Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Marsala Clams [A finish]

This is one finish I really did not expect to be sharing with you this week!


This was my first photo shoot on our brand new fake grass - I never need to use a lawn mower ever again! But I think the lovely bright green threw my camera off, as the colours, especially the background fabric, are a bit out, and it really is more brown in real life!

Marsala is the Pantone colour of 2015 and thus the subject of the Pantone quilt challenge. As someone who doesn't mind brown (I love the richness it gave to my Rhubarb and Custard quilt) Marsala is still a little out of my comfort zone. A hunt through my stash led me to pick Kona Burgundy as my Marsala of choice (I'm not a wine drinker so I can't tell the difference!). To this I added a fat quarter of Annali from Dashwood Studios - my only other "marsala-ish" fabric. Then I added coral/peach, lime green and some text prints. And by chance my recently acquired Karen Lewis Textiles scrap bundle also included some "marsala-ish" fabrics.

There have been quite a few clamshell quilts around lately (Rachel has hosted a clam bake QAL too) so I was inspired to dig out the 2" clamshell papers I bought a few years ago and give EPP clams a go. If you want my advice....don't. These little beggars are fiddly! Basting was ok... I used glue. But I really struggled to line the pieces up - they don't quite tesselate perfectly and what to do with the little tail of fabric at the narrow point was a mystery I never solved. Add in the fact you are piecing a curve and need I say more. So by the time I had 4 rows of 6-7 clams the wonk was noticeable and I was grumpy! I decided the project was a no-goer, packed the clams in one of the many boxes labelled "sewing stuff" and decided I wouldn't be entering this year's Pantone Quilt challenge. I was out of time with the move fast approaching.
This photo shows the colours far better - the two solid marsala
clams are made from the same fabric as the background...
But when writing my Finish Along goals for this quarter I was re-inspired and added on these dratted clam shells. I'd spent a lot of time already and it would be a shame to do nothing with them. And when the linky party for the challenge opened, I decided to dig them out - and it only took 20 minutes of searching through boxes to find them! It must be a sign. I was so inspired that during nap time last Friday I even added another two rows - on further inspection the wonk was getting worse as I added more clams to the rows - I added two more rows to the clams before the wonk became noticeable again. And by wonk I mean that there is no way the next clamshell will tesselate in any way with those that were already pieced!


I appliqued the clams to some more Kona burgundy, then using perle thread I've hand quilted echoes of the clams in the background, and outlined the pieced clams, all in coordinating thread.

The colour is totally wrong in this photo but it does show the quilting well
My sewing machine had it's first outing in the new house on Sunday morning - in the middle of the living room on the world's smallest table. I made my binding on my knees, with the ironing board balanced on the footstool (everyone does it that way, right?), and with the blessing of the house-moving Gods, I now have a finished mini-quilt! Note to self: 2" binding is just a little bit tight...
Doesn't my house look like a tip? We're living in one room whilst the builders finish...
Quilt stats:
Size: 15" x 13" - so this will be entered in the mini category for the Pantone challenge)
Fabrics: Kona Burgundy, Annali for Dashwood Studios, Architextures, Karen Lewis Textiles, Art Gallery fabrics, Cotton and Steel Basics, Pearl Bracelets and random texty prints
Threads: hand pieced with Aurifil 50w, appliqued with Gutermann (because the colour matched) and hand quilted with Finca Perle thread #16 and Aurifil perle-ish thread in peach.

Linking up with the Pantone Quilt Challenge

2015 Pantone Quilt Challenge: Marsala

And the finish Along (my original list is here)

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side
And you can see my previous entries: Tangerine Tango; Emerald Green; and Radiant Orchid.

4 comments:

Lin said...

However you got there Jennie the result is great! Love the idea of no cut grass. xx

Debbie said...

This turned out lovely despite your misgivings! Am I correct that your quilt is completely stitched by hand? Impressive!

Anne said...

Wow, I love that you managed to turn something that was giving you so much trouble into something so beautiful! I'm sad that the green grass was giving you so much trouble with the photographs. I color corrected one of the photos and you're right, the photos don't do the colors justice! It's SO rich looking, very beautiful quilt. :)

Adrianne @ On the Windy Side said...

This is really fantastic - I love how you brought in a range of colours here as well as Marsala.