Making these small quilts is possibly one of my favourite quilting activities, so i am always happy to accept a challenge. For this one my first thoughts were pretty unoriginal - spring - summer - autumn - winter.................
I guess lots of people thought of that. So I tried to be more original. I thought about what the seasons mean to me and how my life changes with them.
For the quilt I decided to try and tell the story of my search for the endless summer, so I looked at an old passport to see where I had been; I love looking at passports. Once you get over the terrible photograph that stares back at you they are fascinating documents, full of memories. I decided to chop up an old one of mine and use some of the pages on the quilt. I laminated them to make them a little stronger and then planned on stitching them to the quilt. (A technique I learned from an article written by Stella Belikiewicz in Quilting Arts Magazine Aug/Sept2013)
For the quilt design I used the coastline of Africa and Europe. The path I most often follow - just like the swallows that migrate each year. I took a piece of blue-ish hand dyed fabric and using Markal paint sticks, smudged brown and rust colored paint over the edge of a freezer paper stencil then enhanced the edge of the map with a Derwent Inktense pencil to give a more defined line. I blogged about using Markal / Shiva paintsticks and Derwent Inktense pencils back in October. Here are the links if you want to read more about these materials; http://clairepassmore.weebly.com/blog/surface-design-markal-paintsticks and
For the birds I cut a few stamps using an old eraser and a lino cutting tool. Cutting into erasers is very easy - the material is so soft you can cut shapes easily. The only problem is that they are usually small - but for a little bird on a small scale quilt the eraser was perfect. For the sun I used a paper punch to create a tiny stencil. I blogged about cutting your own lino and eraser stamps back in August. Here is the link http://clairepassmore.weebly.com/blog/surface-design-lino-printing if you would like to take a look.
Using black fabric paints, I stamped the small bird shapes onto the quilt, showing the route they take as they migrate north and south each year in search of summer, then added the small white and red detail with a paintbrush.
To make it look a little more like a map, I topstitched black lines over the fabric with a thick black thread and then stamped on the word 'EQUATOR' using some tiny letter stamps.
Lastly, I layered the quilt and free motion quilted 2 different designs over the surface with some lovely rayon threads; a swirly pattern at the bottom section and a gentle wavy line pattern over the rest.
It is not a complicated quilt in terms of construction - but I am very happy with it. I am looking forward to seeing it in the magazine along with the other interpretations of the theme.