August 20, 2014

Persian Pickle Project 2014

Hello, hello!

I'm so excited to be sharing a completed project with you today!  In case you haven't yet noticed, I'm not always (cough, cough - usually) very good about finishing sewing projects...  But this one had a deadline and I usually work well towards deadlines (if you count waiting to nearly the last minute as working well - thanks, Mum).  Anyway, personal foibles aside...

You may recall that at the beginning of the year, my Haberdashery sewing group had decided to do a group project based on the fabric swapping principle behind the book The Persian Pickle Club.  You can find the full details of our project in this post.

In February we made our fabric swaps, which you can read up on in this post.  And here is the photo of all our fabrics together (unsurprisingly, mine is the orange dragonfly print).

Right from the beginning I had an idea of what I wanted to do for a design - a paper pieced circle of geese blocks.  I had intended on using basic white as the background colour but since so many of the fabric contributions were pale or light coloured, a darker background would be necessary.  Except that I didn't want to use black, because it felt very flat so instead I found a mottled brown with warm and cool tints throughout it; it's not really my style but I think it works with the rest of the prints and sometimes you've got to work outside of your comfort zone.

And so...the big reveal!

Ta da!  The wallhanging finishes at 40cm square (as stated in the project requirements).  It features a central circle of geese block in counter-clockwise rotation (yeah, I'd meant to do it clockwise and printed off the wrong pattern by mistake - oops but not the end of the world).  I added a one inch border into which I used some off-cuts of the fabrics to lick & stick tiny geese around the edges using odd numbered groupings and gaps for added interest.

The quilting was a little challenging as my machine is quite old; so old it's been impossible to find a quilting foot that will work with it so I had to go slowly with a regular sewing foot and ease in fabric manually where needed.  My machine can also sometimes have tension issues when quilting but luckily I seemed to find the right combinations of settings this time around.

Originally I had thought to reinforce the circular concept by quilting concentric circles in the center.  Unfortunately you can imagine my dismay (and laughter) when I realised that I'd effectively quilted a bulls-eye into the center of my geese...  Open season, anyone?

Time for Plan B: geese flying by star light.  I stitched in the ditch around the large central star shape and added some additional lines in each arm of the star.  Then I drafted a smaller star template which I quilted into the corners.  For the geese I stitched in the ditch around each goose and then added arched lines on the insides.  I repeated this quilting on the small one inch geese in the borders (not easy, I can assure you).  I also quilted simple geese shapes into the rest of the borders; 12 geese per border, one every inch and some I reversed, again for interest.

The final touch, I recorded the project and contributors on the hanging sleeve on the back.  This Tuesday we will be revealing all of our wallhangings to each other at our next Haberdashery meeting.  Then the whole collection will be put on display at our guild exhibition end of September, which will be exciting.