Thursday, 4 October 2007
I am feeling a bit peculiar today after being up all night, the night before last, with food poisoning. I've lost five pounds in two days and feel sort of fragile and empty (which I am!) but on the mend now. Today I have actually had some tomato soup whch seems to have settled okay, yesterday I only managed some dry bread.
I have a nice package to take round on the weekend to the elderly lady who is running the charity coffee morning in November. It includes a printed-panel rag doll, the three cot quilts (now all bound) and my no-longer-nekkid rabbits. The girl bunny seems to be showing off rather more than I intended, but you know what rabbits are like.
I started binding the three cot quilts shortly after a discussion on #Quiltchat when Swooze expressed her preference for self-binding (bringing the backing around to the front). I tried this on the first cot quilt to see if it would be easier, but I really found that it wasn't - for me anyhow. It was incredibly fiddly to trim off the wadding without cutting the backing (especially since I had started some of the quilting stitching from off the edge of the top, and because I had meandered all over the quilt, the edge was no longer completely straight, and then more fiddling to press the fold, bring the fold over and secure it with clips, and don't get me started about trying to get neat corners. I ended up hand stitching the four corners. For my second quilt, I tried a modified continuous binding which I found much easier. I trimmed the sides of the quilt square, and cut strips 1 and 3/4 inches wide which I joined on the diagonal into a continuous strip. I applied this on the back of the quilt by machine, starting with a 1/4 inch fold to the wrong side, and doing the usual mitre thing on the corners. I finished by overlapping the original folded start by about one inch then trimming off the excess end. Then I pressed this binding away from the quilt. Turning it over the right side, I pressed the raw edge of the binding in to meet the quilt edge, then folded that fold over onto the right side of the quilt and secured with clips. The corners were easy to mitre neatly. Then I stitched on the right side by machine close to the folded edge of the binding, which was easy to do because of the wider-than-normal binding on the front. I obtained a much neater result and for me this seemed easier. I used a walking foot by the way. The third quilt had a non-fraying fleece backing, so that was easy, I just folded it over to the right side and stitched it down with a decorative stitch.
I was listening to a podcast interview with Alex Andersen a few days ago (Annie's Stash) and heard Alex say something which I've heard her say before on her own podcasts: that she's never met a quilter she didn't like, and that quilters are all such wonderful people. Every time I have heard her say that, it has made me think about this myth prevalent amongst the Americanised quilting world, that because we are all quilters we are all one big happy family full of lightness and brightness. Maybe it is because on my best day I am not one-tenth as perky as Alex Andersen (though I do like her) but I have met many quilters that I didn't like. Just because we are all involved in aspects of a wide-ranging textile hobby does not automatically make us all sympatico, or honest, or fair, or polite, or nice. Like any other human activity, quilting draws from a broad cross-section of society and I am sure there are lots of quilters who aren't particularly nice people, or who have not very nice beliefs or habits. I think Alex's comment says more about the kind of person she is, and perhaps anyone encountering such a bubbly cheerful personality is momentarily uplifted into responding in a similar way. I have certainly found that having quilting in common with someone gives me a jumping off point for relating to them, but it isn't a sure-fire guarantee that I am going to like them. But then I think we have more than our fair share of Quilt Police in the UK (city and guilds, anyone....?).
I also managed to get the binding on my Seaside wallhanging, and it is now hanging on the wall to remind us of summer holidays. My possible Paducah entry is lurking about, waiting for me to feel brave enough to start the binding process (and I have to make a sleeve) but it doesn't have to be shipped back until late November so I am putting it off until I feel better. I'm still not sure how I am going to do the stitching without getting cat hair on it. Or my hair for that matter (I have a shedding problem...)
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