Monday, 20 December 2010

The Grand Sludge Reveal

Morning everyone, here's an update from snowy central...





Ok, so it's really not that bad here at all, though the snow certainly came down very quickly on Saturday, just as I was going up the road in the car. I swiftly (well very slowly actually) turned back and off we set on foot instead. This also sadly meant that our visitors were not able to make it up to see us which was a shame. Hopefully, the roads may improve later in the week because I want to give them their Christmas gift, something on which I've been beavering away for a few months now. You may remember my post about sludge here. Well, the fabric finally made its way here from America so this week saw a flurry of activity to finish off the Dreamcatcher quilt. Washing line reveals are not really a reality (I'm tempted though, to show you the Christmas quilt I've made for us!), so Mr HenHouse kindly obliged before he set off for work this morning. Et voila!





Sorry the photo is not great and has played with the colours a bit. I must say, this quilt has been a lot of work. I am really pleased with it now it's finished, though.


This was the first quilt I had made which had the blocks set on point (in a diamond shape rather than as squares) which meant setting them with side and corner triangles of cream background fabric. This actually went relatively easily and creates quite an interesting effect.





I was very pleased to see that the fabrics I ordered for the setting triangles, sashing and binding were just what I wanted. Sometimes, fabrics look very different in real life from how they look on the screen. Fat Quarter Shop has a very good selection of Civil War prints and their service is excellent. I quilted the long brown sashing strips with a sort of oval shape which I did by cutting ovals out of freezer paper, temporarily ironing them in place (freezer paper has a slightly sticky backing) and then sewing round them with a walking foot. This is the first time I have done this, having read about the technique in Mary Mashuta's machine quilting book. I must say, this really was not easy! I used a gorgeous very thick batting in this quilt (my favourite Dream Cotton, this time in deluxe weight,) which made it very heavy to manoeuvre. You might just be able to make out the oval quilting in the photo below.





The top and bottom borders were pieced with many 2.5" squares and I think this really sets off the main body of the quilt and my squares have all lined up quite nicely. Phew!






I was pleased to find a 108" wide backing fabric which is a Civil war print. I still cut this in half and pieced the back to save on wastage. I bound the quilt with another attractive small flowered Civil War print (these were designed by Judie Rothermel who specialises in reproducing historical designs).






And so with the addition of a patch made from vintage embroidered cloth on the back stating my details as the maker (quilters are encouraged to mark their quilts for future historical reference) and a message to the recipients, this quilt is all ready to be wrapped up and go off to its new home.





Much as sludge is not really my thing, I am both happy and sad to see this one go.






I'm happy it is going to a new and hopefully appreciative home to keep some special people warm but this quilt was a little labour of love and you know, it really did look rather nice in the sitting room!






25 comments:

  1. Oh Hen, love your new quilt, lucky friends you have! I hope your christmas preparations are coming along well. We have no water, it's frozen.

    All things nice...

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  2. Thought you said it was sludge coloured! That quilt is very pretty. I'm sure the recipients will love it.
    Julie xxxxxx

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  3. Stunning Hen! I've had the magnifier all over your pictures (mainly looking at the oval quilting, what a lovely attention to detail!) and the degree of workwomanship is just stunning. Nevermind the sludgie colours (you have still found pretty fabrics), it's so full of interest and intricate matches of fabrics that just about anyone could not fail to fall in love with it. Such a lot of work and care you have put in, from choosing all the different fabrics, to the complex piecing it together. A quality quilt! Lucky lucky people to recieve such a beauty! Would love to see your Christmas quilt all pegged out too.
    Siobhan

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  4. Thumbs up for sludge! Looks lovely and I am sure they will LOVE it!

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  5. That is beautiful! You should be so proud. xx

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  6. Beautiful quilt, I do hope your visitors reach you. I was meant to be in London today.. but have been stuck here since Friday afternoon. Luckily I have a fabric stash to play with!!!

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  7. It is gorgeous....it also goes with your fireplace, love those colours.

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  8. It is gorgeous! You have done sludge really well and made it look much more prettier and interesting than I imagined was possible, and I love how you've managed to fit little bursts of colour into all the general sludginess! I am not a fan of sludge, but I think this is my favourite quilt you've ever shown us.
    Thankyou for the freezer paper tip, I will have to try that one out.

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  9. Beautiful quilt - well done, you - what a lot of hard work! The recipients will be thrilled, I'm sure. Happy Christmas!

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  10. Hen, I also hope that your UK weather and its handlers will give you all an easier time of it very soon.

    As for that quilt...it's a gem. The colors and patterns and details work beautifully together, with just the right mix of harmony and edge. Remember that old James Bond tale, Diamonds are Forever? Well, the folks who'll eventually receive this quilt will definitely be receiving an heirloom quality creation.

    Best Christmas wishes to you!

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  11. Hi Hen! Beautiful quilt! I've been trying to get caught up on your posts. Always some lovely homemade things here! Wishing you and your family a very merry Christmas! Stay safe and warm in all that snow I'm seeing on the news! Warm hugs from Las Vegas USA!

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  12. I think its lovely Hen, very shaker/new england style....something I quite love....have a really lovely Christmas xxx

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  13. Another stunner Hen! I've made a quilt for Eleanor this Christmas and although there are a few dodgy bits its worked out quite well. I dont know how you have the patience for the one above though!

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  14. An absolutely spectacular quilt, Hen. The amount of work you put into that is mind-boggling to me. And you did a great job choosing fabrics and colors! It all looks top-notch! (I know very little about quilting, but I know what I like when I see it!) :o) Bess

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  15. hello! You have sooo much snow! I've just linked you through on my blog because i put a photograph on there of a christmasy item we bought from you! XX

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  16. Your quilt is stunning, The amount of detail is amazing i have never seen this style or design before. Well done you. Have a lovely christmas, Dee x

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  17. I think the quilt is beautiful and it goes well in your room with the fireplace and paper. Hope you have a wonderful Xmas with your family, I have nejoyed your lovely blog again the year - please keep up the postings.

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  18. I was wrapping up a knee quilt this morning to send to a friend and wondered how your sludge quilt was going- looks lovely, you must be thrilled with it.

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  19. Hi Hen, although I think that you are mad to take on these mammoth tasks, I love the sludge!
    T X

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  20. I love the quilt!!! What lucky recipients they will be :)

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  21. Goodness, it must have taken you ages to get this quilt so wonderful!

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  22. it looks lovely in your living room, do you think you'll make another to keep in there?

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  23. Lovely quilt Hen, and what a lovely present to receive. Have a wonderful Christmas.
    Jo xx

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  24. 'Tis definitely the season to snuggle under a quilt or two... and I would be delighted to receive such a beauty!
    Hope you have managed to venture further afield.. no sign of a thaw here but we have managed to negotiate these slippery slopes quite well considering!
    Have a wonderful snuggly toasty Christmas Hen.
    Michele x

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  25. Another beautiful quilt Hen.
    Just dropping by to wish you and all your family the most wonderful Christmas,full of lovely surprises! ;0)

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