Scarlett Rose, like skilled quilt makers through the centuries, looks at a pattern and says 'what if....' Out of that curiosity has sprung some luscious and imaginative quilts. Her 'what if' creations will jump start your own imagination of what can be achieved by a combination of traditional designs to create the unique and the utterly fantastic! Scarlett has a touch of the subversive in every stitch! -- Dawn
With my thanks to Dawn for her kind invitation, I'd like to tell everyone a little about myself and my interest in Celtic applique.
Celtic style applique has been an integral part of my quilting life for many years, ever since I bought Philomena Durcan's first book on Celtic quilts back in 1980.
Having started out as a traditional patchwork quilter, I had been looking for an applique style that I would enjoy working on and exploring. Since I discovered that the possibilities with designing Celtic interlace were endless, I was hooked!
Due to the suggestions of these quilting friends who were into Baltimore Album quilts, I did my own Celtic version of that style and wrote a second book, Baskets: Celtic Style in 1995. I'd found that I liked blending Celtic with many quilting styles, as well as doing more intricate Celtic knotwork.
Knotwork Nine Patch and San Kamon are available as printed patterns and e-patterns.
Other new designs are more Asian, based on traditional Japanese designs that are interlaced. San Kamon, 2009 (Fourth Quilt Photograph) This wallhanging/table runner design came from my research into Japanese family crests.
I have so many designs drawn up that I can't wait to see made in fabric, it makes me wish that I had unlimited time to sew! I applique by hand and machine, using different techniques depending on how I've chosen to applique. I don't baste or fuse my strips if I'm hand appliquing, but I do make the fusible bias if I'm machine stitching the strips. I usually want my machine applique to be invisible, so it looks like the block is hand appliqued. I've done some machine blanket stitching, so I like the look of a contrasting color thread stitched on the edges of bias, too. The most common problem I see with fused bias is that quilters have to realize that the strips aren't permanently attached to the background until they're stitched.
The fusible webs aren't meant to keep the bias glued down through much handling or especially washing. If you use a heavy fusible to try and make the bias stay, then you get a hard appliqued look and I personally don't like that style. The same applies to the fabric glues. Unless you wash them out after stitching, the applique will be stiff and hard looking.
At one time I hand quilted entire quilts, but I just don't have the time anymore for it. I enjoy hand quilting, so I normally do the quilting designs by hand with metallic threads, then do the background and in the ditch by machine.
I'm always willing to learn new techniques and I can't wait to see if they could be useful in making one of my own designs. You never know when something can be adapted or applied in a new way unless you try! That's how I got into researching Celtic and Celtic style knotwork, once I started seeing interlace in all kinds of unusual places.
I'm also one of those quilters, who takes the words: "you can't do that!" -- as a challenge. This stubbornness has served me well with my quilts. For example, after making Celtic Orchids, which is done in all solid color cotton fabrics, I decided I wanted to add some sparkle to the Celtic Medallion series. I mentioned at a meeting that I was going to try putting some tricot lame in the first design and many quilters from my local guild were aghast. They were sure I would ruin my design! After they saw the finished quilt, though, no one had any objections, so I knew I was right in going my own way. I've used lame in most of my Celtic quilts, either as bias strips or insets, ever since. Now I'm quilting with metallic thread, by hand for the quilting designs in the open areas, or by machine for the decorative blanket stitching on the bias.
I've used fabrics and prints that aren't what many would think appropriate for Celtic designs, and chosen all kinds of non-cotton fabrics for my art quilts. Besides the Celtic applique that I'm best known for, I also design my own versions of traditional quilt patterns, sew up some wearable art from time to time, and make some contemporary art quilts.
I hope to do more books in the future and I will continue to explore and teach Celtic applique.