Thursday, 17 March 2016

"The blue hour"

Every year, the European Quilt Association, the association of European national quilt guilds, issues a challenge. A number of quilts from each country will be on show at Festival of Quilts in Birmingham and then tour different countries for 3 years.

The theme this year was “Greetings from...”, a quilt looking like a postcard, measuring 25*35cm (10”*14”), including a post stamp and no visible binding. For a while I wasn’t sure I could finish a quilt in time, but I had to try.

“The blue hour” is inspired by the fjords up north at winter time when the light is blue. I love this part of Norway. The title is a nod to a painting we have at home.

I started with a pieced background 

which I covered with layers of sheers to suggest water and sky. 

The mountains were sketched roughly and transferred to a translucent paper. 

I did not take any pictures during the next steps, but the mountains and their shadow were made from layers of sheer fabrics and appliquéd onto the background.

The snow/ice gave me some problems. It was too white, so I tried a few overlays of blue.

The orange represents the light and warmth from the houses, and is made from gorgeous sari silk scraps. I arranged and rearranged those little pieces more times than I care to remember, but I love the texture of the fraying silk.

My post stamp is the silvery moon. The text is written with a permanent marker and says “Up north, Norway, January 2016”.

I was planning to free motion quilt the piece, 

but in the end I had to add lots of horizontal lines. It did not look right without.

I love how all those quilting lines look and how they blend the different colours and textures together.

Usually I would do the invisible binding from my tutorial here, but with time being an issue, I tried something new. It worked well enough, but I learned a few lessons for next time.

I cut a piece of fabric with the same measurements as the quilt, marked lines on all 4 sides, 

and cut out the centre.

Pinning it to the quilt, right sides together,and stitching all the way around.

Clipping the corners, and folding it over to the back. Folding in the raw edges and stay stitching around the edges with machine.

The edges were then stitched down by hand as for a regular binding.

The quilts were shown at the annual meeting of the Norwegian quilt guild last weekend, and the 16 quilts with the most votes will go to Birmingham.

I’m looking forward for my little tribute to a part of Norway which I love to return home – whenever that might be.

You can see some of my previous EQA challenge quilts here, here and here.


  1. So many layers. Wonderful how the stitching mg on your mountaintop accentuates the snow. A fine tribute to your beautiful world. Saw some lovely pieced works at my fiber arts mixed media group yesterday. One gal used tulle over a piece with trees and lots of tiny cut leaves, I thought of you! Xox

  2. I am amazed at your creative ideas. This piece is beautiful!

  3. so awesome!! and thanks so much for showing us the process! Just amazing!