Over the last week I've been hopping between working on this English paper piecing project and an enormous Charlotte Bartlett quilt that I'm making as a Christmas gift for my parents. You might remember my first Charlotte quilt, which I named after a character in an E.M. Forster novel for the reasons shared in this post, when I found the piecing for the original snowball quilt (intended as a huge quilt for our back garden) that I was making so stultifyingly dull, that I decided to make it far smaller…perhaps not allowing all the members of the family to sit on it at the same time! Anyone who's read the book or watched the film of A Room with a View, may instantly understand why a quilt that was too small for everyone to sit on may take on such a name, but for those that haven't, do go and read my original post and you can add the phrase 'For goodness sake, don't be such a Charlotte Bartlett about it' to your own lexicon, for times when you're faced with a whiff of martyrdom!
This is the original quilt. It's traditionally called a 'snowball quilt' because of the tiny pieces sewn to the corner of each square, which, when sewn together, create a sense of a quilt full of round balls, although my version doesn't make this so apparent, as I haven't chosen to use a particularly contrasting print.
You can see a photo of it in its early stages, below. This is the first time I've used my new design wall properly - I've had an EPP stuck up there with pins until now as, with the papers still in place, English paper piecing projects don't cling to the design wall in the same way that fabric does. But goodness, it's exciting stuff to see fabric just 'sticking' to the wall unsecured by anything other than its own desire to cling to a piece of flannelette!
This was my paltry dusting of completed snowballs last week…I now have a pile akin to Helvellyn, which is moderately satisfying, but I will be aiming for Everest proportions over the coming week, before sewing them all together. I have a tendency to over-cautiousness and in the past when I've chain pieced things, I've still felt the need to take back-stitches at the start and end of each line of stitching, even though the seams will be secured properly later by sewing across them. However, a quick discussion on Instagram about this gave the confidence to dispense with this, although I've still decreased my stitch length a little to make the stitches harder to work their own way out…just in case some of them are particularly wilful in wanting to make a bid for freedom.
I did look through a big pile of quilting books before deciding to torture myself with the Charlotte Bartlett quilt again, but nothing else offered quite the flow and wildness that I think my father really loved about the original quilt. I could possibly have done just simple patchwork square but, quite inexplicably, I felt mean to take away the tiny corner stubs, just in case that was the thing he'd liked about it. I had an idea that it may have actually been the occasional snippets of black that he loved, so I've been careful to pick some blue prints that also have a bit of black in them.
What are you working on this week? And have you added anything to your own list of 'trying new things'?