Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Quilting Update and a Lecture and Class


I have been working on the block I showed you in this post. To date, I have spent almost 19 hours hand quilting. Take a look at the progress I've made. The first picture is a repeat (just to remind you of the size of these tiny little squares)!

I'm REALLY enjoying this work.

Today, I'm heading to a lecture by Nick DeFord. He is the Program Director for Arrowmont. According to the description of the lecture, it will encompass how he incorporates textile processes in his art making that primarily focus on the linear qualities of thread using it as a drawing medium. He often works with found and familiar objects as he transforms them into otherworldly objects that evoke a sense of displaced history.

Tomorrow, I will be taking a three-hour workshop he is offering. The workshop will explore the use of the stitched line as means of expression and will encourage students to challenge use of materials in their own practice. Students will respond to a variety of objects as they explore how to incorporate needle and thread as a primary tool for expression.

Can I just say, "I'M EXCITED!" My husband and I are heading down to Louisville and are spending the night at the Central Park Bed & Breakfast. It is located close to the University of Louisville campus, which is where the lecture and classes will be. We always enjoy trying out new places to stay.

I'll report back when I get a chance.

Monday, March 28, 2016

A Bit of Extreme Embroidery

My "extreme embroidery" project is an easy one to take with me, and I had the opportunity to work on this piece while on a 10 1/2 hour trip to visit my son and his family.

This is the before. (It is a foot.)

This is the after.

Here is some more stitching. The before...


I know it doesn't look like much, but this little bit of stitching took approximately eight hours! If you know me, though, you know how important hand stitching is to me and how much I love doing it. It makes me happy.


Saturday, March 26, 2016

Some Hand Quilting

I have had a quilt top in my UFO pile for quite awhile and finally decided I should work on it. It is a Block of the Month from the Quilt Show (from years ago). I have always liked it and use it in my lectures to show how I machine applique. I decided it has been a quilt top long enough; it is ready to become a "quilt."

My first step was to have it marked. My friend, Jane, is VERY experienced at marking quilts. I told her what I wanted to do, and she marked it for me. It took her quite a long time. When you see my picture you will understand why.

Here is a picture of a bit of the quilt. You can see the marking in the picture. (My thumb is in the picture so you can see how small the cross hatching actually is--1/4" apart.)

This is one of the blocks. If you look closely, you can see the marking in this picture too.

Next, I needed to have the quilt basted. I am SO over crawling around on the floor to hand baste a big quilt. I don't like to use the spray adhesive to baste a large quilt either. So...I sent it off to a long arm quilter (Lora Nale), and she basted it for me. I've never had this done before, and I'm not sure how I'm going to like it. I didn't realize the basting stitches would be SO long. I find they are catching on things. I'll report back and let you know how it works out.

When the basted quilt was returned to me, it was time to decide on a quilting thread color. I looked on my Superior Threads Treasure Hand Quilting thread sample sheet (whew, that is a mouthful) and found the perfect color for my quilt. I tried to order it online, but the website showed they had none in stock. I made a call to Superior to see if/when it would be back in stock, and I reached Suzanne Harrich. She said, "I'll check to see if there are a few in the warehouse (too few to list online)." She went to check, there were a few, she called me back, and I ordered them. I got them yesterday and am SO pleased with the quality and color of the thread; it is just perfect for this quilt. Suzanne went through a lot of trouble for me--what GREAT customer service! I'm a happy customer.

I started the quilting late last night and ended up quilting three hours. I'm loving how it looks; but at this rate, it will be another one of those "forever" projects.

Do any of you do hand quilting? I just LOVE it--both the doing it and the look of it. There is NO machine that can mimic the beautiful texture of the handmade stitches. I SO enjoy the slow, peaceful, relaxing feel of hand stitching.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

When the Cat's Away the Mice Will Play

My husband left for Vegas today, so I'm playing! The house is a mess--the bar is covered,

and the dining table is covered. Luckily, I won't have to pick all this up until the hubby is on his way home!

I worked on some of my dark 365 Challenge blocks today. I finished the remaining 3 1/2" blocks for February and am part of the way through the March blocks. These little blocks take a bit of time to complete. These are the ones I got done today.

In addition to the 365 Challenge, I'm also participating in a Quilt-Along hosted by Alida (over at Since I last posted, I finished my backgammon board using reverse appliqué. Alida is using a new technique on each of the game boards in her Play With Me Quilt-Along Skill Builder. Check it out here. I think the granddaughters will like the color scheme for this one.

I also finished my Nine Men's Morris game board using paper piecing.

I have had some "down" time due to me being sick, my brother-in-law having an accident, my dad being sick, and a trip to see the grandchildren in Arkansas. I spent almost a week with my sister (a six hour drive) during my brother-in-law's hospitalization, a week and a half being sick after I got back home, and several days making trips to the hospital and my dad's during his illness. The one plus to all this is that I had some time to work on my extreme embroidery during the 10 1/2 hour drive to Arkansas. I'll show you my progress in a day or two.