Thursday, January 24, 2013

Sunny Day

After some gloomy, cold weather we're enjoying a lovely, sunny day.  So different from yesterday with dark, snowy weather.  The view outside is the same that it has been since the end of October: completely white, but today the sun is shining, and what a difference that makes!  It's possible to feel optimistic this afternoon.  The thermometer on the balcony railing is reading +9ºC but that is misleading.  The warm sunshine on the other side of the brown wooden railing raises the temperature significantly.  The official weather site says we are at -1ºC, which in itself is a huge improvement.

We do know that we have another 2 or 3 months of winter, as, statistically, we get most of our snowfall in March and April.

In front of the window is one of Jim's pots of forced blooms to enliven and cheer the winter days.  These are new paperwhite bulbs, but they were very, very slow to start up and now that one bloom has opened, they are almost a joke.  On top of the tall, slim stem is a tiny bloom.  Beautiful! but tiny.  Here's a closeup.

He has some other pots that we put in the window sills, but Dickens is making a mess of them.  He bites off the tops of the greens, and pulls up the bulbs to play with.  Dirt all over the windowsill and floor.  Still, he's such an appealing cat we don't get after him too much for these "infractions."

Here's an update on S's quilt, the new material mentioned in my last post.  I right away made some of the blocks, to check if we were happy with the way our fabric choices worked out.  We do love the combination of fabrics.

I was quite surprised to see that the diagonal zigzag wasn't showing up very well.  That's because the darkest fabric is used in the 9 patch blocks.  I wondered if we should switch the fabric placement, and consulted S about this, but she was happy with it.  We do like how masculine the quilt appears, good for a husband/wife bedroom.

Since then I have finished all the 9 patch blocks and have 30 of the 60 shadow blocks finished.  This is a quick pattern!  I'll post another picture when there is more progress.  These blocks are only up on the design wall, not sewed together yet.

I made an unwelcome discovery when working on this quilt and on the "Cascades" that I showed earlier: When I used my 1/4" foot with the needle in center position, the 1/4" seam is too wide!  I found this out when sewing the Cascades quilt blocks together.  Those with several seams were a good 1/4" short of the size they should be.  I am compensating for that by using 1/8" seams on those blocks.  The quilting stitches on the finished quilt should be adequate to make up for the 1/8" seams, but it's not a happy situation.

Now I set the needle at 4.00, which is to the right of the center position.  That seems to be an adequate adjustment, and my blocks are coming out much closer to their true size.

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