Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Quilting, padding and stuffing

Preparing the variety of fabrics, for padding and top and bottom layers and the trapped items made my work space look like a rather strange laboratory, with interesting exhibits...the task to make them come together in a way that would move my ideas along into making fabric with a texture that would respond to touch as well as the eye. 

Ref 5.5.1b
Ref 5.5.1a

 For first 'quilt' I went for a traditional design with same cotton cloth top and bottom over a fleece padding.  Machine stitching the quilting lines I then decided to fray the fabric as this was a fabric samples which had not been used in Chapter 4

Ref 5.5.2a
The second machine quilted piece using a silk variegated top thread on a cotton organza fabric again padded with the knitted fleece. Using photos to inspire the shapes or stitch lines for the samples but trying to not be too concerned about a literal translation...

Ref 5.5.3a
Ref 5.5.3b
In these hand quilted wadded pieces two different weights of cotton fabric top and tailed a fleece wadding. A 60 crochet thread was used for the stitching. For sample 5.5.3a  pattern I wanted to vary size of the unquilted sections to try and replicate the idea of layers and strata while keeping a grid like pattern. Ref 5.5.3b

Ref 5.5.4
Ref 5.5.4 sample proceeded to use a variety of threads on muslin over fleece for a more angular sample.  Sadly lost my way - having made a simple pattern once into the stitching went off piste; it must have been the excitement of the Winter Olympics that took my mind away from what I was doing.  

Ref 5.5.5
Ref 5.5.6
For the next two samples the inspiration came from the Broch of Gurness but two different techniques were used.  The initial one 5.5.5 was a random hand stitched quilting stitch whereas 5.5.6 used wooden insets for shape quilting. Sadly my mind was still on wadding  and I failed to read notes correctly and carried on with three layers! The error continues on to sample 5.5.7 when I suddenly realised my error and did a 'rescue' and you will see how some of the wadding has been cut away from the wood sections. For 5.5.7 I trapped some feathers between a layer of net and cream cotton organza and tried to define their shape with hand stitched outlines.
Ref 5.5.7

Ref 5.5.8a
Ref 5.5.8.b
For the padded sample 5.5.8a I decided to alternate the padding in each section, using string (central space), knitting wool (bottom left), thrumbs or waste threads (top), found wool fleece (bottom right) and two sections of cotton fibres. The see through layer of cotton was backed by a coloured polyester fabric to add depth. Picture 5.5.8.b shows the reverse and each of the stuffing contents.

Sample 5.5.9  inspire by my stone/shell from Coral Beach on the Isle of Skye could fall between a shaped or padded exploration using melon pips and a cheese cloth top fabric
Ref 5.5.9b
Ref 5.5.9a

Ref 5.5.10b
Ref 5.5.10a
For cords I have show reverse and front sample 5 5.10 where a twin needle was used to make channels in which pipe cleaners were placed with wide spaces between to allow larger cotton tops for padding.  In pushing the cleaners and padding into the spaces the original clean lines made by the twin needle distorted at the curves, but while it showed up errors in the sewing and turning of a curve with the twin needle I decided to keep the sample as it seemed to enhance a natural element!
Samples 5.5.11 and 12 again explore cording with piping, zig zag and a knotted string in an attempt to replicate the erosion of the  Arbroath Abbey wall

Ref 5.5.12
Ref 5.5.11

For a finale  and following an inspiration regarding tea bags on the Distant Stitch Facebook page, thank you Sian, I looked at my morning mug of tea and thought ...I wonder!!!  The original teabags were square but mine... well they were triangles! So here they are top and bottom which is which? There were a multitude of options that I tried but opted for classic shape.  I have a feeling teabags will become another thing to save as the option of tea dyeing was starting to occupy my natural dyeing tendencies.


  1. Love your quilting samples, Judith. Had to laugh at your hand stitching going off piste. I looks like a gold medal to me!

    1. Thanks Ros, it feeels like detox not having ther Olympics as an excuse for not doing or doing things wrong!

  2. Super samples Judith. I particularly like 5.5.3a with the varied sizes of unquilted areas.

  3. PS Love the teabags - a subject dear to my heart!