An evening of inspiration

Well!  A big thank you to Roundabout Quilters for hosting Gail Lawther yesterday evening. Her talk about her stained glass patchwork quilts was great fun to listen to and very inspiring. Gail brought lots of her quilts to show us and was very generous in letting us get up close to have a really good look at all the stitching and clever embellishments she’d used. Do take a look at her website and note the other fabric techniques Gail has used and developed.


One of Gail’s  quilts entitled ‘Enchanted Forest’ particularly inspired me.  Made up of six panels depicting hares, deer, badgers, hedgehogs, birds and a unicorn, Gail said her original inspiration had been the beautiful navy fabric speckled with twinkling stars.  I could have easily bought the full set of patterns but restrained myself to the birds! As we looked at each of the quilts Gail pointed out the different colours of bias binding she had used.  As well as the expected black representing the lead in stained glass windows, there was white (very effective on a black and white version of the badger panel) and lots of gold and silver (particularly appropriate on the beautiful ‘Enchanted Oceans’ panels) and brown, blue, red and green in the landscapes, city scapes and willow pattern panels. Sadly the Japanese factory producing the varied colours of binding was destroyed in the tsunami  and although relocated has not yet reached full production so some coloured binding is getting hard to come by.  Stitch Witch stock coloured binding from another supplier if you are looking for it in the UK.  (Of course it is possible to make bias binding but it is time consuming when what you really want to be doing is making the picture!).


Way back in 2011 I attended a workshop to make a stained glass effect quilt (‘Thank you’ to North Hampshire Quilters and Syd for providing the workshop!).  I got a bit carried away and made double the number of squares!  I was using standard ½” cotton bias binding and made many trips to and from my local haberdashery shop buying a few metres at a time.  The technique does use a lot of binding – the instructions for the 25″ ‘Enchanted Forest’ Birds panel lists 10 metres as the requirement!

A close up of my stained glass quilt.  It was lovely putting all the jewel coloured fabrics together.

A close up of my stained glass quilt. It was lovely putting all the jewel coloured fabrics together.  I added sashing wider than the binding in the squares to try and create a window effect. 

It is good practice to label completed quilts.  I've just found out how useful a label can be - I'd never have remembered that this one was made in 2011.

It is good practice to label completed quilts. I’ve just found out how useful a label can be – I’d never have remembered that this quilt was made in 2011!

So now I’m thinking about the Birds panel – could I make night time and daytime panels or somehow adapt the pattern to make one for each of the four seasons….

I wonder how much time we spend thinking about patchwork designs compared to stitching?  I know I was awake in the night for a short while and drifted back to sleep planning the arrangement and type of blocks to use for the next section of my puzzle quilt! So far I’ve only spent half-an-hour actually putting together some blocks!

Time for a bit more sewing now before kitchen duties call!


About allisonreidnem

New Every Morning – About Me Hi! I’m Allison, an obsessive patchwork-quilter who has no desire to be cured! I’ve been developing my skills and knowledge by paying attention at my local quilting group and by putting my questions into the computer search engine. I’m so grateful to the generous people who have taken the time to share their knowledge with me in person, via YouTube videos or their blogs. I’m intending my blog to be a link into the worldwide patchwork and quilting community and a means to contribute helpful hints and inspiration as I continue to discover more about this addictive craft. So, why ‘New Every Morning Patchwork and Quilting’? Well! I am a morning person! I often wake in the wee small hours and think through design and quilt construction issues. My woolly–headed evening brain finds such issues far too difficult to resolve! If I’m disciplined enough to be asleep by 10pm, I can be up cutting, piecing, pressing and quilting before sunrise! By the time daily family routine kicks-in I’ve had a satisfying, soul-feeding creative fix. (I should mention that ‘family at home’ is: my patient, faithful husband of 27years; and our equally patient 16 year old son, who acts as our in-house IT support complete with sighs and rolling eyes! Older daughter and son have both recently flown the nest). Not only do I find early mornings my creative time I also find it a time for receiving spiritual nourishment. I often find myself humming a gentle chorus and reflecting on God’s constancy as another new day dawns. ‘The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning, new every morning; Great is thy faithfulness, O Lord, Great is thy faithfulness.’ Edith McNeil’s chorus is based on verses from the Bible – Lamentations 3: 21-23.
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3 Responses to An evening of inspiration

  1. Colleen says:

    The bird panel caught my eye as well ! Is the binding appliquéd over top of the ‘glass’ ?

    • Yes! The binding is laid over the ‘glass’ panels and sewn down with two rows of stitching. The key is to sew the binding strips down in the right order so all the ends get tucked under a strip and secured down. I think Gail’s special magic is in her selection of fabrics and colours. Very clever!

  2. Colleen says:

    It is so true what you said about the amount of time we spend thinking about our projects. While I have been under the weather I have been doing just that – picking out patterns for all the fabric I have accumulated in the rather short period of time I have become interested in quilting. The key is to write it down. The problem is that I keep changing my mind !

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