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.


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...


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.