Monday, 23 September 2013

Dear Jane - quilting has started

So after such a long wait the poor Dear Jane Quilt has a back.
The batting was sandwiched in yesterday and today I have actually started quilting on it. 

Today I found my quilting thread and all of the tiny needles that I would need. I even bought some extra hand cream as quilting is quite harsh on the hands. I should have just gone and got my normal vitamin E cream that I use as the one that I got has perfume in it and it burned my poor delicate skin.
 It is such a thrill to put the quilt into the wooden circle for the first time. This thrill soon wares off as the reality of quilting 277 separate units. It was even fun seeing the pins that were keeping the layers together. This thrill dissipated as each pin managed to draw blood as I was taking them out of the quilt. My thumb nail too was complaining as the pins are really tight. The last one I opened using a quick unpick but that I think damaged the pin. The quick unpick I was not that worried about as I have sooo many of them.
 I always quilt from the centre out and I enjoyed starting with a happy circle. My stitching is really gross to start with and then improved to merely shoddy. As an excuse is the fact that I have only been doing quilting for 3 years and ... ok so I just need more practice, no excuses give.
The thing is that the quilts feel great and tactile and that is all that you need form a quilt. What I also liked about the centre block is that the first square is going to be right in the middle of a backing square and from here on in the will slowly but surely slide of the centre and meander into no-mans land of imprecise placement. See quilting is really and exercise in Zen.
You really have to just accept what the way the quilt will come out and not destroy the calm of trying to only accept perfection.

The next three I will do are all the greens and then I will box off the middle and start on the next occurrence.  I can see the program and now that I am initiated I just have to keep on stitching and before I know it I will be at 2% complete as it is I have not even reached 1%.
See the Dear Jane quilt is also good for maths skills as I sit and stitch I also calculate what percent I have completed and how far the thread that I have stitched would actually go.

Have a stunning day.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Happy Spring/Autumn equinox and Jane is ready for quilting

Happy Spring/Autumn equinox. What an amazing weekend this is turning out to be.

It was my husband and my 17th Wedding
anniversary yesterday. I have been truly blessed with my life with him. I had waited for many years to meet him and when I did I realised that there was a reason for waiting. I do have to thank him for our life together.

The next amazing thing we did was go shopping for my eldest daughters wedding gown. We actually found one and bought it for her. It takes 16 weeks to create it so hopefully in four months time there will be a dress. I must say that there is a part of me that is filled with trepidation that the dress may not arrive and then we will only have 6 weeks for plan b. A dress will appear and I will keep reminding myself to be positive.

At last I have a backing for my Dear Jane. After so much ruminating on the subject it was quite a relief to come up with a solution to the problem. I went with bright and cheerful and whipped up a pieced backing. It amazes me how fast a quilt can be created when you use a sewing machine. I supposed that is a ah duh statement. As the pictures show it is quite bright.

Today my husband and teenage daughter helped pin it all together. Now this makes it an amazing thing as the sweet child helped without grumbling too much. The cats too had to do inspection layer after layer. With my husband helping it was a true test of the first day of our 18th year together. I will post the photos and you can see how it went.
 Firstly we put down the backing and taped it in place.

Then on went the batting and this too got pasted in place. Please note that each step has been inspected by the cat.

 The centre was found. The cat actually had to be pushed off it so that a mark could be made.
The top was then positioned using the centre mark as well as the edged.  The orange cat did the diagonal test.
He then did a meander around the edge to make sure that everything was still to his liking.
The quilt is now in this state after we had done the pinning and now it is ready for my to tack the edged to keep it neat whilst I am quilting.

I am quite excited to start the quilting. I am debating as to whether to start a new page on the top to show how each block gets quilted. I will see how it goes.

This is a long weekend here so I hope to get at least a decent start.

Hope you all are having an amazing equinox.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

September and now it is Spring?

Can you believe it; September is here. This year has sped by, but I do think it is an age thing or a busy thing. Whatever the cause it seems that every time I look up it is a new month.

My husband's family had a tradition of jumping into the pool on the 1st of September, to acknowledge the start of spring. This year the temperature first thing this morning was 1 degree below freezing and is only going to get to 14 degrees Celsius. In my mind that is cold and swimming would just be silly. 
My eldest daughter and her boyfriend did scuba diving yesterday when it was even colder, but I suppose if you are wearing a wet suit it would be a bit better. I will pass no further judgement on doing strange hobbies, seeing as I cut up fabric, just to reattach it again in different configurations. So maybe jumping into bodies of water and swimming around is not that weird.

I think we may reconsider the swimming thing on the 20th when it is the actual spring equinox. The peach trees now have their new leaves and a few blossoms left.

My dear Jane is sitting in a bag looking all neglected. I did play with the fabrics that I had as backing, but, I was about a meter short and all of the extra fabrics that I could have used did not do justice to a backing for a Dear Jane. The IQC Africa happens next week so I will wait until then to see what I can find at the show. 
I was given a booklet of vouchers, which my husband created, with each voucher being redeemable for 1 fat quarter. This was due to me wanting to get fabric from the show for my birthday present and the show being a month after my birthday. This was just fun as I am always spoilt with vast amount of fabric no matter what.

 Due to being bored whilst waiting for the backing, I have broken one of my fundamental principals. This is starting with a new quilt before finishing the previous one. Well at least I have started with the preparation work.
There is a huge amount of folding and prep work to be gone through. See the embarrassment that I am feeling in not even wanting to name what I am doing. Well it is ummm a cathedral window. Being a hand stitcher I am ironing and then tacking, more ironing and then more tacking.
I made my sister a set of cushions with cathedral window insets about 15 years ago and I thought it would make an interesting wall hanging. At least it is keeping my fingers busy.

I hope September turns out to be a quiet month and that countries around the world do not go to war. Once again being cynical it would keep more people employed in the military. The news has been preparing the world for this over the past few months. Ok enough politics.

I watched a TV series showing Zombies, it was really good and had me thinking as to whether it was just a story or whether the creator of the series was trying to be deep and have a socio-economic discussion. Coming from Africa I could definitely relate with what was being said.
I must say though that prior to watching the show; zombies had always creeped me out whereas now I think they are seriously amusing. I have even found cute memes that show the zombie wave that is sweeping the pop culture. Seeing as I love both minions and Hello Kitty I was amused to find both in zombie form.

Have a stunning September.

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