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Ruth McDowell Waterlily Quilt

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Waterlily quilt - pieced top only

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Here are some details about my project:
Category Quilting
Type Home Decor
Style Casual
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What was your source for this quilting project? Online Photo or Website
Name of website or photo Waterlily Quilt by Ruth McDowell

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What materials did you use? Quilting cotton

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What are you most proud of? Getting the colours to balance, particularly in terms of value. You need a good supply of darks for the background. The waterlily reflection has all been cut from a single batik fabric, which was a lovely find. Another tricky part was that at certain points you have to do some work in mirror image, and that takes some getting used to. This waterlily quilt was one of my first experiments with freezer paper piecing, and I've been using this technique for several years now, so I'm far more used to it. I still hate the mirror image stage. With the actual piecing, this is good training in sewing sections together where the seam joins are in slightly different places. It's an excellent idea, as it prevents you from ending up with bulky multi-seam joins, and I also like the way it looks to have them a bit offset. It helps train you in marking your pattern up carefully, with tic marks at all the different seam joins, and is also good practice for when you design your own patterns. I haven't yet quilted it - this is still a work in progress. I'll update the project once I have the quilting done. I'm planning to do hand quilting, with relatively larger stitches and thicker thread, so it will look different to McDowell's version.

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What advice would you give someone starting this project? Work through the exercises in the book in the order suggested. OK, I skipped the middle exercise in straight piecing, but the first exercise, where you try out different types of piecing, is pretty crucial. By the time you've got through that, the relatively gentle curves in this wall hanging will seem easy by comparison! Make sure you trace onto the shiny side of the freezer paper, otherwise you may end up with your quilt in mirror image by mistake. Don't skimp on tic marks. If you're in the UK you may be rather puzzled by the suggestion to mark tic marks with a "soft wax pencil", and I know that the art shops I rang weren't quite sure what was meant. We decided to try Derwent Coloursoft pencils in the end, and they do the job beautifully.

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Beautiful! I love water lilies.

11/02/2012 Flag

It's absolutely beautiful! Thank you for all the information you have given about how it was made - it's very inspirational.

11/02/2012 Flag

Oh...... so beautiful. I appreciate you sharing so much info on this subject. It gives us all hope.

11/02/2012 Flag

Divine! The reflection is fantastic!!

11/04/2012 Flag

WOW. I totally agree in "Sammy's" comment.

01/17/2013 Flag