Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Wednesday Link started early

It's Monday, my only day off this week so can I find time to link to Esther's Blog on Wednesday, yes -
if I start now.
Thought I would show you the inspiration for my Bamboo Wallhanging.
My Oriental Expressions Quilt
Our bedroom is a very slow WIP to accomodate this quilt as coverlet for our bed.
It will be coming off at night, we are not sleeping under it - and Kelly is NOT sleeping on it !!!!

It was a pattern from a 2010 APQ magazine called Fengshoe by Yvonne Morris.
I had wanted to make an oriental look quilt and had an Oriental "Brocade" fabric from my Mum, the blue fabric. I am very glad she never made a suit, it looks  far better in my quilt..
I  loved the pattern but changed the 4 Dresden Plate blocks to calligraphy blocks for my own interpretation.
They represent clockwise from top left Happiness, Peace, Dream, Love, what better thoughts to go to bed with.
To date it is the most complicated quilt I have made.
It is being held up for this photo by members of my Dargaville quilting group, some of them standing on chairs to get it off the floor.

This is the centre block,  the borders surrounding the centre are called The Great wall of China. 
I went onto Trade Me and bought 2 x 7" charm square packs, one 50 oriental fabrics and one 40 metallic's for this border, and also used them for other parts of the quilt. I needed 32 different fabrics for the wall cut into 6"x2" strips so the charm squares were perfect size.
I had the burgundy satin, parts are overlaid with that wonderful black/gold mesh I can't live without.
The centre applique. The first fabric I used was a red/gold stripe and I wasn't happy with it.
When I found the fabric to frame my calligraphy blocks, I recut my centre applique, pressed it overtop, widened my satin stitch and restitched over the original.
The pattern called for 2 different widths of gold bias for edging the applique but I used  2.5 x 1000m reels of metallic soft gold thread and satin stitched my edgings, it was a lot of satin stitch!!!

The background fabric's for all my applique blocks are Fairy Frost fabric - lights and darks of the same shade that I already had in my stash.
I only ended up buying 4 fat quarters of oriental fabric for my applique blocks, and I hated cutting into them, they were so beautiful on their own.

Top and Bottom of the quilt have Origami Kimono's.
It took several attempts to fold and press correctly, even after finishing I need to make a few catching stitches to ensure they will stay put..
The fabric between tthe Kimono's  is again the fabric I used for my bamboo calligraphy .. a link together for the final room.!!

I have folded the quilt top back to photograph the side borders. Both sides have fans which are not sewn down to the quilt top, I used the same gold fabric as for the calligraphy squares for their backing with one pinned back to show John's  underneath quilting..

This shows my corner squares where Fan's and Kimono's meet, and again shows some of John's quilting detail.
Some of you  may have  heard of John Nielsen who custom quilted it for me as he has tutored longarm quilting seminar's in Aust.
I didn't want it too heavily quilted and the only input I had was suggesting using Ginko leaves as with their oriental meaning of everlasting they seemed to suit.
John created such wonderful simple detailing for me I was very close to tears when I first got it back.
Tuesday night and post is finished, ready to link tomorrow.
Cheers everyone, enjoy your Wednesday while I work.


  1. Such a beautiful quilt! And the details are amazing.

    I loved reading how you chose your fabrics.

    Wonderful work!

  2. Drooling here all over my keyboard. This is a work of art. Your work is always so inspiring to me and others I am sure. I bet that it is more beautiful in person. I hope you enter it in a show it is sure a prize winner. Hugs and thanks for sharing your wonderful work.