Friday, 20 June 2014

Double Doodle Does It

I had some very good news about the Double Doodle quilt that I had entered into the National Quilt Championships 2014, held at Sandown Exhibition Centre in Surrey. I received one of those lovely phone calls from Grosvenor Shows, the organizers, to tell me it had won the Machine Appliqué Award. I don't do a lot of machine applique. In fact this is the first quilt on which I have used it extensively so it was quite a surprise.

This large (68" square) quilt was inspired by one of my 52 Journals, just like the Burano quilt I showed you a few days ago.  52 Journals was the project I did in 2012 where I made a small journal quilt for every week of the year. They will all be on show later this year in Peebles. For information check out the sidebar on the right. At the very top there is a link to a separate page about the exhibition.
Above is that small (10" square) piece,(no. 37 Pattern)  inspired by the theme of Pattern set on the Sketchbook Challenge site and also by a talk I attended at that time in Edinburgh by Ricky Tims, a very well known American quilter. He was singing the praises of the double buttonhole machine stitch. I seem to have completely overlooked the fact that he does it on large flowing lines while I tried to do it on very intricate hand drawn and tight curves and I can tell you it isn't half as much fun! In fact I'm amazed in hindsight that I ever started the large quilt after finishing the journal quilt. But on the plus sight I loved the effect of it so that must have spurred me on. It was utter madness though and without the knee lift on my Bernina sewing machine this would never have been finished.

There were in fact many times when I wanted to abandon the Double Doodle quilt altogether. It kept wanting to get bigger with more and more blocks and against my better judgement I gave in. Then I gave it a border but it didn't want one (this was after it had been quilted and bound!) so I spend a substantial part of last summer removing it again (it's still hanging around in the studio) and adding an alternative finish. I was hugely relieved just to get it done and was so fed up with it that I couldn't appreciate it's better qualities.

No one was more surprised than I to see it receive a Judges Merit rozette last September at the Scottish Quilt Championships at Ingliston and I was even more stunned yesterday that it now has been rewarded for it's machine appliqué qualities.
Of course the quilt is not here to photograph for my blip today. The show at Sandown opened today and goes on till Sunday so I could not blip the quilt itself but fortunately I remembered I had some spare blocks (they are 6" square) left over that never made it onto the quilt and after some searching I located them. Above is a detail of one of those blocks where you can see the machine appliqué in detail.

I used variegated threads for the entire quilt and I'm sorry to say I can't give you a brand name. It seems to say Marathon and the rest of the info looks to be in Chinese script. It's rayon and wonderful to use though, and I'm pretty sure I picked up these huge cones during a visit years ago to a textile event in Rijswijk, The Netherlands. I just knew they would come in handy one day!  Most of it has gone now as this method with double button hole seems to eat thread. I always get rather worried when I use things up (blame my Calvinistic upbringing)!

But in this case it's fair to say that even having won an award for it I don't anticipate making a quilt like this again any time soon!


Debbie said...

Congratulations, Frieda! I'm not surprised you won. I have done a lot of machine applique with that method and your is so exquisitely done. Great close up photo, too!

Carol said...

Wow! Congratulations, Frieda. My mind is boggling and I can't wait to see it. But I can't see any beads!

Sandra Wyman said...

Congratulations Frieda - love it

Erica said...

Well done Frieda. Just gorgeous. And SO much work.


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