Thursday, February 3, 2011

New Project

Immediately after taking the last stitch in the "Red Square" quilt, I picked up this panel from the pile of possible projects, put together a backing of flannel squares and laid it out on the floor of the sewing room.

I wasn't going to start new projects, but after completing two UFO's, couldn't resist the urge to do something different. This was on top of the pile, so this is it!

The backing and the batting are pinned to the rug with "T" pins and the panel smoothed over top
of them. Then, on hands and knees, or sitting "side saddle" I baste them together with long stitches in approximately 6" to 8" rows. That takes a while, and also some endurance!

Then the quilt sandwich goes onto the Q Snap frame, a really handy quilting frame. I set this in the living room beside the south window, and begin to hand quilt along the outlines of the design.

Hand quilting is a uniquely calming activity. I think it's the regular, steady motion of pushing the needle down through the fabric and tipping it back up again from the underside. Once in a while you accidentally stab the finger waiting underneath to guide the needle
back up through the quilt, but not hard enough to draw blood. This is just a small quilt, so my finger won't be too "chewed" up when it's finished.

I sit with the window to my left side, so I would be on the side of the quilt opposite from this viewpoint. The quilted lines you can see are actually the basting lines. I'm thinking this is a rather small project, and hope to have it finished in about a week.

In my stash of fabric I found a good-sized piece leftover from a sundress I made in the 80's for dear daughter #2. It's just like the aqua in the lower background, which actually has little white polka dots in it. The sundress fabric is the same, just a very, very slightly darker aqua. It will make a perfect binding for this fun little quilt.

We had our regular quilting day in the country today, and have a brand new quilter joining us. She's a delightful, enthusiastic young woman, a coed at the local college. I was busy helping her get started, right down to showing her how to wind a bobbin, how to thread her machine (her sister's), etc. She's a fast learner, and was a treat as a student.

I hung the "Red Square" quilt over the stair railing and noticed something interesting. One of the fun things about this quilt is how the red squares seem to float up from the surface of the quilt. It's not as evident in the pictures as in the "flesh" but when I hung it up and looked at it from a little distance, I saw that one of the red squares doesn't float. It's the one in the middle of the picture, second row from the top, and third row from the left. The reason it doesn't float is because it has an orange square right beside it, and that pulls it down into the block. That's something I'll have to remember for future quilts. I'm pretty sure that artists are familiar with the use of colour to bring an element forward or push it back. I'd heard of that, but it still surprised me when I noticed this.

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