Post #24 On Houses

A few months ago Pam Holland, the distinctive award-winning quilter, put out a challenge to make houses inspired by her designs. It was an irresistible challenge because I am a sucker for houses and hers are so quirky and enticing. After pouring over her examples and doing quite a bit of thinking and stitching, this is what I produced.

Castle Close
Castle Close (39 x 65 cm)

I hope you can see why it is called Castle Close. I had great fun making it.  The rest of this post will give a step by step account of the process.

House quilts have always caught my imagination and I have made quite a few over the years, using the machine piecing and paper-based methods to construct villages (see post #8). Pam Holland’s challenge set me on a new path of replacing piecing with applique and of doing a bit of drawing with a fine marker to give definition the windows and doors. I copied the only two square buildings from her many and varied houses.

I rarely sketch, but this time I did do a bit of planning with a pencil and crayons. The aim was to work out how to get the effect of rows of houses nestling behind one another. I discovered later that it was much easier to get this effect with fabric.

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Then I made some sample houses. Old habits die hard and I pieced the roof onto the walls of the house. It felt like a more solid construction once the triangle and the square were joined by stitching. The photograph on the left is of the sample houses. The other photograph is a trial run of the layout of the village.

Paper-backed fusible web was used for the doors, windows, and roof trims. It was certainly easier than piecing them in as they are pretty small. (The houses are each one-and-a-half inches wide.) Once the bits were stuck down I machined around the edges with straight stitching to stablise them and then used a permanent pen marker to outline the windows panes and door trim. The doors were “painted” with water-based coloured pencils.

I finished off each of the houses before I appliqued them onto the background. For this I used my favourite black and white commercial fabric and hand painted the sky and the grass onto the cloth with a watery solution of fabric paint.

The houses were then machine appliqued onto the painted background, in layers. It was an “aha” moment when I found I could get that nestled-behind-one-another effect by partially covering the first row of houses. Pam Holland favours putting her houses on hilltops. I found that by placing the rows in a gentle semi-circle I could create an echoe of this effect.

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The railway line and street lights were machined onto the piece after the cluster of houses and all been appliqued onto the background.

And finally I sandwiched, hand quilted, and bound the village. As a happy surprise, the fabric for the binding fell out of my stash of fabrics (well, almost!). Truth is, I found it buried amongst the pile of orange and yellow pieces in my cupboard.

Congratulations to Susan Harrison Buckingham who won the competition. She created a world of Pam’s houses, nestled in folds of fields that went up hill and down dale.

Apart from being an exquisite quilt maker, Pam Holland is also a tutor, author, designer, illustrator, photographer and presenter. Her blog page is at https://iampamholland.com and she has a public facebook page. There you will find images of house entries from around the world.

 

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5 thoughts on “Post #24 On Houses

  1. Your little quilted village is absolutely exquisite, Mariss! I love the colours you’ve chosen, and so much artistry has gone into the little details. The painting in of the ground and sky creates a vivid sense of space, and the nestling in of the houses is so charming. This village looks like the place to be! Bravo! 🙂

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