Well, as most of my informative years were in the 80s I couldn’t help but think of this when hearing about the challenge for the Ice Quilt Sew-a-Row, designing a quilt for the UKQU website. You can read the full story of the Ice and Fire quilts in October’s issue of British Patchwork and Quilting magazine.
When the call for volunteers went out I didn’t respond straight away. Working full time across three jobs (assistant editor to the magazine is just one of them) I felt I had enough to fill my time but then there were only two spaces left and I found myself saying yes. Of course, this meant I was late to the party and the only space left to take was the last of the Ice Quilt group. Adding to the pressure of quilting and finishing the wonderful work my teammates had started!
But what should I do? The others were underway so I didn’t rush into anything as I know only too well – an initial design rarely ends up how you first thought. But as the quilt was travelling the world, from Australia to England, Scotland to finally me in Wales, I had to come up with something.
As a family we love skiing, there is something so special about sliding down a mountain, surrounded by stunning scenery, fresh air in the lungs, that I just had to capture this idea so settled on Alpine chalets. The cosy fire lit at the end of the day, quiet of the mountain slopes at night. Ahhhhh, where’s my mulled wine?
But how to capture that in a landscape? I sketched out the design and put into practice a little of what I learned when I attended a seminar with Ricky Timms. Improv and Caveman – I basically just went for it! Cutting up the slices of the landscape but sticking to traditional fused appliqué for the houses themselves.
The quilting was the next to tackle but as I felt the rows needed to speak for themselves so I kept the quilting quite simple. Gentle walking foot lines, across the hills and simple free motion in other areas, keeping the quilting in the realms of any ‘hobby quilter’ such as myself.
The best bit of the experience? Seeing something develop across the team and the great feedback we had when displaying them on British Patchwork and Quilting’s stand at the Festival of Quilts.
The worst? Appliquéing those fiddley snowflakes!