Friday, March 19, 2010

Piecing Completely Finished

The piecing is completely finished! The waving that appears on the border farthest away is an's on top of my living room rug, and I didn't smooth it down completely. This measures 67" x 79". I am about to go piece the backing and iron the binding (which is cut already). I pushed this through so I could take it on our long-awaited vacation starting Monday morning. I need support (or therapy!), but I couldn't imagine having so many hours of driving time and evening time in the hotel w/o a hand-sewing project. Are any of you like that?

Gotta go piece that backing! Susanna said she'd baste it for me once I get it ready!!


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

One Side Down...Three to Go!!

The above picture is a bit's not your eyes! I took the picture over and over and could not get it to be clear. It shows the edge of my Seeds of Kindness quilt turned under 1/4" and hand basted down, then it has been hand-basted to the border fabric...the apple print. I worked on it about an hour tonight and have one side sewn down. I remove both basting rows as I applique it to the border. Below is the same section after it is finished.

See the white line that looks like chalk?? Here's what I did to attach the border fabric...I cut a piece the length of my long side (72") six inches wide. I was wondering how I was going to make sure the quilt top was not only pinned straight on this long skinny rectangle, but that the apple cores were evenly spaced. So I marked a line 1-1/2" from the edge. That gave me an extra 1/4" under the wavy edge. I measured the peaks of the wavy edge in the middle of the top where I was sure they hadn't been stretched or distorted. They were 5-1/2" apart from high point to high point. So I found the center of my border piece and the center of my quilt top. I pinned that point first. Then I measured and pinned all the other high waves. I pinned the low waves next. I was going to start the hand sewing when I started wondering how many times I would be stuck with a pin before it was all over. So I invested the few more minutes and hand basted the edge down. That meant I also didn't need to have a place to put each pin when I was finished with it.

Long post for a simple procedure. I am a self-taught quilter and am always looking for ways to do things more easily and quickly. I hope someone else learns from me. Guess that's why I tend to over-explain things.


Monday, March 15, 2010

It Is Least The Piecing

Now the real fun begins. My Seeds of Kindness quilt has finally been finished...the piecing anyway. Five hundred twenty-five apple core pieces with just a few repeats. I have also turned the edge under 1/4" and hand basted it down. The next step is to see what would be the best way to use the fabric for borders for appliqueing the wavy edge down, backing, and binding. I have a six-yard piece of apple print fabric, so I want to use it the best way possible. Susanna has already said she'd hand baste it for me so I can hand quilt it. It measures 58.5" x 70" right now. I want to put a 4" border all around to make the edges straight rather than wavy. Like I did with this Grandmother's Flower Garden runner.

Speaking of gardens, I weeded and raked for a couple hours today. I'm feeling it tonight, too! I usually get sick because of seasonal allergies after being outside for more than an hour or so. My delight in the task was hindered by the allergy mask I wore. It made it very hot, and my glasses kept getting steamed up. I'm about halfway finished with the chore. I had three 5-quart buckets FULL of onion grass. At least that was nipped in the bud. Tomorrow I hope to tackle the half-circle bed around our mailbox. We've had so much rain the past few days that the weeds come out with very little encouragement.

I was so encouraged and excited to see baby shoots on my hydrangea bush. A dear elderly lady in my church gave it to me last year. It had the most fantastic blooms. Bright PINK! When I cleared the leaves away from its base, I saw that the old dead wood was GREEN under the outer flaky bark and there are new shoots coming up in the center.!!

My lovely assistant, Rachel, with a new short haircut...

I hope to get my figuring finished for the borders and have the hand applique well started on this by tomorrow night. My enthusiasm for this quilt has not wavered. It was just dormant for a while. Like my hydrangea bush!

Someone made a comment lately (a non-quilter, as if that isn't obvious). I was working on my Seeds of Kindness and she asked, "Didn't you just make a quilt?" My family members who overheard just kind of rolled their eyes a little as if to say, "Does that matter?" It made me think of one of my favorite quilt quotes. It's by Alice Berg, one of the owners of Little Quilts..."..."Making a quilt is like giving birth...You're excited when you buy the stuff, then halfway through you think, 'What have I done?' but by the last stitch, you're already thinking about the next one." If that doesn't describe ME in babies and quilts, I don't know what does.

Good night!