I love the Gower. The coastline is one of the best in the UK, sandy beaches that are quiet even at the peak of summer, blue seas and green lush countryside. On the western side, you can even catch some breakers and try surfing but my favourite beach is Oxwich Bay. You drive down from the higher ground, past castles and historic woodlands to find sand dunes rolling down to the sea. There is a wonderful car park where you don’t need to walk far to find a quiet location to set up a picnic and soak some rays.
We’ve spent many a day with the children when they were younger, paddling through the sea, searching rock pools for tiny animals, fish and crabs. One occasion the beach was full of starfish with the odd jellyfish washed up. I’ve such great memories that when the Bloggers for UKQU were asked to create a quilt from a local landmark and I was given the Gower, the inspiration was easy.
I decided to make a seascape based on the gentle colours of a summers day on the Gower coast. My first blog on this shows how to get the background assembled. In a future blog, we will look at how we can develop the picture using appliqué or embroidery.
My method is based on ‘improv’ cutting which has become quite popular in the world of modern quilts over the past few years. I used a similar technique for the Ice Quilt which was for UKQU.
Choose your fabrics and lay them out in a gentle gradient of colour. I used a plain fabric selection with a green, for the shore, light sand for the beach and then a range of blues and greys for the sea and sky.
Lay your first and second colours on top of each other and, using your rotary blade, cut across with a gentle curve. Keep the curves gentle as the tighter you go, the more difficult it is to assemble. You can now join these two pieces. I used a 1/8″ seam allowance, narrower than I usually use, as this is for a wall hanging and the seams will not be under strain. If you are going to use this technique in a quilt then stick to the usual ¼” seam allowance.
When joining them do not worry about the ends of the strips of fabric matching at the end of the seam. If they are a little staggered then we can trim it to size once all the fabrics have been joined in this fashion.
Press the seams as normal ‘to the dark side’. A bit of steam here can be useful to help really set the seams in place.
This method can be used for all sorts of background and is also very quick and easy. It’s what I love about the Improv movement, no measuring and it gives a fluid look to any project. Perfect for landscapes.
If you’ve not tried it before, give it a go and have some fun.