Ok, I know you're out there; sitemeter confirms people are looking at my posts, yet no one has weighed in on which direction Willow Leaves II should hang. I'm not ready to decide yet, so I started the hand appliqueing of the angel - that under layer that will look like piping once sewn down to the next layer.
I can't remember the last time I hand appliqued something. Definitely haven't since the move - it took me awhile to remember where I'd stashed my needles. I'm using YLI Heirloom #100 silk thread as recommended by Elly Sienkiewicz; I fell in love with it for applique when I was learning to do Baltimore Album style applique. It practically disappears into the fabric, it's so fine. I was again reminded just how long I've been away from applique when I opened my needlecase and was confronted with two lengths of sharps. Mmmm, I know I started with the shorter ones, but then, do I recall I developed a fondness for the longer straw needles? I opted for the shorter length until I got back into the rhythm again. It's amazing how quickly one can forget, and equally amazing how quickly one remembers again. I felt awkward and unsure for the first few stitches, then, once I remembered the unique needle position I learned from Becky Goldsmith, I was off and running as if no time had passed at all. Only the lack of calluses on my fingertips reminded me I was out of practice.
I have almost always found hand work to be soothing, meditative work. I think I needed this slowed down, focused, rhythmic motion today. I've needed to feel more in touch with this quilt, this design process, and holding the angel in my hand, slowly working my way around its features, was most gratifying.