Henry Griggs Rambling
Visit to Australia 2002
Sydney house 2002
Circular Quay 2004
Circular Quay 2002
Centrepoint Tower 2004
Oz Birds 2004
Oz Birds 2002
Bridge Climb 2002
Photo of the day
Geek Alaska 2003
UK in 2003
Geek Caribbean 2002
Photo Of The Day
Hampton Road Events
Hampton Roads Aussies
Juniper Rowing Club
Great Dismal Regatta
Virginia Beach Belles
Virginia Beach Rowing Club
Williamsburg Boat Club
Quilting with Anne
In the middle of 2000, Anne discovered quilt making. Even before we came
to the USA, she wanted to acquire Amish or Shaker quilts, but so far we
haven't acquired any. Instead of buying, she decided to try making. The
first step was to do a course of watercolour quilt making. The second
was to buy a book on quilt-making. The third step was to discover eBay
and then acquire a vast library of books on quilt-making. And Anne
started making quilts. When I say quilts here, I am not talking about
something warm and cuddly that goes on a bed and is generally useful.
A quilt, in quilt-making terms, is anything that is decorative and hung
on walls. Sometimes, a quilt is made large enough to actually fit a bed,
acquire a backing and is then wrapped around a warm bed covering and
deserves to be called a quilt.
Anne has been making these quilts for about 6 months. Anne is
concentrating on making quilts that are decorative and meant to be
hanging on walls. Her first quilt, her first experiment, was taken to
completion and now hangs on the wall. The rest are in various stages of
Anne took over the loft, the open area of the second level of the house.
The floor is covered with little squares of cloth. The railing is draped
with cloth to be used, cloth that has been used, bits of cloth that
might be used, quilts that are almost finished, quilts that might be
finished, and quilts that will never be finished. It's an impressive
sight when you go up there, and you're met with a riot of colour and
disorder. The cats love it up there. They frolic amidst the little bits
of cloth, building up static charges, acquiring a layer of cloth on
their fur, and then they charge around the rest of the house, slowly
shedding cloth squares. The whole house takes on a crazy textile
The First Quilt
This is an early stage of the first quilt. A foam board is propped on
a chair, and a quilt pattern cloth is folded on top. This pattern
cloth simply has 2 inch squares marked all over it. Then Anne starts
pinning 2 inch squares of cloth in the right place, according to her
design. This isn't like painting-by-numbers. The cloth comes from all
over the place. There's a network of quilters on eBay who exchange
squares of cloth and buy and sell these squares of cloth, just so they
can get enough variety. The squares are chosen and pinned to the
board. It's like those new computer images that are created from small
dots that are created by reducing other photos. The squares of cloth
are not supposed to match exactly. They are supposed to blend and be
colour harmonious when viewed at a distance. I think an exact match
would spoil the effect.
The design advances. This quilt is suppose to give the effect of
looking through a window at a huge flower garden, with the light from
the sun bursting through the foliage near the top. The sun effect is
created by light shaded squares of cloth in the top centre.
Matching the squares to where they should be is a time consuming task.
Anne uses a red coloured device that she peers through. I think it's a
red filter and it allows her to match the shades of blue and green, so
that she gets pleasing matches between adjoining squares. I've seen
her rip down a square foot of squares and rebuild them because one
square didn't match another. It takes a long time to arrange all the
squares for one of these quilts. This is called "giving visual
texture". The effect is achieved by using fabrics with different
colours, different colour values, and different lines and designs.
Finally, all the squares are attached where Anne wants them. The
longest part of the quilt-making process is over. The rest takes next
to nothing compared to the sorting and matching process. Each square
is attached to the backing board with a pin at the top, and hangs
loosely from the pin.
The quilt is then taken down and all the squares are ironed on to the
backing cloth. This sort of fixes them down temporarily. The pins are
removed. Then they are all sewn together. This reduces the 2 inch
squares of cloth to 1 squares of cloth. At this stage, the quilt is a
unified piece of cloth and can be cast aside to pine for finishing.
This quilt has a happy ending. It got finished. It acquired a black
edge border, and then acquired a rich blue border, a hanging flap at
the top, a hanger and it got hung.
It's one of the first things you see when you enter the house now.
It's quite effective and very pretty.
The Piano Quilt
The next quilt was a very ambitious project. It's taken forever so
far. It's huge. This one is so big, that when it's finished, it might
be able to be used as a real quilt on a single bed. It's so big that
it couldn't be mounted on a chair downstairs near the TV. It moved up
to the loft.
The basic design is a grand piano. The cloth used for the black piano
has black background. The white keys are an ivory cloth, but I don't
know she's going to do the black keys yet.
Anne bought a series of aluminium shallow pans to contain the cloth,
so she could sort the squares by colour and form something a painter's
palette. We soon found that the squares could not be constrained.
Squares of cloth want to be free. They started spreading all over the
This shows the full design of the piano quilt. You can see some of the
background material near the top, a small test to get the colour
right. And you can see the horizontal bar of ivory cloth near the
bottom which will form the white keys.
Work progresses and the piano body gets filled in. I keep hoping that
Anne will finish this one, because it looks so impressive. I'm hoping
that it won't end up on a bed, but will turn into a wall hanging,
because that would look great somewhere in the house.
Our house is slowly turning into a textiles gallery. Turkish carpets
and kilims on the floor, Egyptian hangings, Mexican blankets draped
over things, quilts hanging, cloth hanging all over the place. It's a
bit chaotic but quite pleasant.
The Heart Quilt for Rachael
Anne made a quilt for Rachael, Bronwyn's new baby. It's a lovely
flowery heart on an ivory/yellow background. It looks great. It was
originally going to be turned into a real quilt to be laid on top of
Rachael. Anne got the squares arranged, ironed, and then stitched
together. It's got borders on it now, and just lacks the final bits to
turn it into a wall hanging. It's still hanging on the railing (see
the first photo above).
Vase with Sunflowers Quilt
This is the quick watercolour quilting method. The other quilts that
Anne has done take a lot more time, because effectively, you are
painting with colours. These quick watercolour quilts take much less
time because the quilts are made from a limited range of colours and
cloths. This one is a simple design of sunflowers in a vase.
This shows the pattern finished. The squares now need to be ironed and
stitched. It's very effective and very pretty.