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Sunday, 12 August 2018

Quilting

Years ago I remember some ladies at a quilt group saying they only made quilts in winter and gardened in summer.  I am slightly ashamed to remember I thought they were bonkers - why on earth would you not quilt all year round?  Those were the days when I was much younger, and had considerably more energy.  Those were the days I had a new-build house which required virtually no maintenance, and a very small garden which required very little time.  These days I have far less spare energy and far less free time . . .

Which might be why I haven't touched the quilting machine since (embarrassed to admit this . . . ) mid-February.

And that "dream" I had of catching up with the quilt backlog and 'Shelf of Shame' has languished as not much more than a dream.  This morning, happily, I felt a "quilty day" coming on;  we had a respectable amount of rain last night so the water tanks are full and plants that need cutting back are far too wet to mess with.

First up, the denim Picnic Rug I pieced in March.



Working on the basis that Finished Is Better Than Perfect, I have quilted this completely freehand, something I've not done for years.  A few months ago I discovered Wanda Hanson's lovely blog.  A professional and prolific quilter, with a longarm machine, it was a revelation when I saw that Wanda usually finishes her quilts with very simple freehand quilting, often just lines like this:

COPYRIGHT Wanda S. Hanson:  http://exuberantcolor.blogspot.com
and she has a fabulous purple quilt (click here) finished with what appears to be a big freehand meander.  The quilt is absolutely none-the-worse for simple stitching, and on the basis that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I have gone the same route:



It was not all plain sailing; I am woefully out of practise and there were more than a couple of rookie mistakes at the beginning.  However, a couple of hours later we had a picnic blanket, far from perfect and I am sure certain members of The Quilt Police would sniff at it, but it's not for them, it is for Daisy and us to sit on!

Encouraged and enthused I pinned on another quilt - the original Trip Around the World top.  I was ready to stitch another freehand pattern, and talked myself out of it and loaded a pantograph.  Then I talked myself out of that and toyed with various freehand ideas.  Then I talked myself out of that and loaded a different pantograph.

At which point I knew it was time to call it a day.  If I cannot see the finished quilt in my mind then there is absolutely no way I should start stitching - to do so is a guaranteed way to ruin a thoroughly nice top.  This is not a 'precious' quilt, it will not become a family heirloom or a show winner, but the amount of time I have put into the piecing, and how much I like it, means it deserves to be quilted nicely.  So it is all ready to go when I make my mind up.





Instead of more quilting, I trimmed the picnic blanket and made a binding, but which time the day had completely disappeared and it was time to start supper..









16 comments:

  1. I never do much crafting in the summer months, I'm a book worm at the moment. Your quilts look stunning, love the colours.

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    1. Thanks Marlene, for a quilt made from scraps when I had a cold the picnic blanket has turned out very nicely :)

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  2. I find, once the warmer weather arrives, all my crafting intentions fly out of the window. Just this week I have picked up my crochet again after a looong break.
    I won't pretend to have the first clue about such things as a longarm machine or a pantograph, but your quilts are beautiful. X

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    1. It's OK Jules, I don't understand the first thing about proper crochet, so you are ahead of me :). But thank you for the nice words about my quilts. xx

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  3. The quilt done by Wanda looks fabulous and I love the patterns and colours, but your picnic blanket looks great too - I hope the two of you and Daisy enjoy sitting on it when the time comes :)

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    1. Thanks Eunice, if I was a little more clever it would have been finished and available for the recent heatwave . . . but with a fleece back I suspect Daisy will be quite happy to make use of it over winter instead. :)

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  4. I am always in awe at the size of the long arm quilter!

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  5. Agree about not having wuilting mojo in the heat. I had to finish a fleece babked baby quilt and ended up with heat rash from feeding it through my machine. Lovely picnic quilt and the one in the longarm is beautiful.

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    1. Hi Catriona, know what you mean about wrangling a warm quilt in hot weather, not a lot of fun :)

      Thank you for your nice comments about the quilts.

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  6. You and Daisy will enjoy using your picnic quilt and now the weather has turned for the worse you'll enjoy more quilty days I'm sure.

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    1. Cheers Eileen, it got the Daisy seal-of-approval last night when I chucked it across my legs after supper and she came and lay on it with me. I must get round to sharing a photo of that, it was quite cute :)

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  7. Good job, girlfriend! Done is far better than perfect.

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    1. Cheers m'dear! Very quiet on your blog - hope all is going well.

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  8. Jayne, do you do long arm quilting for others or just for yourself? I have recently purchased an accuquilt machine, but have yet to use it. I must bite the bullet and just get on with it.

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    1. Hi Eleanor. I do not quilt for others, but you are quite right - just load up a few yards of calico and get practising. It is the only way to get over the 'OMG, I can't do this' fright!

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