As I sit and stare out the window, wondering how to begin this week’s post, I see that the jasmine creeper is in bud. The first sign in this part of the world that spring is on the way. This harbinger of seasonal change and new growth echoes the powerful image of a flower growing from blackened ashes that I have just seen in a well-considered post about the looting and rioting in parts of South Africa.
The country is reeling and I don’t know what to say. Or what to do. So I continue to stitch. It seems crass to write about my quilting projects. The other option is to forego my weekly routine of posting something from my sewing space. To be honest, I am glad that I had a project to finish and something to take my mind off the terrifying news broadcasts.
If it looks familiar it is because I have been posting progress photographs of my participation in the Bernina round robin challenge, called Quilt for All. The sixth and final challenge was to machine quilt the piece. The rules forbade edge to edge quilting and so I could not use my preferred method of lines of machine quilting with the walking foot. I am not brave enough to free motion a piece as large as this, so what was a girl to do?
First I pinned the three layers and then tension quilted the piece by hand, by stitching it in the ditch. And then I began at the edge of the central block and machine quilted it in square rounds (if you know what I mean), using the quarter inch mark on the walking foot as a guide to stitch evenly spaced lines. For a bit of variation in the central border, I set my machine to the wavy zig zag stitch (with the length at 2 and the width at 4) and continued going around stitching in a straight line and getting a wavy effect (if you know what I mean!).
Here are some progress shots.
Once again I was pleasantly surprised at how the walking foot gracefully smooths out the undulations in the fabric. The flying geese in the final border were very wavy and so, while I was hand-quilt-tacking the work, I added a few discreet tucks to get rid of the worst of the waves. Even so, the piece does not hang perfectly flat now that it is finished. Do others also have this problem with machine quilted pieces? In my humble opinion, hand quilting is gentler on the eye and the finished effect.
Shall I show you the back? Why not, seeing as I took a photograph of it.
I bound the quilt in the same green fabric that was used as a background for the bright flowers.
Hand stitching hexagons is also a good calming activity. One of my kind quilting friends gave me the kit to make this sweet hexie pouch. It measures about 4 inches by 4 inches. I am busy making a second pouch, this time with silk thread so that my stitching won’t show.