Steampunk Wheel XI: finished

It’s been a long pull. Hundreds of fiddly little pieces to fit together neatly. But it’s done now.

Screen shot 2014-08-03 at 4.34.20 PMScreen shot 2014-08-03 at 4.35.04 PMScreen shot 2014-08-03 at 4.35.21 PMThere’s a big bite out of one side where Wheel XII fits between it and the previous completed Wheel VIII. It’s 69cm (about 27 inches) across and contains 253 pieces. Far too many of them are little triangles 4cm high by 2.5 wide…

Wheel XII will be next, so I can start fitting the shapes together. The colours for this next one will be warm: coppers, reds, a bit of black with a lot of gold printing, perhaps a bit of ochre or amber. I want to make a clear contrast between the wheels.

I’m going to be doing a spot of embroidery in the evenings for the next week or so, rather than stitching Steampunk together. I have a SAL date to meet next Sunday, and a bit of progress is required!

And there’s going to be a slight lull in my usual frenetic sewing activity. We are buying a house, a beautiful old Queenslander, and it’s in a bit of a state. Lots of renovation needed, and I am the on-the-spot foreman, scraper, sander, painter, tool hander, flatpack kitchen assembler, tea-maker and phoner of missing tradesmen. It’s nothing I haven’t done before, so I’m not unduly nervous, just eager to get started. There’s beautiful silky oak skirtings, fretwork and door frames to be exposed, sanded and varnished, old windows with stained glass panels to be stripped and repainted, original brass door furniture to be scrubbed and polished, and a whole dreadful, beetle-infested 1940s kitchen to be ripped out and replaced with something a little less hazardous to health – but I’m saving the handles, which are great, still in good shape and rather interesting in design.

I’ll probably be posting on progress on Waking the Sleeping Beauty in due course, but it’s too early still, we don’t own her yet.

I haven’t forgotten my quilts, but they may be going into suspended animation for a while. I have a lot of quotes to organise….





Enter Steampunk

I’m feeling the need for a handwork project since I finished Isfahan.

I had a look at the To Do List, and Steampunk jumped out. It’s EPP, complex, and has the potential to keep me quiet for absolutely ages. Not a bad thing, perhaps…

Here’s a link to the original concept, a design called Mother Earth by Evelyn Zuber, featured in Burda Patchwork from Autumn, 2013. Sorry, the site’s in German, but that shouldn’t stop you looking at the pictures. It’s the second one down on the page:

I’ve had it in my mind to do this quilt for a long time, since I saw a fellow blogger work on it, but I didn’t want to do it in the original colourway shown in the magazine, nor the beautiful colours she’s using. If I get permission, I’ll post either a photo or a link to her version so you can see what a magnificent job she’s done. She was very kind and helpful in providing templates, guidance and translations from the original German pattern.

The shapes and arrangement made me think of Victorian Gothic-style engineering, where wrought iron gears and cog wheels were highly decorated and painted, or perhaps the tiny brass cogs inside a watch. That in turn made me think of the style known as Steampunk, hence the name. I’m going for a completely different look: black, charcoal, copper, gold, silver, pewter, verdigris and rust. There’ll be metallics, batiks, geometrics and brocade prints. I haven’t a clue how all of this is going to come together, but there’s a whirling impression in my mind which wants to come out, so away we go. I’m not quite sure who’s driving this one, me or the quilt!

Here’s the fabric selection.

Screen shot 2014-06-10 at 12.15.18 PM

Black, charcoal, gunmetal and golds

Screen shot 2014-06-10 at 12.15.52 PM

Copper, brass, rust and verdigris

Screen shot 2014-06-10 at 12.15.35 PM

Silver, bronze and antique metal patina

I have a number of card templates to produce, and then I can draw round those onto heavy cartridge paper to make my piecing papers. Luckily I’ll be able to recycle some of them as I go; I dislike wasting paper. Now all I have to do is decide which cog to start with!

Oh, after I’ve pressed all the fabrics of course… 😦