Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Now, where was I?

Back, at least intermittently from an unintended blogging break.  Sometimes it seems life just takes precedence and everything else needs to give way.   I've been under the weather for a couple months now, nothing major, just nagging issues like the worst spring allergy season in over 40 years, intermittent sciatica, and an annoying carpel tunnel issue, all of which have interfered with getting a good night's sleep that in turn just made everything worse.  But enough of that, this is still a quilting blog after all!

So, when I left you last I had just put the finishing touches on one of the latest Opportunity Quilts of 2017, and now the machine quilting is very nearly finished.

The completed top
Before layering and pinning the quilt, for the first time ever I marked all the stencils onto the alternate blocks and the outer border, and some general guidelines for the setting and corner triangles. I always hated to take the time to premark since I love seeing the quilt begin to assume some loft as soon as that top is placed on the batting and pinning begins. But premarking  sure does save a lot of time in the end, and I'm glad that for once I had the patience to "get 'er done."

Quilting begun.  Amazingly, though it shouldn't have been, those straight lines in the patchwork blocks took a LOT longer to quilt than the stencils in the alternate blocks.  The carpal tunnel issues have meant having to limit machine quilting time each day to just a few hours rather than the extended periods I used to be able to do.  But I'm very thankful that hand quilting does not seem to bother my wrists or hands, and I've been able to hand quilt for an hour or two most evenings - yay!

Simple spineless feathers in the setting triangles.

The outer border stencils are now all quilted, and all that remains when I get back to the machine is to fill in the center 4 inch squares in those patchwork blocks.  I'm planning a simple freehand flower design for those.  Then I'll get the binding on as soon as possible so I can get the entire quilt in a cold water rinse to erase all those blue markings.  They always make me nervous even though I test the fabrics before marking.

Meanwhile the sewing room is dormant this week, all the machines and quilting hoops packed up and put away, as this is the week for company and lots of it.  We had 11 family members and 4 dogs join us over the 4th for an overnighter.  Lots of grandkids and activities!  Thankfully the weather was great and some tented out in the back yard while others chose to sleep inside in the spare bedroom, the sewing room and the living room couch.  Now, a day of R&R for us grandparents before another family group arrives on Friday for a late 4th of July weekend and a grandson's 9th birthday.  A lot of family fun packed into one short week!

I hope to have more to share next week.  But tomorrow we both will be mowing the lawns again before the next batch of rainshowers arrive.  And grocery shopping, and ...   we won't talk about the state of the garden weeds!

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. The quilt top looks very very grand!Good for you to figure out ahead of time what to quilt so then to mark. I would be tempted to leave the center squares as it because they seem to puff out and say see me!
    The family time and arrangements sound fun, hectic, and memorable. Hold those moments close. Wish I could tell you how to improve the carpel tunnel problem but know the pain is enough to keep anyone down. Rest when you can.

  2. I think I could copy and paste that first paragraph for my blog, LOL. We've had company too, but not as many as you have, thank goodness.
    The quilt looks beautiful, the quilting is gorgeous, do you use a pounce to mark your stencils?

  3. We've been hosting a lot of company lately, too, but NEVER 11 at one time!! You have had a houseful!
    Sorry about the health issues. When they bother with your sleep it messes up everything!
    You have done a beautiful job with the quilting. Beautiful feathers and border.
    When I can force myself to mark a top ahead of basting, I am always glad I made the effort--but it is a hard sell up front! : )

  4. I agree, marking ahead is a wonderful thing, but hard to make yourself do it. Your quilt is lovely and the feathers are fabulous. Have fun with your family. It's moments to treasure despite all the work. 😍😍😍

  5. I so agree with the "marking thing". I go back and forth on that subject. In the end, you are so does save time..especially if it's a whole cloth (like the last 2 vintage pieces I've done for a client). Placement of any major designs is so critical, even if the balance of the background is fmq.
    I love what you did with that quilt!!! Glad the carpal tunnel doesn't affect the hand quilting you love so much. I do miss that but hand/finger joints rebel.....sigh............sending very hot drippy hugs...............

  6. Oh this is gorgeous work! :)

    I had carpal tunnel surgery done on one hand years ago....then around 5 years ago I woke up every night with troubles in the other; paced the floor till the tingling went away...but forego going to the doctor. I think it stemmed from my neck or something because after about 6 months it all stopped but I know what you mean ! :

  7. Your quilting is just gorgeous! Sorry to hear you have been feeling under the weather. I hope you can put all of that behind you soon.

  8. Beautiful quilting. I had carpal tunnel surgery in both hands several years ago. Waking up at night with my hands numb was one of the most painful things I've ever experienced. It made me not even want to go to bed. The surgery gave me near instantaneous relief, and I've had no problems since.

  9. Lack of sleep can affect so many areas of life (at least for me): less patience, more pain, etc. I hope you can find something to relieve the pain.

    This quilt is just beautiful. I was drawn to it from another blog because the sashing looked grey -- soft and beautiful. I see now it's green and still soft and beautiful. The quilting is amazing!

  10. you just do such beautiful quilting!! i love it!! what a pretty quilt...
    Sleep issues are always tough to withstand...if I don't get my sleep hours I cannot do anything--nor do I want to even...
    I hope you are feeling better--back issues are not fun..
    I usually ice my back and do my exercises for it every day..if I miss, look out...
    i have hand issues also...some days it's just reading...but that's ok, I love that too..hugs, Julierose

  11. Oh my, this is beautiful! I am drawn to it for two reasons. First, I love scrappy blocks, and second, I love your light blue background fabric. What a fantastic quilt! And your quilting! Gorgeous!


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