Today I am hand-quilting...it's been so long since I have attempted the art of quilting by hand that I am really working on my inner dialogue. You know, that hypercritical voice that judges everything you do, and finds it wanting? (Oh, am I the only one that has that voice in her head?!?)
But this year, I am trying to take every thought captive, and be as kind to myself as I try to be to others. So, the inner critical voice is getting a lot of reframing while I load one or two stitches at a time on this lovely new black goldeye needle. In and out...breathe...patience...that'll do...
There are many lessons in quilting that have nothing to do with fabric.
We are traveling for DH's avocation this month, so my quilting is on the road as well. I put together some adorable Dresden plate blocks that I am hand appliquéing to Kona white squares. I seem to be finishing one per day. I explained to DH that with appliqué, you match the thread to the patch, not the background. He was very surprised that I couldn't do the entire quilt with white thread.
It takes some planning to be road-ready for quilting, but it is a hobby that can be accomplished in the interstices of time of your day, wherever you may be...and those little bits add up.
I did get to visit the local quilt shop on Friday, and bought this fun hand-quilting accessory...
I miss my zippy sewing machines, but I am happy to wear a thimble, and hold a needle for a few days. This month, I'll be the turtle. After all, the hare took a nap and lost the race. 😉
I spent Saturday listening to Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets read to me by Jim Dale (just keepin' it real here, folks!), and piecing this lovely array of Pat Sloan's Eat Your Fruits and Veggies line of fabric into Dresden plates. I signed up for Joanna Figueroa's Simple Fresh Quilts class on Craftsy.com months ago, mainly for this "lollipop" pattern.
I have 13 pieced (I only need 12 for my quilt, but it's always a good idea to have a spare. I'll probably make a pillow.), and since I need a roadtrip project, I will hand-appliqué the blocks onto my white Kona cotton background fabric.
I also pieced two "Perfect 10" by Swirly Girls Designs quilts in very different color ways. The bright one is another of Pat Sloan's fabric lines "Bobbins & Bits" and was featured on her blog this week... http://blog.patsloan.com/2014/03/pat-sloan-quilts-by-you.html ...and it's not even quilted yet!
I have already quilted the brown one, and named it "Perfectly Feathered" after quilting it with Fantasy Feathers from itsaquiltthing.com.
I am going to get to do some traveling for the next month, and as a result, I find myself contemplating quilting portability. In the olden days, all one needed were scissors, needle, thread, scraps of fabric, and cardboard templates in order to quilt. Personally, I am very grateful to be quilting in the 21st century, where my vast array of tools, quality fabrics, and super fast computerized sewing machines make quilting a breeze! I'm exceptionally spoiled by my longarm quilting machine. I finished up this beauty earlier this week, named "Perfectly Feathered."
But, while I travel, I will want to make some progress on the backlog of UFOs I have scheduled to finish this year (my self-proclaimed "Year of the UFO"), and started considering the hand-stitching projects I can work on in the car, as well as the piecing projects I can cut-and-kit to pull out my traveling Bernina during the day.
I have three bound quilts that need hand-stitching on their bindings to be "finished" so those are easy car projects. We have plenty of room in our vehicle, so I don't have to pick and choose what to bring. I am currently machine-stitching a Dresden plate project, so if I can get those blocks assembled, then I can hand-appliqué to my heart's content on those blocks while on-the-road.
Finally, I have a magnificent replica crib quilt that is 50% complete from years-and-years-and-years ago...hand-quilting. So, I'd just need my hoop, thimble, and threads to quilt up the rest of my extra time on the road.
And it turns out there's a quilt show or two "on the way" so I'll get a chance to add to the project list, and probably increase my stash a bit with some new vendors to explore.
Finding quilting to do is no challenge, here or on the road!