Wednesday, November 11, 2009

As John Lennon Once Said...


"Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans."

Too true.

It's been almost a year and a half since my last post--a time so full of things that had to get done, that quite a few other things just had to go by the wayside, and I was very sorry to find that quiltmaking was one of them.

The good news is that pretty much everything I've been dealing with turned out well. A few highlights: My parents are in the memory care section of a nice assisted living center and doing pretty darn well. My sister and I cleared out their house (packed solid from basement to attic!) and got the stuff and the house sold. I lost my largest freelance client, but gained a wonderful job at the university. And, I'm back working on quilt projects!

To get things rolling on this blog again, here's some quilt content. This is the linen quilt I had just started hand quilting before I got overwhelmed. I finished it a few weeks ago.


And here's some detail, showing the combination of fans and diagonal lines.



This is my first hand-quilted quilt, so I learned a lot. My plans were to stitch all-over freehand fans, not get too focused on precision, and not mark before loading it into the frame. I scratched the lines with a pin, which worked really well, but I found that completely freehand fans were stressing me out. So after a couple of rows, I made a simple cardboard template for the outermost curve, and put the underneath curves in freehand. I felt much better.

Then, even though I liked the fans, I kept wondering what it would be like to quilt straight lines. So, I did sections of diagonal lines, scratched with a pin along the edge of a rotary-cutting ruler. After a while, the logistics of interlocking the chunks of diagonals got a little complicated, so I switched back to fans, and then braved another section of diagonals to finish off the top end.

I really liked hand quilting! I gave up on the left-handed stitching, though. I got pretty good at it, but right-handed was easier and faster. I also gave up on spoon quilting. It places one more layer between me and the quilt, which was annoying, and I really didn't see any net benefit. Yes, it kept my underneath fingers pristine, but holding the spoon was a strain. Turns out that without the spoon, I really don't prick my fingertips very much.

Wow. It's good to be back! More soon.

5 comments:

Lazy Gal Tonya said...

so happy to have you back! glad everything is going well after a stressful busy time. congrats on the quilt - it is so lovely and soft and the quilting is fabulous.

Kristin L said...

Beautiful!

Clare Wassermann said...

Hi - I've not met you before, I love what I see and will look out for more!

Marit said...

Your quilt is fantastic. Love the subtle colors! Thank you for sharing about the quilting. That's a subject I'll never get tired of reading about... You have gotten me inspired now, maybe I will start hand-quilting my latest "wall quilt"?

Diane said...

I linked here from Tonya's post. Your quilt is gorgeous! I'm so glad to see someone is still handquilting.