Tuesday, 22 November 2016


I am juggling three very different quilt projects at the moment, with all of them about to reach fruition over the next week or so. I thought it would be nice to share a WIP story about this particular quilt which I hope to show you finished very soon.

I've become a bit obsessed with the Pickle Dish pattern! Not only have I recently made a traditional version (sneak peek below, finished quilt will be in Today's Quilter in the New Year)...

...but I also made my Conkers Quilt which is a take on the same pattern but using different techniques (pattern available from The Thread House).

A couple of years ago I made this mini quilt for an IG swap. It was an experiment with improv piecing - could I improv piece a pickle dish block? And the answer was yes I could! I called this one Snappy Pickledish.

I then turned the technique into a class which I taught in Sweden last year. The blocks below were made for that class (having given the original away obviously!).

While playing around I decided to try a very minimalist version without the corner squares and with the 'dish' (background to spikes/pickles) in the same fabric as the background.

I really loved how this looked and made plans for a very modern quilt with lots of negative space. I intended to make this in time to enter it to the QuiltCon exhibition last year - epic fail! 

But a few months back I managed to carve out a few days to work on it again and started to make more of these pickles. When I shared them on Instagram people said they looked like venus flytraps, or prehistoric fish, or alien eyes!! 

I made big ones and small ones. Some of them were made into a finished square block like the one below...

... and others were left with curved edges like these below.

I then embarked on a mammoth engineering session to get all the 'pickles' pieced into a background. It was challenging but also just the kind of patchwork I love!

So here is the finished top! As you can see the charcoal background fabric is relatively fine (it is a Free Spirit 'basic' that is no longer available sadly), yes that's me behind!

All the way along I had planned this as a collaborative project. My friend and fellow Edinburgh Modern Quilt Guild member, Tatyana Duffie, is an incredibly talented quilter with a long arm machine. I thought it would be great to make a quilt together, with me doing the top and her having free-reign on the quilting.

One of the reason for leaving so much negative space was to give Tatyana plenty of space to work her quilting magic! And that is what is happening right now. I am very excited to see how this turns out - we have discussed it a bit and I know what she has in mind and I think it will be awesome! And fingers crossed it will all be finished in time to enter it to QuiltCon this year!

After all the initial comments on IG  I had seen this as a venus flytrap type of plant, somewhere deep in a dark jungle, with the 'flowers' growing out of the base. But now I think they look more like weird fish/amoeba type things that leave in the deepest part of the ocean (where everything is weird looking) and some of them are swimming upwards.

What do you think? The title for the quilt at the moment is simply 'Pickled', but I am happy to take some suggestions!

1 comment:

  1. Having just read your finish post, it's really interesting to see it pieced but unquilted and I love seeing the light shining through all the seam allowances!