The Cloths of Heaven 6: the writing’s on the wall

Before you ask, no, I’m never going to run out of puns.

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 4.47.27 pmI left you with the silver pen tests, and the realisation that I needed to use the darker blue-based fabric for the ring around the central landscape.

There was only one problem; the fabric wasn’t quite large enough. I did a bit of thinking and scribbling, and realised that if I cut it in 4 pieces instead of 2, I could just get it out of what I had.

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 4.47.59 pm Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 4.48.47 pmSo once again, it was mark, mark, mark, make template, cut out, pin, sew, sew, press. Then I had a nice blue ring of fabric with quite exceptionally wobbly bias edges. Back to the machine, stay stitch to stabilise, and then the big nasty, the curved seam around this 32 inch diameter landscape. I got it done, took it calmly and slowly and used lots of pins. There’s a slightly baggy area around the centre top of the landscape, but that’ll quilt out.

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 4.49.27 pmI went back and used the same template to make up the master for the hand lettering. I checked first that it would show through the dark blue on the highest lux setting on the lightbox. It’s fine. Then I drew curved parallel lines in the template for the lettering. I’m not going for immaculate, pristine calligraphy, I want it to look hand-lettered, not machine-generated. Then it was time to start sketching in the lettering. It’s harder than you think to letter at this size; my hand is accustomed to forming letters of a certain size, and the size I need required fine control I won’t have in my arthritic hands much longer. Still, use it or lose it. Once I was satisfied, I inked in with a black medium Sharpie for good visibility when tracing, and tidied up as I went along.

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 4.50.12 pmPinned in position, ready to start tracing and silver inking tomorrow (probably). Once that’s done, I have corners to add, some ivy leaf appliqué to create and apply, together with bias strip ivy tendrils, and then, my friends, the central panel piecing is done. I had better start thinking about backing fabric, which tends to be much further down the track normally, but this is, let’s remember, a QAYG piece, 9 sections to be joined when completed, and the central panel, whilst the largest, is only one piece.

Still plenty to keep me interested and busy, wouldn’t you say?

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29 thoughts on “The Cloths of Heaven 6: the writing’s on the wall

  1. vivjm says:

    Thanks for sharing your process – it’s really interesting to see how this comes together. Beautiful work.

    • katechiconi says:

      Thank you! Normally, I don’t go into nearly as much detail, but some of the processes are new to me, and perhaps to other people, so I thought it might be useful to document them.

  2. Félicitations. A real labour of love. It’s a fact of quilting life that a piece of fabric is never quite big enough for what we want it to do, and we have to ferniggle, adapt and cheat.

  3. woooow !! this is sooo beautiful !!! you’re an artist !!!

  4. tialys says:

    That central panel is delightful! I’m so glad you decided to join the stars up – it looks so much more ‘together’. I was thinking of you last night actually because the sky was so full of stars and I got vertigo looking up at them trying to work out the constellations. I’ll look at your fabric version instead.

    • katechiconi says:

      Hopefully it will be less vertigo-inducing! I’m actually looking forward quite a lot to doing the hand quilting in that landscape panel; swirly cloud shapes in the sky, jagged lines for the mountains, and a sort of swirl in the ring with the text. Once the lettering’s done, I’ll apply the 4 corners and start assembling the appliqué leaves and tendrils.

  5. Conor Bofin says:

    Kate,
    You would love the Tanzanian Kangas. They are the cloths that women wrap themselves in. They are available with slogans written on them, usually at the edge of the cloth. I must photo a couple I have at home and send them to you.
    Best,
    C

  6. Grannymar says:

    It is looking fantastic already. Maybe when my knitting/crochet phase dulls down, I’ll take up quilting once more.

  7. claire93 says:

    hope you have a steady hand for all that caligraphy ^^

  8. Magpie Sue says:

    Sending up a prayer that your hands will hold up during the lettering process! Steady on…

  9. EllaDee says:

    Your penmanship is exceptional. I really love that font-style 🙂

    • katechiconi says:

      Thank you! Writing on cloth, which is an inherently shifting surface, you can’t do too much playing with the letterforms unless you stiffen the fabric (which I didn’t want). That left playing with the proportions, which is what you see here. I like the way some letters tuck into others; it somehow makes the whole word decorative. I’m 3/4 of the way through, and should be able to post about it later.

  10. […] was in connection with quilting and crafting. We are both avid followers of talltalesfromchiconia and were wowed by her latest […]

  11. Wow it is really coming on, I love the lettering and the white border really makes those night skies pop. Lovely.

  12. rutigt says:

    Since I´ve tried to sew curves from my strata, I know it is so hard to get it right! You have really done a good work!!!!

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