Monday, 14 October 2013

A Productive Weekend

 
Well Procrastination Polly was (temporarily) vanquished to the delight of WorryWort Wendy and Anxious Angela. 
 
I got to it on Saturday and began the quilting on Verna's Garden. Over the weekend I have completed the whole of the blue/yellow pieced centre.  The next step is the applique border.
 
I find the hardest thing is actually deciding what to do.  In some cases, the quilt just looks at me and begs to be quilted just so, and the whole process is easy peasy.  This one however, is a quilt I just love, and I desperately wanted to do a good job on it and not spoil it.  So I agonised for a couple of weeks on the thread to use, and on the design to do.  I ended up using the book "Free-Motion Quilting Made Easy" by Eva A. Larkin, published by That Patchwork Place for inspiration.  It is not a new book, but I think you can still get it.
 
Eva Larkin shows you how to quilt 8 simple shapes, then expands them into 186 different designs, which, although they look complicated, are actually just the first 8 shapes combined in different ways.  I love this book! 
 
She advocates marking reference points to use in your quilting, so this is a pic of how I marked mine:
 
 
You can see that I marked the diagonal lines on the block, which is 4.5" square, and on each of these lines there is a mark at 1.5".  You use these marks, the corners of the block and the centre cross to aim for when you are FMQ'ing the design I used.  And this is one of my better efforts quilted onto the block:  

 
I used a variegated yellow thread from the Wonderfil Accent range.  The promotional blurb states that this is a 12wt - 2 ply rayon.  The recommended needle size is a 14/90 Metallic needle, which is what I used.  It is not a thread my machine is terribly happy with, and I found that the thread shredded on several occasions - very frustrating!  The backing is a funny sort of slightly bluey green, so I used a pale grey Rasant thread in the bobbin. 
 
My beautiful daughter came over a week or so ago, and presented me with a present.  I haven't shown it before - its a gorgeous sewing machine cover.  Isn't she a doll??

 
The ends are made from a pretty Japanese fabric.  I have it over my antique 99K Singer, which was also a gift from her. 

 
I can't show you the next three things I have made over the last few days as they are for the Christmas Swap, and I don't want my swap buddy peeking!  Suffice to say that on Friday I finished an item I have been hand sewing for a while in between other things, and on Sunday I made two more items.  Love them all!  Hope you do too Lynda.
 
My daughter called on Sunday afternoon, and suggested that I pop over.  Her youngest sister runs Coastal Pet Rescue and needed some kittens minded for a few hours while she went to the Vet.  These 3 kittens were left in a garbage bin only a few days old!  How can people do this??  Irrespective of whether you like cats or not, this is simply not the thing to do to a living creature!  Here is Fat Albert, he had just been fed & was fast asleep in seconds.  So cute!  I want them all.
 
 
Also during the week DH called me to come take a look at this. ....

 
I have absolutely no idea what it is - just another in a line up of Weird & Wonderful Creatures who have come to visit us!   It is about 1.5" long.  I think the "head" is the top bit, but no amount of peering could confirm this, and it seems to have "whiskers" at the top.  Can you see them?  Its "feet" seem to be attached to the table.  He moves at an incredible rate of knots when he gets going. 

Til next time.....Keep on stitching.

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