I have been making steady progress on a couple of my current projects. I generally don’t worry about time and prefer not to have strict deadlines. Quilting is my play, my fun, my relaxation. Piece by piece, stitch by stitch, minute by minute, with each creative decision and with each moment I make steady progress over time and eventually finish nearly everything I start over weeks, months, or years. With this steady approach over 20+ years, I now have a significant collection of quilts, mostly hand quilted. This is the approach to quilting that works best for me and adds balance to my life.
As I said I would in my last post, I am spending much time quilting the border of Spring Sonata and have almost completed the second of the 4 borders. At this rate, I my finish earlier than expected which would give me a head start on quilting Sprit of Japan #3 – maybe!
Click on the above to get a closer view of the hand quilting. I took the next picture with sun shining on the quilt through a window. The colors are not accurate (like they are above) but I think this picture better shows the texture that hand quilting can give. In general machine quilting is flatter and there is less “texture”. This may work well for wall quilts and “show” or “art” quilts, but for quilts that are going to be snuggled under, I love the texture that hand quilting supplies.
I have made significant progress on Block #4 of Sweet Journeys. Last time I showed it I had just really begun the block; now it’s almost complete! The main challenge was doing all the berries. I’ve done a lot of tiny circles over the years and have gotten pretty good at eliminating jagged edges. I like the needle turn method and I baste my berries down and use a toothpick to help me turn the edges under.
Remember this drawing of Block #5 from my last post?:
I’ve chosen fabrics and drawn and cut out most of the pieces. On the picture below the stems are not quite fully stitched down and the other pieces are only laid on to give you an idea of where they are going:
I returned to another project I started at the quilt retreat this past November – my first doll quilt of the 3 I want to do for 2015. I completed the flying geese sets and sewed the rows together:
This next picture shows the top simply laid on top of the lovely floral that inspired the choices of fabrics for the interior colors to go with it and which I’ve planned to use for the border all along:
However, the effect seems too “busy” with the flying geese section right next to the border fabric. It feels like there needs to be some separation so I put a coral red fabric down under the central section to see what it would look like with a small red inner border separating the center and the floral border:
I think the inner red border is definitely better! I probably have enough of that fabric to use as the final outer binding as well. So… now all I have to do is cut out the border pieces, attach, them, layer the quilt with batting and backing, and then do the hand quilting and the first of this year’s Trio of Doll Quilts will be done! I already have an idea for the second one – another Amish style one to go with the Amish style one I made last year. Will show a picture of the inspiration in an upcoming post.
“Steady progress” also describes my current recovery from some surgery I had last week for a non life-threatening, but annoying problem that many older women experience. I’m actually doing great, but temporary restrictions on activities will cause me to miss work for another couple weeks. Lucky for me I can still easily quilt and read! If it seems like my quilting is progressing more quickly than usual the next few weeks, this is the reason!
What I’m reading (if you enjoy reading as much as I do!!): I just finished the two books below:
Both books are excellent and highly recommended. “All the Light We Cannot See” was one of the NY Times top 5 novels of last year. It is beautifully written and alternately describes the experiences of a young blind teenage French girl and a young German boy during World War 2. “We Are Not Ourselves” is an eloquent portrayal of a family from 1950 -2000 and what happens when the husband in the family develops Alzheimer’s Disease in his early 50’s. Both books were very moving! Both books have it all – excellent writing, good plot, good character development. I also read and recommend “Euphoria” by Lilly King – another top 5 novel from the NY Times list. This was a fictionalization of one of the famous archeologist Maragaret Mead’s experiences in polynesia, also exceedingly well written and interesting.
Thank you for visiting. I wish you “steady progress” on your projects! Enjoy the process and cherish each day.