Sunday, 16 March 2014

"And how long did it take you to make?"

Dawn Chorus, 250x202cm £299

... Oh, about 22 years.
It's a rather silly question, though often asked, because how on earth do you measure time spent on a creative project? Do you record all the hours actually spent working to come up with a total? And if so, do you include time spent thinking in the shower, doodling while on the phone, travelling to a fabric shop, browsing online stores, and tidying up before dinner after a day spent sewing at the kitchen table? Or do you just count the days or weeks or months from the first stitch to the last, regardless of how many of those weeks in between were spent in the office, on holiday or otherwise engaged?
But I made an exception and calculated (using the second method) how long it had taken me to make the quilt above. Because - ta dah! - it is finally finished. I started it in about 1992, coming up with the block design* at a residential workshop in Cornwall with Susan Denton and made the top probably the following year. In about 1999 I sent it away to be long-arm quilted (long before I had The Beast). I bought some fabric for the binding about five years ago. And I put the binding on last week, just in time to take it to the Country Living Spring Fair. It's called, rather fancifully, Dawn Chorus, because it is full of little birds.

Dawn Chorus, detail

I've also made a new "Jungle" quilt in the Garden City range. And since you ask ... oh, about a week.

Jungle 2, 190x248cm £212.50

Jungle 2, detail

* P.S. I made three quilts using the same basic block, each of them very different. My favourite was based around an old tablecloth, which included a map of Australia, that I found while clearing my aunt's house, and it became a pointer to my later style. "Look!" I said to my Australian husband when I had finished it. "The colours gets hotter towards the south." I was mortified when he pointed out that Australia is in the Southern Hemisphere... 

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