1940's Scrappy Wonderful!
Some of you have watched the slow progression of my hand quilting project over the last year. Some months felt like a ship without wind. It went nowhere. I would like to believe it had something to do with my method of quilting.
Since the 1990's, I have always used a square or rectangular PVC type quilting frame with the snap on grips for hand quilting. My hand quilting projects have mainly been throw size or smaller, and it never occurred to me a twin size would be any different. I was wrong. I was wrestling a monster each time I had to move the frame. I was rolling and pinning huge sections to keep it manageable, and even then it was hard to keep the backing taut within the frame.
A friend of mine called saying she found a frame for me from another friend. Would I like it? I waffled a bit, happy with my current method, but she insisted. Okay. I would give it a try, or sell it if it wasn't my thing.
The frame sat in a corner for several months in pieces. I wasn't inspired. But with my days and nights a bit mixed up lately, I quietly put it together at 2 a.m. By 3 a.m., I was drinking coffee, quilting like lightning, and had no intent of napping through the morning. This was a major improvement over that pvc frame! Where had this been all my life? Fast forward one week, and my ship had landed. I was done!
I loved that it pulled up to my easy chair!
Can you pick all the clues that tell I'm a quilter?
The only problem I had was coming to the very edge to quilt, and that was no different than using any portable frame. It's hard to get the last row of quilting in with no way to anchor the top. Often I will add basting stitches or pins to the outer 1/4" edge before quilting, and this helps quite a bit.
Before you judge, I quilted with Perle cotton and Chenille needles. These are slightly longer and thicker stitches than typical quilting thread and betweens. I found a rubber thumb tip like one uses for paging through letters necessary to pull the heavy needle and thread through this thicker batting of cotton and bamboo. You can find these in the office supplies of most stores in variety packs of all sizes.
Though the person who pieced the top was meticulous, I saw this more as a utility quilt. It didn't warrant sweating over. No marking, and little ripping out stitches. Done is better than perfect!
I had the whole top laid out across my kitchen table to look for missing stitches. I pinned underneath as I looked to help me find the spots when I flipped it. With only 3 missing, I finished those at the kitchen table without a frame.
I trimmed it on the spot before taking it back to the studio for binding, and took off for a quick walk through the fields.
The fall color combinations kept me alert. There was gold everywhere!
The soybeans are turning the most incredible shade, and the bits of red are standout.
How I'd love to capture this color story in a quilt. Inspiration for winter, perhaps, when I am looking for a good color combination. It is coming quicker than we know, and I am looking forward to the break.
Let's go sew.
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