Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Rhubarb and Stitches

I am feeling somewhat better.... enough to do a little work on the big machine. I put a quilt up a few days ago and walked away to bed. Then I would wander back in to check email, I'd stop and look at it for inspiration.

This usually works for me. When I am working on a quilt, I have an idea of what I'd like to see in the negative spaces (always my challenge spots) but by the time they get on the frame, those thoughts are well gone. This one was no different.

One of the things I wanted this modified long-arm for was to free up my limited access to width that quilting on a sewing machine offered and I have been practicing now for several years. I think I am better than ok but not great and especially not at coming up with my own patterning. I go to Leah Day for ideas and springboard from her. She has great ideas and instructional DVDs for those of you who want to free-motion quilt with a sewing machine. She's a master.

So I thought I'd use this quilt to be my first Do It Meself design and not fall back on my usual scrolls and vines and hearts. I wanted the recurring Churn Dash blocks to really stand out without outlining them (my usual) so I stitched tiny flames I call quicksilver. That worked nicely...

The quilt is made up of the Fours Seasons around a center square so each season will be unique. I am thinking of imagery from that time of year and as we are deep in the arms of winter now and it is blustery up here, I thought I'd go with long waving lines to depict wind or fallow fields. That opening is approximately 18" wide. Summer is on the opposite side and will have sunflowers everywhere. Spring is rolled up on the bar and has curling growth branches and leaves. Fall is still below and will have fallen, blowing leaves.

Now, something else I'd like to mention is LK told me about something she learned from Mona Jones and Deb Covington: don't attach the topquilt to the leader; allow it to hang over the bar and drop along with the excess batting. Then stitch the quilt top across the top (I already figured this out long ago) and THEN secure the edges as you go along. That keeps the top taut enough for the frame.

Now, I saw Deb do this years ago and thought that's not for me... but when I loaded this top on, I thought I'd at least give it a try. It works. Whaddaya know........ who says I can't learn a new trick at the ripe old age of 51?

And because NPR says it the thing this year, I made a pie. Rhubarb Strawberry, fresh outta de oven, berling hot fillin'. I present: pie.