the English Language!!! (Don't believe me, look it up). The whale swam into the Firth of Tay in 1883, it was harpooned, escaped and found dead a week later. The whale's skeleton is displayed in the McManus Galleries in Dundee.

I regretted the decision to hand embroider these lines pretty took SO long to do!

The surface area (or top section of the quilt) has some wonky improv patchwork for the sky, some strips pieced for the hills/land in the background and a couple of boats setting sail to hunt down the whale.

The quilting differs all over the piece. Some wavy lines on the darker blue sections, matchstick quilting on the underside of the whale, some free motion quilting for the sea area around the whale (I'm still a complete novice at this), and some zig zags to echo the shape of the hills up through the sky. A blue binding finished it off, darker at the bottom and a turquoise round the top. 

I'm pretty pleased with it and the reaction to it on Instagram has been so amazing, I'm totally overwhelmed by all the lovely comments people have left me about it. 

1 comment:

  1. I had to come hear more about it :) Really beautiful. Are the fins appliquéd?