Sunday, 27 August 2017

Quilt number three finished

It's a bank holiday weekend here in the UK and for once it has been lovely and sunny.  We've just had a BBQ tonight just for the three of us, out on the dirt under our new pergola (still no patio) which was very nice.

I've continued the quilt production line over the weekend. My Cosy Afternoon BoM quilt, which was quilt number three on the frame, is now quilted, washed and bound.  It actually looks alright, the place where I varied the row height leading to some overstitching really doesn't show on the busy fabric.  I like the vintage look from washing the quilt then giving it a light steam press.  In fact I like the whole quilt better now that it's finished, lol.

Quilt number four is now loaded on the machine, which is the William Morris grid quilt.  I'm getting slightly fancier by stitching one panto in the borders and a different one in the middle.  This is the panto I'm using in the borders which is quite nice, it's Funky Feathers which is a free download offered generously by Urban Elementz.

I will stitch the two side borders (as the quilt is loaded lengthwise) then turn the quilt to stitch the top and bottom borders.  To help the quilt roll evenly, I am basting across the unquilted side borders every two passes.

  This quilt is a lot bigger and is using up most of the width of the frame, so I was encountering an issue with the split area of track.  After three quilts the split area had opened up to about five inches wide and one side had detached at one end, so it was really catching the carriage wheels when I rolled in that direction. But with the smaller quilts I wasn't actually passing over that area while quilting.  Now I am, so I had to perform some surgery by breaking out the split area and cleaning up the broken ends so that they butt together fairly tightly.  Now the break is almost imperceptible.  There is still a problem at the far end of the same track but because I am not quilting the side borders, I don't pass over that part while quilting so it's alright.  I might have to do another patch if I quilt right across on something wider.  I did read many years ago about a woman who replaced her plastic tracks completely with narrow aluminium strip, which might be an option if I could find that here in the UK.

I had my lacemaking friends over last week, which is the first time they've seem the frame-  which is in the room where we sit round the table to do our lace.  I was a bit disappointed that nobody was very interested, after the first shock about how big it was.  I was hoping at least one person would ask how it worked or what I was doing on it, but instead there seemed to be a general feeling that it was all a bit over the top and best ignored.  I suppose not everyone is a multi-hobbyist but still.  But then I am a gadget girl and perhaps they aren't.

Meanwhile on the sit-down machine, I finally finished sewing down the fusible applique on the big blue and white quilt.  I took a break after that from the production line, and stitched up a padded mug bag for carrying a real mug to lace days so I don't have to drink out of styrofoam cups (which always give tea a funny taste) - I got the idea from other lacemakers who had bought their bags.  I had a round wooden disk so I incorporated that into the base of the bag to give the mug more protection. the outer fabric has a pattern of cups and saucers which seemed appropriate.

I've moved on to a red and white toile UFO which has been languishing for years since an unsuccessful attempt to quilt it on the frame.  I've just looked it up and I made it in 2012.  It was an impulse buy of two toile fabrics, the same pattern but one in red and one in white. I thought I was being clever making up a quilt of 'red' stars and 'white' stars each with the reverse as background.  Unfortunately it just ended up looking like a bunch of triangles, it's too busy to pick out the blocks at all.  Instead of quilting an all over pattern, I tried to fix things by meandering in the white areas so the red would stand out but instead the red went all puffy, then I completed the mess by mucking up the border pattern.  Sigh.  So I've been procrastinating about it for five years hoping the magic quilting fairies would sort it all out for me when I wasn't looking.   Now I've decided to just get it finished so I can give it away, probably to charity.  I've quilted in the ditch around all the borders and blocks which I should have done in the first place, unpicked the mess in the borders, and I'm continuous curve quilting in the stars (not very well but I'm getting better).

When I haven't been sewing on quilt binding or unpicking past mistakes, I've continued with my cross stitch UFO.  It now seems faintly possible that I might even finish it in this lifetime.

Yesterday we had a family outing to Burghley House, an Elizabethan pile up by Stamford.

They are getting ready for the famous Burghley Horse Trials which start in a few days, but meanwhile the house and gardens were still open.  DS nobly came with us for the sake of a family outing although it's not really his thing.  The house has magnificent interiors dating from Elizabethan, Georgian and Victorian times, impressive in a rather heavy ponderous way.  There aren't flower gardens as such but there is a park featuring many pieces of rather strange modern sculpture, and an area billed as the 'Garden of Surprises' which has a lot of water fountains and water jets.  Some of these evoke 18th C grottoes and follies, others are meant for children to play in, and some are just very weird modern art (most of which is not standing up to the elements very well and was looking tired and broken) .  We had a nice walk past all the marquees and jump courses being set up for the horse trials to the Lion Bridge where there is a good view back to the house. We had lunch in the cafe but felt it was all very expensive for what it was, and had an ice cream from the garden kiosk.  Nice to do something as a family.

This morning DH and I went to an antiques fair at Lamport Hall, which sets up in the stables and outbuildings.  It's held twice a year so we've been several times and bought some nice things in the past. Normally it's raining so it felt strange to be actually too hot and trying to shelter out of the sun.  I found a nice little tablecloth hand embroidered with a crinoline lady and flowers, and a little chintz vase to add to my small collection of chintzware. I flirted with several other things but didn't commit.

Having a long weekend has been an opportunity to work in the garden a bit, and I've also pared down our front gate which was sticking, and repainted the raw wood area.  I've even done some jobs around the house so I'm feeling virtuous.  When I was working in the garden I realised my Clematis ‘Wesselton’ had produced a few more blooms (it originally bloomed in the spring).  They are so pretty, so I brought one into the house.

If you are in the UK, I hope you are enjoying your long weekend. 

1 comment:

Daisy said...

Oh dear - I now have this image in my head of all these ladies sat around ignoring the giant frame. The original elephant in the room!!

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