I know you aren't supposed to admit this but the truth is my life has been quite boring to the last few weeks. There has been paperwork accounts and tax returns. House work and planning but not much of interest to quilter, well not unless the cleanliness of my toilet is interesting, sparkling I am now back clearing some customer work before getting onto my next show quilt. The picture is one of those. This was an intersting quilt for me to do as it needed a cheaper version of the quilting I put on the last one I did. I was lucky enought to quilt a show quilt last year for Jenny at Patchwork Corner and this is the same as that. I am pleased that it has the feel of the original and I hope the customer will agree.
Tonight I am giving a talk to Amwell Quilters. I just hope the snow stays at a minimum and they make it there. I aught to get back to driving, but I thought it would be good to show I hadn't forgotten you all.
Here is a section of todays quilting on the applique. As you can see it is taking a lot of thread changes to blend properly, but it's fun. I think I might get all the applique quilted by the end of tomorrow, but who knows.
I've finally got the applique onto my new quilt. It's taken 2 weeks solid work to doit and my hand doesn't love me. Now I have to quilt it and that means another large selection of threads. These are actually a lot more grey than they look and as they are all I have in the range I just hope they are enough. I already suspect the pale is too pale which makes things tricky. I guess I will do what I can and if I have to resort to cunning tricks so be it.
I've spent most of my time this week cutting out. If you haven't made this type of quilt it's hard to believe how long cutting can take or how triring it is. I hope this picture will give you an idea. I need to cut along the line that is highlighted. This piece has taken me well over an hour so far. I use small scissors and plod along. Yes it's hard on your hand. Sprung scissors help a lot. I did try using a craft knife or scapel but I found the didn't cut the fabric reliably and did make a mess of my cutting board. So back to scissors I went. Is it worth it? Yes I think it is. i am getting really excited by the quilt now aand I can't wait to get back to quilting it.
I wasn't sure how the background quilting was going to work. I wanted shading but I wanted that to be subtle and I needed the background to be interesting as there is a lot of it. This is the design I've settled on. Well the selection of designs actually. I don't see me ading many more different designs as I want this to be the background and not grab too much attention but at least it's got a bit of life to it. There will be seven different threads in the upper area of the background and I think eight different ones in the lower area. You know me though, this could change before I get that far.
I've finally got my own project onto the frame. It's based on a piece of hand dyed sateen, by Heide Stoll-Weber. These are the threads I will be using (probably) for quilting the first background area. I have mostly picked threada that tone in with the background but for the look I am after I want to be able to do some shading hence lots of threads.
I thought you might like to see the front of the finished cow head. This is it pinned out on a thick piece of polysyrene to keep it flat while it dries. As I mentioned before I didn't wash out all the stabiliser so it is going to be a little stiff, but I think that might also mean it hangs really well. It will be interesting to see. For now it's just going to stay where it is. It's quite safe there and I can get on with other things.
I thought you might like to see the quilting on the cow head. It's always easier to see from the back, but the washaway stabilizer makes it even clearer. The background quilting is black on black and will be very hard to see when it's finished.
The quilt has now had a bath and is pinned out drying. I deliberately didn't get all the stabilizer off. I thought being a bit stiff would help in class, both with me holding it up and with the amount of handling it will get. Of course it may also cause other problems but I won't know until I try.
When I was in Houston I bought two sets of rulers from Dusty and folks asked if I would put up a review of them when I had tried them. I have now, so here goes.
Firstly the cute packaging is also useful. I can hang the bags from their drawstrings and keep a whole set on one hook, neat. I am also using them for storing my cunning pin catchers but more on those another day.
The set I have spent most time with are the radical rulers. Their first outing was a baby quilt for a regular customer. She doesn't mind if I play and a baby won't critique my quilting. I used the 4 way cross shaped ruler to do the borders, with the gothic arch look. It wasn't perfect, I don't use rulers much so that is to be expected but it was acceptable. If you look on you tube you will find some video of him demonstrating them and the border I tried was one he shows.
I did find the ruler a lot easier to hold than most I've tried. It's a really good size, big enough to be usefull small enough to he held stable easily. I then had to quilt Tet's Christmas present to his mum. It has a lot of applique on it that had to be stitched around. I grabbed my trusty straight ruler and the went hunting for something to use on the curves. Three of the radical rulers got pressed into service. The two arches and the 4 way. Between them they had something close to every arc I needed and were all easy to hold. It wasn't what they were designed for, but they are very very good at it. So much so I've done tons of stitch in the ditch (something I normally won't do) on two sampler quilts as well.
I still need more time to play with the rulers and the other set I bought, but so far I am a very happy camper. These have changed the way I look at ruler work completely. I've also started using my leader grip side clamps. They are much easier to open and close than I had expected, which is good and I love the way the hold the backing. The leader grips for loading quilts are waiting to go on the new frame when it arrives, which will be a while yet because I wanted it customising. I know, typical, but hey if you are going to spend that much you might as well get it right.
As you can see I am making good progress with the cow now. Yes this does mean the tracing is all done. I am so relieved, it was getting really boring. The cow has been about for nearly a year without quilting. It is one of the samples for my art quilts 3 class and is based on the photos I took for Herd Mentality. It is quilted very differently from Herd Mentality, and is also acting as a test for my next quilt. Fur goes much faster than I expected and is a lot of fun to quilt.