It's over two weeks since my last post, so I think I will do a general update today. A little of everything -- embroidery, hand piecing, machine piecing, quilting, and binding!
As many of you know, I badly wrecked my back last fall. Now, it's healed very well, and I would say it is better than it's been in years. But a strange by-product has been that hand stitching is clearly bad for my back -- somehow I sit and tense in very awkward ways when I hand stitch. So I can't do it. An unfortunate casualty of this new situation has been my guild challenge quilt, that I started in September. You can see the challenge fabrics here. It was due yesterday, so I think it is now safe to show you what I was doing before my back went out:
I started by embellishing the large scale print with hand embroidery. Stem stitch around the petals, pistil stitch in shaded tones around the centre, and I have some silver lined, forest green glass beads for the centre.
Here is another one:
My plan was to make six "vignettes" like this from the one fat quarter. Four are mostly done.
Then I also started fussy cutting the smaller white print...
...to make hexagon rosettes:
The small ones on the right are the finished size. Half inch (12 mm) hexagons! I wanted 20 rosettes in total.
What's the plan? A half-scale version of the first two rounds of Brinton Hall:
Last fall I was going flat out with my full scale version of this quilt. I already knew the pattern well, so I thought it would be doable in the allotted time. It will be awesome, I thought, to have both the big and little versions together in the show! Well, as I said in December, "Woman plans, God laughs."
Nevertheless, eventually I AM going to figure out a better ergonomic approach to hand stitching, so this is all packed away until then.
And my machine sewing projects are really coming together. The centre of Allietare is down to four pieces:
This is my "quadrants" strategy for a diagonal-set quilt. No seam is longer than 5 blocks. I plan to fussy cut the borders, so there is still a way to go.
Then those muscles were getting sore, so I decided it was time to finish quilting the border on Hen Party:
You can still see the shadows of the previous straight line quilting that puckered so badly. It took me weeks to unpick it, months of dithering, and one day to quilt it again! I like this fat, free form stipple a lot better. And, I think I've finally got the hand/eye/foot coordination figured out for free motion quilting. No stitch regulator here!
In my stash I had a striped fabric that I knew would be perfect for the binding. It ties together all the main colours of the quilt:
Imagine my dismay when I pulled the piece out of the box, and it fell apart! I thought I had yardage, but in fact I had three fat quarters left over from kits. But nothing else works as well, so I'm piecing it all together. This binding will be machine sewn.
The binding on my Cardinal Stars quilt, however, is still only half done:
This was about one quarter sewn when I wrecked my back, and there is no way to switch to machine stitching it now. Long sessions with it have proven too painful. Now I'm thinking that maybe if I set myself to do no more than two threads a day, I will eventually get it done.
In any case, Allietare is going well, Hen Party is finally going well, other projects to be updated separately are all going well, so it's not like this focus on machine sewing is a big sacrifice. My tentative plan for my summer break is to put new effort into figuring out machine applique, both raw edge and turned. But for now, I have plenty to do. :D