Thursday, September 14, 2006

A little bit of stained glass applique for you

I've always been a lover of stained glass. As a teenager I'd always use the East window in our church with it's picture of Jesus portrayed as the Good Shepherd to focus on during prayer. Never been much good at praying with my eyes shut :o)

Also as a youngster when we'd go out on family outings my father would always indulge his love of old buildings especially churches and of course whatever he wanted to go and see we had to dutifully follow.

Oddly enough, I actually enjoyed these visits too - most children and teenagers would rebel against 'boring old history' but not me.

When Nigel and I met we discovered we had a common love of architecture and we will often pick out little details of buildings on the high street above the usual 'chain store' signage that assaults your eye as you visit English town centres - each a clone of the other. We're both very fond of city breaks and have been fortunate enough to visit various different European locations over the past few years.

So it's really not surprising that I love windows and especially stained glass.

The 'windows' picture is taken of a Roman Catholic maternity hospital near the Dom (cathedral) in Lubeck in northern Germany - obviously as it is daylight and I was outside the building you couldn't see if any colours came into play but the I thought the patterns were wonderful - very Art Deco 1930's! Quite a departure from the usual stained glass designs you might see around and about. Food for another quilt maybe?

When we held our quilt show in the summer someone suggested, as a last minute thought, that it would be nice if someone could sit and hand stitch while the show was going on so visitors could see work in progress and ask questions.

Well, given the opportunity to sit and sew for two days solid, I jumped at the chance and volunteered immediately.

Of course this being the very last minute I then had to rapidly rack my brains and my shelves for something to take and stitch

The only piece of hand work I had on the go was my hexagon quilt and the thought of sitting with the bulk of that trailing on the dirty floor of the scout centre gathering the ground-in dust and dirt from generations of young boys' shoes didn't appeal at all - especially as the piece has a high proportion of cream.

So on the Friday night I sat down with a large piece of paper, drafted an abstract stained glass pattern and then traced it onto a cream backing - cream out of necessity as it was nice and easy to see the lines through - by now it was dark and too late to use the patio doors as my usual 'light box'

The piece you see above is the result of this - an abstract purple flower about 18" square

As I didn't have time to hunt out any black fabric I used commercial poly/cotton bias binding cut down in width and an assortment of odds and sods that were lying around for the colours. I wouldn't recommend using the commercial binding as it was very closely woven and hence an absolute pig to stitch but I persevered and got there in the end.

I worked on it throughout the show and completed it over a few days the following week while my parents were down. My mum took a real shine to it.

So I think I shall make it up into a cushion and, devising another similar one to match, will give them to her and dad for Christmas. After all what do you give retired parents who have everything?


One ufo out of the way and a Christmas present off the list :o) after all girls it is only just over three months away!


Hedgehog said...

What a beauty! How about a tutorial?!

quiltpixie said...

What a lovely little hand project. I love the effect of stainglass quilts. I too have used commercially made bias, and never again -- I'm impressed you stayed with it! It'll be homemade bias tubes for me always...

Nancy said...

I love the windows. Especially the one on the left. It would make a really cool quilt pattern. And I love the applique piece too. I did a stained glass applique as a pillow exchange about 10 years ago and have wanted to do another for a long time. Just too many other projects begging to be done first. :-)

YankeeQuilter said...

How pretty. Sounds like you got the best job at the show!


Fiona said...

Is there no end to your talents, woman! It will make a perfect cushion cover.

Linda_J said...

What a lovely piece and if you know your mum already loves it, then that is almost a "no brainer"! It is hers on completion!

ForestJane said...

Very nice flower!

That'll make a pretty cushion. :)