Yesterday I got down on the living room floor and hand basted this block of the month quilt, in preparation for hand quilting it. It will be for the dear one, seated reading on the love seat. Took me about 3 hours to finish basting the whole thing in approximately 8" squares. I was really looking forward to doing some hand quilting.
This morning I put it on the Q Snap frame and got started. But that's as far as it went. After about 12" of quilting, I gave up on it. I have plenty of experience handquilting, and can usually load 4 or 5 stitches on my little needle before pulling it through. But this was so exceedingly hard to push the needle through, I was averaging just 2 stitches before I had to pull it through. If I loaded on 3 stitches it was too hard to pull through.
The batt is 100% cotton, Quilter's Dream. So that can't be the problem. I think the trouble lies with the backing material. It's a beautiful, silky feeling cotton, which I suspect has too many threads per inch to quilt easily.
So after lunch I packed up my backpack and walked into town for some machine quilting threads to match. Too bad! I was looking forward to doing the handquilting and thought this quilt (and its recipient) deserved that kind of effort.
We've had unseasonably cold weather. So much so that today's walk was the first one this week. When the thermometer sits at -24º and the wind is blowing, the sensible thing to do is stay inside and sew. So that's what I did for the whole week.
First I was machine quilting a panel for a baby blanket. By 4 p.m. on Monday I was getting bored with that, so I started a new project.
This cute wall hanging was a pattern published in the
Quiltmaker magazine (issue #134). I had the pattern up on my design board ever since, and jumped into this week. It was fun! It's a paper pieced pattern, and proved addictive. Each block took about 20 minutes to make, and as soon as one was made, I started another. By Wednesday evening the whole piece except for the outer border was put together.
I didn't have enough of the variegated green to make a border, so went into town on Thursday to buy some more green. Found this and bought two fat quarters to make a 2" border all the way round.
I still need to take all the paper backing off the blocks. It was just the right project for a week inside.
Our string quartet gave its concert this past Sunday afternoon to a cozy audience of about 40 people at the Arts Academy. It went very well!!! We were all happy with our performance, and the audience likewise, indicated by the standing ovation at the end of the concert. We hope to repeat the concert at another location sometime in May, thus making better use of all the effort we put into learning and polishing the music.