I’ve almost finished my virus quilt (no name yet) and have moved on to my tablecloth quilt. I received a sweet reminder note from the Houston people that the due date for submissions to the Houston International Quilt Show was just 4 1/2 weeks away. Yikes – I’d better get busy!
But first, my “almost finished” quilt:
I still have some things to do to declare it finished, but it’s not anything that will take a long time. I decided I did not like the faux French Knots at the tips of the Prairie Points (PP). Hand stitching is not an option – no place to hide knots or thread ends. I’ve sent off for some lovely diamond shaped crystals, hedging my bet by ordering both grey and scarlett (think I will like grey). I need to remove the basting stitches and chalk marks as well as attach the central piece permanently. A few of the PP are bit wonky and they will be fixed.
I loved working with screen! I was afraid the entire piece would die on the typical black drape of shows, but I think it looks sophisticated on the black fabric (not a part of the piece, just mimicking what it would look like hanging in a show). It was a journey, with lots of micro-decisions along the way. I’ll be working with screen again. I have some white screen in my stash and I have some great ideas for that.
The fabric was hand painted in my recent class with Betty Busby (color in photo not great). I love that it does not scream “I did this in Betty’s class”. On a whim I brought along some well-aged wool twill from Dharma that I must have purchased 12 years ago. It’s somewhat translucent so I put it atop a gold and cream small houndstooth check, not sure if you can see that.
My idea for the piece was to juxtapose the joy I feel from having time to create, against the horror of the virus. Sandwiched in between the screening material are silk organza squares that have been printed from my photos of flowers in my yard. The weather has been stunning during our lock down and my yard is bursting with beauty. BTW the marks are chalk. The only thing you can mark screen with is chalk.
I wrote down all the little things I need to do to finish the piece since I am going to turn my attention to the tablecloth quilt now. I don’t want to forget what I need to do! I wish I had thought to do this on other projects, I am feeling quite brilliant. Hey, the bar is low these days!
On to the tablecloth quilt:
That right there is a problem. Those are not 2020 colors. There are no threads that color. There is no rickrack in those colors, There are no new buttons in those colors. And there are only 2 colors.
This is as close as I could get with my thread colors. I have color cards for most of the threads I use and this is about as good as it gets. Note that I am hiding my nails because I am in desperate need of a manicure!
This rickrack is as close as I’m going to get in color, so I need to add another color in the pink range to cause the eye to blend the two colors into that 1950’s color you see above. That means I will need to do those faux French Knots on 16 yards of polyester rickrack! The stitching is by machine, but each one has to be hand-set into place. I’ve had lots of trouble pushing 12 weight thread into polyester rickrack. I’ve probably worked at least 8 hours trying for the right combo of needle, tension, tricks and curse words. I think I’ve got it.
I’m a counter. I’ll need a total of around 1,224 of those faux French Knots. That is going to take awhile. Working with rickrack is very difficult as there is just not enough space to hold it securely under the presser foot. Neither hooping or stabilizers was an option.
One thing that did help was going down to my BERNINA 535, a 5.5mm machine. Up until that time I’d been on my beloved 764, a 9mm machine. The hole for the zigzag was too big and kept sucking in the rickrack. Ugh! It’s much better on the 5.5 535. Love me my BERNINA’s!
I was supposed to be studying with Jane Sassaman at Empty Spools this week, sniff, sniff. If you are familiar with Jane’s work you’ll recall that she works with precision and great detail. I am channeling my inner Jane as I proceed with this tedious work. That rickrack is gonna take me awhile.
I did say that it’s been beautiful. Here are two vignettes from the last week:
I’ve been walking a ridiculous amount every day, long before the birds are up. Sometimes I walk in the evenings also, like here when I caught a peek of a glorious sunset.
Lily-of-the-Valley always reminds me of my Mom. I still miss her. This little patch is right next to my front door, flooding the area with their perfume. It is glorious.
I’ll be sharing this with Nina Marie’s Off the Wall Friday.