Earlier on this year the GillyMac Thursday evening patchwork and quilting group started on a project of Liberated Quilting, inspired by book of that title by Gwen Marsden. Our quilts started along the same lines as Gwen’s, but soon, as with all our Thursday evening projects, everyone made their own adaptations and the quilts all ended up in different places.
Liberated quilting has few rules. You don’t need to quilt a 1\4” seam, you don’t have the iron your seams one way or the other, you don’t need to measure your pieces (in fact I would say you shouldn’t measure, but that would sound like a rule) and you don’t need to restricted yourself to any design and there are no patterns. The one thing that I did suggest to the group was that after 4 or 5 pieces they should iron their growing artwork. With pieces, and small ones, at that being joined every which way it would be easy to get rucks and ripples caught up in the piece. Regular ironing allow you to check for this and adjust any mistakes, it smooths out your piece so you are unlikely to make such a mistake with the subsequent pieces and it is a natural pause and review point for you to consider where to go next with your piecing.
The use of colour was vital for me in constructing my own piece. I chose fabrics with small to medium modern prints in vibrant colours. I grouped colours together and started off by creating wonky log cabin blocks in blue, or greens or yellows or reds or oranges. Whilst making the log cabins I alternated between strong colours and weaker colours in the colourway I was using. A great tip to check on how you are doing on this front it to take pictures of your cabin and turn them into black and white, In this way you will get a much better picture of the difference in strength of adjoining pieces. Having made a number of log cabins, I stacked them and cut them, rotating the pieces to make new blocks with a variety of colours, adding yet another dimension to my work.
Another three techniques we investigated were “Free Range Geese”, “Liberated Stripping” and “One-of-A-Kind Stars” … I made up these names! The geese were made by stitching and flipping pieces diagonally across a (goose) rectangle.
The stars were a development of this. The points of the stars were made in the same way, except the diagonal pieces are over-lapped, and background square are added to the corners and for the centre of the star. The Wonky Stars would make great centres for a Medallion styled Liberated Quilt. Finally, Liberated Stripping is really simple and very effective. Strips of fabric are sewn together ( foundation piece style) one onto the other onto the other and then shapes are cut from the resulting pieces and sewn together.
After constructing the centre of the quilt we needed to make the borders. I made a number of sample borders for the class to work on and follow. For my own quilt I was inspired by Karen Lewis’s Blueberry Park fabric to use her black and white (ish) fabrics to create a striking frame for my quilt. I’m still working on this. If I am truthful, I have slowed not only because of my own workload at the moment, but also because I had no idea how I was going to quilt this piece.
Often I find if I get ‘stuck’ with a piece, the solution comes eventually. In this case, my thoughts are forming around a very simple quilting format. Using irregular shapes and straight lines to build up a liberated quilting framework to complement the piecing! … I’ll keep you posted on how this goes.
For now I’ll end with the work of the Thursday evening group. Everyone of this group is a star and their work shines just as much as they do !