Wednesday, August 20, 2014

And so this is.... summer?

I’ve been back from England since last Friday, after a delicious airplane breakfast.

It is summer vacation, supposed to be blazing hot, days spent at the swimming pool to channel a nine-year-old’s energies. But I have already worn woollen socks when going to bed three time since I returned, and it is only the second half of August! I even unpacked my down duvet one evening because it all felt so cold. The duvet turned out to be too hot yet during the night, but that doesn’t mean it feels any more like summer. Lots of showers, and cool temperatures. When I went walking in the woods day before yesterday I could distinctly smell ‘fall’. Somehow it doesn’t feel quite right – we didn’t have a real winter, spring was too early and not ‘right’, and now we are being cheated out of a summer, too. Well, then I would really like it to snow for good - I am almost out of snow-dyed fabrics, and a fair coming up in September... Here is a picture of a rare moment of sunshine.

No, I am not complaining.

I did get back to work pretty much immediately. With interruptions when we haven’t been able to arrange for friends of my son’s to come over, or for him to go there. But I am working. Right now I am quilting three tops which I sewed just before I left for England, and which are all three still destined for the exhibition in October. The three tops are all based on the same idea, which could be called an ‘amputated log cabin’ (only three sides in each round, and each of them a different width of log), with a slight variation between them in terms of arrangement, and of color. And they will be displayed in different orientations.

I pricked myself badly several times while quilting the first one, as I had talked myself into skipping the basting, just pinning it. Ruefully I basted the final two rounds before continuing to the end, these long Clover pins are soooo good and sharp!
For this top out of the three, I decided on rather dense parallel line quilting, which adjusted to the pattern a bit, and it took me longer, I think, to finish the quilting than to sew the entire top! 

I have done some unpicking, too, including having to get out the needle punches.

When I had finally finished quilting it yesterday morning I realized that the thread I used for basting – not a ‘proper’ basting thread, which I couldn’t find fast enough, but a polyester sewing thread – made for quite a nice effect under the quilting lines.

I certainly won’t leave these marks in this piece, but am curious as to whether and how I will make use of this interesting discovery in the future.

Two more to quilt, and as often I was debating with myself as to how to do this. Didn’t want to do the same kind of dense quilting in the other two – for one thing, because it took so long, but also because I want them to be markedly different despite the fact that they all three derived from basically the same idea. But I had enough time while basting no. 2, before I could have been pricked badly again, to give it some thought. Perhaps a little too much thought, because I almost discarded that one. I had the hardest time figuring out how to quilt it, suddenly I didn’t like it any more at all, and I had already folded it up and put it aside. Somehow it felt like it couldn't be saved, with that overpowering light blue in the lower corner...

Then I looked at no. 3, did a few test stitches on a cut-off piece from another quilt trying to figure out whether this idea won’t work – and retrieved no. 2, because finally an idea had arrived. That one will now be the next to be quilted after all.
Living by the quotation on the tin of tea I bought at the airport:


  1. We are having the same sort of summer here. It changed when that 'hurricane's tail' blew through on the Sunday when FOQ finished. I almost got out the duvet, but instead got out one of the quilts I have from my mother. and with a single one on top of all that for my side (I get much colder than my husband!) I am back to wearing a fleece blanket wrapped round my legs like a sarong while I am working in my studio. :-)
    Some how I always get wounded with pins when I try to quilt as well. I am not a great one for tacking. Perhaps I should try.

    I keep wondering how your son is from his adventure to hospital that you mentioned while you were here.

    I like the blue arch-like shape in the centre of the log cabin you showed. It gives depth like walking down a tunnel.
    PS I have just written myself a note to remember the blog post for my SAQA donation. So, I must do it tomorrow!

    1. Hi Sandy - my son is fine, it turned out not to be really serious (no injuries). Be careful when tacking - don't tack yourself in! But I know about the pricking...

  2. Summer seems to have left us too. I do like the architectural quality of no. 2 and look forward to seeing how it evolves.

    1. I am still struggling with it and started on the next one first. Will show pictures when I get further along.