I was in a quilting mood again this weekend. I got a good bit done on the hand quilting project, but not enough to brag about. I did make good progress on the arc quilt. I almost filled a corner. For as little space as I covered, it sure took a long time. I drew the circle filled with circles a few weeks ago and had put a few of them into the corners. Two diagonally opposite corners will each have one of those and the other two diagonal corners will each have two. Then, the background filled with filler. I knew sort of what I had in mind, but not specifically, so I sat down with a good book (Stitching Pathways
by Wendy Sheppard.). I picked a couple things I liked and got inspired by some of her work combining shapes to fill a background and this is what I came up with. The corners are more work than I can do in a day, and I knew I had to do enough of it to build some muscle memory so I'd be able to do the same thing after stepping away from it for a bit. But, even so, I'll push through these corners as quick as I can. I learned this several years ago that I started, walked away from, and when I came back, I couldn't re-create the original filler. I got done and looked back and there was a line where you could see one fill pattern and on the other side, another. If I remember right, I picked the first part out to make it look like the second. Lots of unnecessary work.
I've still got that little bit under the circles and a little around the edges. Near the edge, there's a line of quilting. This is temporary. I find that when I fill my quilts with small filler, I have to start at the center and work my way out. If I don't, I end up with a puff of fabric along the line where fill meets other work. That puff will end up looking like a pucker, and maybe even create one on the back. To combat that, I'll put in a marking line on the outermost edge and quilt up to it, then pick that line out and continue quilting to the edge.
Suzanne asked about burying knots last week. I do bury all my knots. Once in a while, I'll have a day where all the quilting I do is burying knots. First, I try not to create any more knots than I have to. Looking at an intersection on the arc quilt, you'll see that I put in 7 lines of echo quilting. If I stopped and started at each end, that would be 14 knots. To avoid that, I'll quilt up to the "turn", travel along the existing line, and then quilt backward to create the second line. The edge line I was working on here is one echo past the string of pearls. I would quilt to that line, move right a quarter-ish inch, then go backward. Quilting by pulling the fabric toward you takes some practice. But, if you spend the time learning it, it can be a real timesaver in a lot of situations.
Up this close, you can see some errors in the pearls and the echo. My thoughts on that are if you can see that, then it means I haven't put enough quilting in the quilt yet. Most errors will not be seen by the average viewer if you overwhelm them with other quilting. Even judges forgive mistakes if there's enough good quilting to hide it.
To bury my knots, I tie a simple knot in the thread and use the point of the needle to slide that knot down to within a quarter inch of where the thread comes out of the fabric, then I load it into a self threading needle and pull it through. I use 100wt silk thread on most of my quilts. Because it's so fine, you can't see where I travel over a line, but don't travel over the same spot more than once or it will start to show because each time over the same spot builds thread weight. The heavier it is, the easier it is to see.
With the hundred weight in the top and 50 weight in the bottom, I have to tie two knots that end up in the same space to create a knot that is big enough to stay tucked under the top fabric. If there's a stop and start in the same place, I can tie all four threads into one simple knot and bury it. I insert the need into the quilt sandwich, travel under the quilt top for a quarter to a half inch, then pull the thread taut and pop the knot under the top layer of fabric. Then, I can cut the tail where the needle came out and the thread tail is buried forever. It can be hard to get the knot to pop under, especially in a pieced seam intersection, but I find that my thumbnail right up against the knot where it's going into the fabric does the trick. I don't know why, but it has something to do with the tension created by the thumbnail.
Once the corners are filled, I'll put in the same echo work that I did around the arcs, all the way to the beginning of the border, then I'll quilt all the lines of those little narrow points to finish the border. Definitely a black binding. I'm looking forward to that. I think I started this quilt in 2018 and I will be glad to see it done. It's not my style and I did it because I thought it would do well in shows. That's not why I quilt, and I learned that for me, my quilting has to be what I enjoy, or finishing it ends up feeling like a chore, not a joy. It's lovely. It will likely compete well. But, I'm ready for something else. A pattern less "rigid". Something done, just to enjoy.
A little yellow and purple combo in the garden. Not planned, just a happy coincidence that they were both blooming so well together.
And, a green zinnia. I planted a whole packet of seed last year and this is the only one that I've seen come up and bloom. Of course, green isn't what I need more of, but it's still a fun and unusual flower, and I enjoy that.
I've started digging things up to get ready for the new fence in a few weeks. These elephant ears were in my shadiest spot and thrived for years. The freeze took out all but these two and their spot became sunny when we cut back trees last year, so they were an easy choice to dig up and pot for the duration. And, now they're in some shade, they're recovering nicely.
And, the last pic is something to make your mouth water. Yesterday, I made a banana pudding. And, yes, it was as delicious as it looks. Mmmmm. This will not do my diet any good.
Everybody have a great week. Find something you enjoy and enjoy it. Make time for yourself.