Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Being Busy Busy

Three bloggers have e-mailed me to see if I'm still alive - yeppers! Just sewing a lot, and then 'life' kinda kicked in for a while.


I've been working along on this interesting pattern (above) and have made about half of the required blocks for a lap quilt. As the pattern suggested, putting a little yo-yo in the center where the 'flowers' meet seems like a good idea. I've pressed the blocks with a bit of starch to tidy them up. My 'real' colors are more subtle than this photo.

My sewing has included a lot of hand quilting, and I have a very sore thumb. It's not sore from hand quilting - it's dry and cracked from handling fabric, and I cannot even pick up my pins! Poor me. 8-(

I'm making good progress with hand quilting my Easy Peasy Scrappy Spool Quilt (whew!, what a name!). The entire center is quilted, the triangle setting triangles are done with hearts, and most of the first border is done with "egg and dart" pattern, and about one side of the squares-on-point are quilted. My hand quilting is nothing to write home about, just routine and utilitarian on this quilt, about 6 stitches to the inch, but the process is restful and keeps me from getting impatient with DH during episodes of remote-control-clickamania.


And look at the backing! Isn't it just perfect?


These are my hand quilting needles - the best I've ever used. Before finding these, I was sold on English needles, named something like James, but they bent right away. These Japanese needles are VERY sharp, and they do NOT bend. They DO break, but I've only used ONE NEEDLE on this Spool Quilt. A previous quilt required about 8 needles as they broke, but the package is not expensive. I use size 8 or 9. There are so many variances with hand quilting; fabric, needle size, thread, batting, my own attitude, humidity, and most of all, patience and determination. I lapse on the last two requirements.

22 comments:

quiltmom said...

Hi Elaine,
I loved the new quilt that you are making- it looks like it is quite challenging piecing- I am guessing that it is template work and not paper pieced- what ever method you are using -it is going to be a very lovely quilt. Does the block have a special name?
I will look forward to seeing the finished product.
Regards from a Western Canadian Quilter,
Anna

kjquilts said...

Your new quilt looks very interesting. Where did you find the inspiration for it?

The backing is perfect for your spools quilt!

Thanks for the tip on the needles, too.

Jessica said...

Elaine,
I LOVE the new blocks! I've had to force my car *away* from teh quilt shop these last few weeks because I know I'll go in and buy those templates and I already have enough projects going!!!! I can't wait to see the finished quilt.
Jessica in Poulsbo

jane said...

These have had a good rap over here in Oz and a lot of folk like them. Have not hand quilted for ages, in fact have not quilted much for ages but actually have the machine off its sewing table onto the dining room table to give more room to swing the cat. Poor Moggie, has been shut up while we try to get grey water from the washing machine onto the desert outside. 3 years ago it was an oasis.......sobs.

May Britt said...

The quilt you are making now is going to be beautiful. Love the pattern. And your colourchoice is great.

paula, the quilter said...

We out here in the west have to suffer through very low humidity that others sometimes can't even dream about. My thumbs crack too. Usually on each side of the nail, one after the other. I have found that clipping the area with nail clippers to remove the obvious and then using a triple antibiotic ointment and a tight band-aid will really speed the healing process. It will usually take a day or two before it isn't so painful. HTH.

Owens Family Adventures said...

HI! Glad to see you're still with us! I love the new quilt you're making. I've never seen that pattern and can't wait to see it when it's all done. Take care!!
dawn

Julie said...

Whew, I was starting to worry about you, but now I see you've been creating up a storm. What a Springy (and complicated) quilt you have there. Really lovely. Boy, I can sure sympathise with the sore fingers. I've been washing & refolding all my ancient stash. Dry weather out west & my hands are like sandpaper.

Glad you are safe & sound.

SDQuilter said...

I am enthralled with your blocks! Just beautiful! I think I need to add those templates to my stash of notions. I am also a hand quilter and when my finger and thumb get sore for whichever reason, I apply Bag Balm in the green can at night when I go to bed and cover it with a bandaid. It is almost good as new in the morning. I discovered that tip when I had goats and used it on their utters.

Exuberant Color said...

I think I saw that template set somewhere and didn't realize what a beautiful block it makes.

Joyce said...

Love your new quilt. Beautiful color choice too. Maybe new needles would get me back to my hand quilting. I haven't touched it for ages.

Purple Pam said...

This quilt is so lovely. You are doing a great job. Hope the fingers heal soon. Keep up the good work.

Sharon said...

Wow, you're moving right along on the quilt - well, actually both of them! You've done a lot of piecing. And the hand quilting looks gorgeous! I love your backing fabric - just right! I sympathize with the cracked fingers. Both DH and I get it quite often. Fabric AND clay can both have that effect on the skin. Hope it heals soon.

Lynne in Hawaii said...

Love the new quilt blocks. And the backing for the spools quilt is too perfect! Awesome!

Marilyn said...

I saw that pattern at the Dallas Quilt Show and I think it is very pretty. Those templates are pretty fantastic! Great job, Elaine.

YankeeQuilter said...

Love the backing fabric. Thanks for the tip on the needles. I bend/break mine a lot too...I also bend my applique needles way to fast!

Sio

Finn said...

Hi Elaine, glad to see you 'surface' again. You're keeping very busy these days!
Love the new work in progress, quite unique and very springy!
Love that you are hand quilting the spools, it is very soothing to run those lines of stitches. The ones who haven't tried it just don't know...LOL
The backing is just perfect, and I'm so sorry about your sore fingers...maybe callus will form soon. Hugs, Finn

Valerie said...

I just love your quilt. Thanks for sharing. I will be back to visit soon.

meggie said...

You have been very productive!
I understand completely about these spasms of clickamania these men get! What is it with them???
I get moaned at for not spending time with him, then when I do, he is fidgety the whole time, trying to restrain himself from watching 3 programmes at once! I tell him it is better if I am not there, he can get as frenzied as he likes!

The Calico Quilter said...

Well, this is why blogs are dangerous! I have looked at your curved quilt blocks several times, trying to make up my mind, and now I HAVE to have those templates! That is a lovely pattern, so different, and it has captured me. While I don't know when I will ever have time, it has to be done!

Nettie said...

Your Star STruck quilt is my favorite of the ones I've seen. So crisp and elegant and i love how the pieced inner border gives it just that tiny bit of punch.

Anonymous said...

Elaine...Big"E":
Looked at your work...Superb Your attitude shows through and your artistic side is limitless.

Anonymous from CA