Friday, 18 May 2012

Hobo Quilts

This a guest piece written by Emily herself , rather than her Mum. It shows off the skills she has picked up from spending too much time tucked away with Mum, but more importantly how talented she is herself.

Hobo Quilts is a rather lovely book I had been hankering for a long time.

I first saw it in Stirling and it piqued my interest in pictorial quilting. The book is 55 blocks based upon the symbols American hobos would use while riding the rails during the depression. The symbols include things like "work for food", "bad dog" and the obvious like "go this way". Interspersed with the symbols are little snippets of information, stories and accounts from the time.The book also has various examples of how to put the quilt together. Some of which are particularly boyish as they feature trains and carriages, the others are generally quite interesting to look at. 

 I decided to make the block quilt in quite muted colours, colours that I thought would have been around at the time. I used a lot of plaid fabrics and some recycled fabrics; old shirts etc. I wanted a vintage looking quilt that would tell a story through the use of both the symbols and the fabrics.

I haven't finished my quilt yet, I still need to put the border on it. I was planning on embroidering the back in black silk with the simple line symbols and the meanings. 

 Overall I really like the book, the patterns are interesting and generally pretty easy to create. Some of the sizes came out a little squiffy on the 1/4" foot, but were easily fixed. The applique pieces were particularly simple and with a bit of embroidery around really pop in the quilt.The blocks take between 5 and 30 minutes.

I would recommend this book to a quilter of medium experience and am looking forward to doing more of it.

(the Emily belonging to Mum, sometime photographer and adventurer. Check out my website here)

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