Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Nothing much to see here...

...that is, hard to see in that I have started quilting my stack n whack quilt, following the stripes and stitching in the ditch with invisible thread. Did I say I was going to baste this up and set it aside for higher priority projects? I believe I did, but I just can't - I love it too much and the quilting will be simple and relatively quick to finish. I may be resisting putting off finishing it partly because it has been in progress for so very long, plus I know where it will go once done (and if I hustle, I'll even present it on a special occasion - real incentive). It may be a reaction to last year's derailment of plans to attend to such "unfinished business" - I'm tired of having to put projects on hold. Whatever my motivation, I am happily putting in the time to complete it. That's a very good feeling after so much forced march work in the studio lately.

Oh, and did I say I was going to use that leaf fabric for the backing? Poor leaf fabric; every time it thinks it will have a larger role in the quilt, I replace it with another option. It really would have worked fine, but then I remembered a fabric which I think will delight the recipient much more. This is just too fun!

I opted for a Hobbs wool batt and had forgotten how wonderful it is for larger quilts. One of the downsides of machine quilting larger quilts on a domestic sewing machine is wrestling the usually heavy bundle - one tends to wear the quilt (usually thrown over one shoulder) while a tiny portion of it is under the needle Every progression to the next spot requires hefting and rearranging of a sometimes awkward package. I believe I used Hobbs 80 cotton/20 polyester batt on the last large quilt, and the difference in weight is striking - an almost airy light bundle is making this so much easier on my body. Plus the springiness of wool is especially good at masking baubles in quilting...

Dare I confess the rest of my sudden energetic dive into projects? I can't seem to suppress the urge to start a knitting project, even though the weather is getting on towards summery. It's not that I don't have several applique projects I could take out on the porch to justify staying out in the nice weather. I justify this because it will be a short sleeve cardigan, hopefully perfect for Idaho's wide ranging daily temperatures where even if most of the day is hot, mornings and evenings can be cool. This is a cotton/wool yarn (color is called milk chocolate mint) and the pattern is knit in one piece from the top down - something I don't think I've done before. It's a simple pattern that I'm finding a lot of fun.

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