Sunday, 1 November 2020

Lost at Sea

This was an epic fail.  It shouldn't have been, I had lots of ideas and lots of blue fabric and thought this will be fun.  I think the too many ideas thing might have been the problem.  

At first I thought I'd make a shape that would tesellate and lots of different blue fabrics would fit together, to make a background mosiac and I'd quilt it.  I made a few shapes, tested the shapes on paper, realised it would be a very big quilt so, I then put the template aside to work on something else and lost them!  They are in the house somewhere but nowhere I could lay my hands on them. 

So last weekend, plan B was to make a print of sea inspired colours using my new Gelli plate and some paint.  I prevaricated between printing on fabric or on paper and figured that as I was learning how to use the thing, I should stick to paper to print on, scan it into the computer and print on printable fabric sheets I had from Electric Quilt and I could quilt that.  

It took some attempts to get what felt to me like sea colours and this was the one I thought I could add some quilting to.  Then I got a tummy bug and was under the weather for most of the week.  By the time I went looking for my printable fabric sheets I couldn't find them either.  I am starting to think the two presses where I shove everything into are like the Tardis and are much bigger on the inside!  

So deadline approaching, and too late to order anything from the internet, I tried quilting on the paper.  That did not work at all!


Nice tension on fabric, skipped stitches on paper with wadding behind it.  I googled and got lots of freezer paper stuff but no joy on the cardstock paper.  Feels like there should be a way to do this, don't you think?

So apologies, this one did not work out as I had hoped this time. 

I hope its ok if I share with you previous water themed projects so you would have more to see than a printed sheet of paper.  

Making Waves started as an Endeavourers project and was exhibited with the Irish Patchwork Society.



  1. Although you don't have a piece to show, I don't consider this a fail. You tried/challenged yourself to try some different things, and they worked or didn't work. So you learned some things, and in my opinion, that's a win. Plus, it's fun for me to see some of your past works!

  2. Great title Ruth I think we have all been Lost at Sea with a project at some time. It is much more refreshing to read of the write off and probably more educational too, all of us have them :) We all have cupboards that take great pleasure in hiding supplies too!

  3. Never a fail...only opportunities for learning. What you have so far looks great.

  4. This looks like such a great idea, even if circumstances weren't on your side! I really hope you'll persevere with it as I'd love to see the result. I read one thing about stitching on paper that recommended a size 16 denim needle - don't know what you were using but that might be worth experimenting with.

  5. I sympathise with your tardis presses, Ruth, I'm always having things I'm using disappear into nowhere like your templates and fabric sheets...but I was very interested to hear about your gelli plate printing. I hadn't heard of that before so I just googled and I hope you'll carry on experimenting with it. It was a shame your paper quilting didn't work as you wanted but your stitching on paper looked better than my fmq on fabric and I'm glad you shared your process with us. I don't know if there is a way of making the paper and wadding work together but I'm sure you'll find some fun and interesting ways to incorporate your gelli printing into quilts when you have more time to experiment with it. Thank you, also for sharing your Making waves and Reflections quilts. I love both of them. I hope you are feeling better now :)

  6. Hi Ruth, I like seeing your experiments and your previous work!
    I thought you might be interested in the work of Alma de la Melena Cox -- she fuses fabric to wood, and then varnishes it all down. Here is a blog post (not mine) from a group that tried her methods, so you can see lots of options.
    It is different than stitching on paper but when I saw your work, I was reminded of this technique and thought you might like to know about it! :)