Sarah Halford

Architecture and Ceramics

ten years in the making

Ah, it’s been a rocky old road making this quilt. I have to say though, it’s by far the most ambitious thing I’ve ever made, and I couldn’t have done it any earlier than I did. For once, I just gestated and gestated the idea until it was ready to be made.

So I started off with this pile of velvet samples. I spent ages rearranging them, and I knew I wanted to use them in a way that showed each lovely colour off, and also stretched the fabric as far as it would go… I wanted to make something BIG.

I made all these HSTs [half square triangles… learn the lingo!]

This is the back, when I finished the quilt top. The back surround is a mix of blocks of moleskin and corduroy; my favourite fabrics.

I got housemaid’s knee basting the whole thing. If there’s one thing I learned, is that an extra ten minutes agony on your knees basting is worth an extra hour’s swearing when your quilt sandwich slides off your knee. I don’t have a quilting frame, so my ‘quilting position’ is on the chaise, knees up, one hand under, one hand over, stretching the quilt gently over my lap. It seems to work, as long as I’ve basted loads and loads. This quilt weighs a tonne, so it worked even better because it pulled itself taut as I was working. Thinner fabrics move with your hand.

The finished quilt is about 1.8m x 1.5m, but it looks squarer than I thought it might.

The Pig gives his seal of approval. I think he looks rather charming against the orange colours!

This was the first time

  • I have worked with velvet
  • I have made HSTs – I usually think they’re too boring and stuffy
  • quilted PROPERLY, not just made it up
  • I’ve made a quilt this large
  • I’ve spent so long finalising a design. I made scale sketches of the finished quilt, that does closely match reality. That rarely happens; my sketches are usually a starting pointy for a design that evolves as it’s being made.

4 comments on “ten years in the making

  1. helen hare
    May 22, 2012

    squeee! I *love* it. How did you quilt it? Lines? Freeform? To match the basting?

    • sarahhalford
      May 28, 2012

      Aw thanks! Just lines, using black thread. I’ve only just cottoned on* to the fact that it’s worth investing in cotton QUILTING THREAD, not just normal polyester thread, as the proper stuff is soooo much smoother. I think I might do some semi-circles down the thinner black edge. I hope it fits in the machine machine, I got the poofier wadding for the middle because it was the same price as the less poofy. Might regret that!

      *’ha ha’

  2. stovies
    July 4, 2012

    Love it, great quilt Mrs!

    • sarahhalford
      July 11, 2012

      Thanks very much! Note to self; it’s worth taking a minute and doing something properly! I still haven’t really done this properly though, I want to do more quilting on it, but I can do that now it’s finished.

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This entry was posted on May 22, 2012 by in various makey things.
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