Looking back through the blog it seems to be six years since I cleared out the front bedroom so I shouldn’t be surprised that it took me so long to get down to floor level this time. It’s done now (hopefully for another six years), I can get in there to sew and I even dug some yarn out to make a warp. I’ve now got a queue of things to quilt – there is the tree skirt I made recently, the cabin in the woods wall hanging, the tree skirt I found in the wardrobe last week and a quilt made of trees. There is a certain tree theme here, it’s not intentional but just the way it worked out.
I knew this was in the wardrobe, it’s been in there for decades. I won the tree blocks back in the early days of the internet, they were paper pieced so I had hopes of them all being the same size but it was not to be. They were supposed to be 8″ finished but there were multiple makers and slightly different sizes and they were not going to play well together. I framed the trees with the light brown fabrics and squared it up as I went along making it less noticeable that some of the trees are significantly larger than others. Phase one of quilting was along the blue lines of the sashing, I had a long repeating leaf and vine motif running from one side of the quilt to the other and a shorter repeat in between. It’s more visible on the back, you can see the way that the leaves are currently framing a square of empty space. At that point my bright ideas stopped and the whole thing went into the wardrobe for a decade or so. When it came out of hiding for phase two of quilting I used some of the leaves to fill in all the triangles around the outside of the quilt and I bound the edges. That left me with the trees themselves and I was stumped. I tried a few things such as echo quilting the tree shape and a circular wreath of leaves but I couldn’t come up with anything I liked the look of so it went back into the wardrobe again.
Inspiration struck last week while I was making the bed, it’s been warm and we’re sleeping under a quilt that I finished in 1996. I looked at the quilting design in the corner block which has no resemblance to the tree quilt other than it is square but instantly I could see how I could fill those empty tree blocks. I drafted the pattern and then later that day I moved the sewing machine cabinet and found the pattern I’d used for quilting the sashing back in the 1990′s. I’m tracing the pattern, sewing through it and adding the wandering vine around the outside as I go depending on how much empty space I have. It’s going well so far, one block takes me about ten minutes but I’ve had enough after three of them. I’m hoping that by the time I’m done I will have recovered my machine quilting skills or at least clawed some of them back.
This has been my take along knitting project for a while, it’s been to music lessons, Saturday morning music centre, anywhere where I need to sit about. It started out as a skein of white yak/silk that I spun sometime in the past, the label said that there were 420 yards but it didn’t give a clue as to the date. I think it’s probably this one from 2012 that I spun as an attempt to forget all about junior’s audition. I dyed it a while ago but then couldn’t find the right project. In the end I grew tired of looking at it and decided that what it really wanted to be was finished. It is now a cowl, it comes to waist depth on me and will make a soft and warm Christmas present for someone. I will block it properly before I wrap it, it will get wires and steam to make the points pointy, I just soaked it and laid it flat to dry in an attempt to move it from the coffee table into the present cupboard.
My evening job this week is making more hankies for Christmas, he’ll get half now and half wrapped up later. The blue elephants were considerably cheaper than the yellow ones for reasons that are not at all clear to me. I would expect yellow to be discounted because it’s never a popular colour but the blue was less than half the price of the yellow. I bought a metre and it will make a dozen hankies. Sewing them is very relaxing, right up until the moment when the thread gets tangled after which it’s not relaxing at all. My other evening project has been, as always, socks but that has been derailed as I’ve reached the toe and despite counting, checking and counting again they don’t look long enough. I tried them on and they’re too big for me but not enough “too big” for me to be happy about knitting a second toe. The feet don’t return home until Saturday so until then the socks are on hold.
If I manage to quilt four blocks a day then there should be a finished quilt to show next time, I’m confident now that its future is on a bed rather than in a wardrobe and that it will be finished this time rather than stuffed away for another ten years.