How we made a ‘two-person’ quilt

For the Festival of Quilts 2018, I entered two and a half quilts. The first two I wrote about last week, today I’m going to tell you about entering a quilt in the ‘Two-person quilts’ category.

First I need to introduce my friend and quilting partner, Alison Moore.

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Alison lives in the next village to mine, in County Durham. We made our first ‘two-person’ quilt for the Festival of Quilts in 2016. We called it ‘To and Fro’ because pieces of fabric, and parts of blocks travelled to and fro between our two houses, and because we each walked (several times) to the other’s house to work on the quilt.

'To and fro' FoQ 2016

This year’s entry was called ‘Green Thoughts’ (taken from Andrew Marvell’s poem ‘The Garden’), which we thought fitted our quilt rather well (although we were aiming more at rain-forest greens than at those of an English garden!)

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We began by collecting our ‘greens’, first going through my fabric collection at my house, picking what we wanted and cutting each piece in half, so we had the same selection of fabrics. We then did the same at her house. We also had a piece of orange batik fabric, that we cut in half.

Next, we used improvisational quilt methods to cut and piece one long panel each, to dimensions we had agreed in advance. Each panel contained some of the orange fabric. Once these were done, we met up, compared the panels – and found that they were really quite different from each other. We proceeded to make two further panels and met up, and then two more again, making ten panels altogether.  Then it was time to arrange the panels in a way that pleased us both, and join them.

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Alison pieced the back and the next meet-up was to layer up and safety-pin the quilt.  After doing visual research on rain-forest plants, I drew a sketch.

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By taking a photo of our patchwork, I was able to transfer onto a print-out of the photo quilting lines to suggest hanging vines and leaves and other branches coming in from the right and left.  We shared the machine quilting between us.

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After the machine quilting, we added embroidered details, across and around the leaves, as you can see in the first photo of the quilt in this post. I put on the binding. (Last time we made a joint quilt, I pieced the back and Alison put on the binding!)

At the Festival of Quilts, it was good to chance upon some visitors looking closely at our quilt…

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