Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Especially for the Quilt Police.

For the last 4 days it has rained ( 4" ) and been quite no orchard work, but lots of sewing; cooking; blog reading; foraging and cleaning. Now you don't want to know about the cleaning;  the cooking is more interesting  - the second lot of soup for the chillier weather is on the stove now and the cookies are just done.The soup has an unusual ingredient to see how it goes - Chestnuts.( they are especially plump this year because of all the rain ) R cooked  lamb shanks the other night for dinner and put some chestnuts in that and they were yummy ( like kumera ), so I decided to try some in today's vegetable soup. Which brings me to the foraging. Yes, collecting chestnuts, walnuts; a few mushrooms(  loads of toadstools that would have been nice if they had been mushrooms )(we don't eat them ) and a handful of blackberries I found - enough to stew with one large apple.
      More interesting is the sewing....both sides of my bandanna quilt are finished. Some bandannas are common to both sides so that sort of ties it together. I was freaking out about how I was going to ensure the strips on the back lay perfectly straight and parallel to the outside edge. The top photo shows I made sure the corners were totally square using my 12.5" ruler. Knowing how the backing of a quilt ( well mine anyway ) can get slightly askew when layering all 3 layers ( this doesn't happen if you own a long arm quilter with rollers ) I devised a method to use that I am sure the quilt police would frown upon. I used the idea that is similar in theory to the way the layers are held on a long arm quilter or roller system . I started at one straight edge. I sewed the backing fabric and the quilt top together with a large stitch down the edge thus ensuring that side was totally straight. I then sewed in the batting along the same hem line just a smidgen away from the first row of stitches. I turned the layer through with right sides out, lay it on the floor and proceeded to baste it moving outward from the sewn edge.
 When I had put in sufficient pins to ensure it would hold together I then lifted it onto my big bench and continued to pin and smooth, turn adjust the pins,  turn again etc till I had both sides as flat as straight as I thought they were ever going to be.

The above photo shows where I am at today; the corner of the quilt is flipped over so you can see both front and back and you can see how some fabric is common to both sides. I am about half way with the quilting. it's not very adventurous. Some diagonal lines, some stitching in the ditch and some shadow quilting around some of the shapes. It was really hard to decide what pattern might suit both sides??? ( only one small annoying tuck so far ) Overall I am pleased with my progress. What Binding I will use I don't know. Thinking ,thinking.
I few posts back I said I was trying to get a close photo of the little fantails who were visiting. One decided to be really helpful and come inside to see me. ( no I am not superstitious about that ) . so I shut all the doors to contain it in the big room and he spent some time flitting from light fitting to window sill. My trying to help him out didn't work so I let it be and when I next looked up it was gone out an open ranch slider.

Everyday we are eating huge numbers of feijoas. They also are big and juicy because of lots of rain. Here are the 2 biggest we have ever grown. The one at the front is the winner so far at 175 grams.

 I did managed to find a nut picker upper. Made in USA and someone in the South island is importing them. About $150 NZ plus P and P . I am considering getting one. Thank you for the helpful hint.
 Thank you to those of you who have taken the time to email me about Quilty things ( Exhibitions; Show ; Shops in UK ) I appreciate it.
R has just come home from giving blood ( he has a type they like and need ) It was his 25th donation and came home bearing gifts. A certifcate, a badge, a pen and a lovely red and white umbrella !  Well done!


Jennifer said...

What a cheeky little - I bet he/she enjoyed the indoor adventure! That's a very good idea for keeping a quilt backing straight, I have trouble with that too.

Andrea said...

The quilt is looking great - good idea for the basting. You're nearly there I think. Sadly I was told never to come back when I tried to donate blood. Apparently my veins are inverted and prone to collapse and the lovely ladies at the Blood Service could not get them to co-operate xxx

Meggie said...

I love the resulting quilt you have created. Excellent idea for backing and handling the layers.
I cringed when I read of R giving blood- my veins are very similar to Andrea's and I have trouble even giving a sample.