This week I concluded, there is hope that I can finish this quilt in time to be able to submit to the Houston show. Hope, not a slam dunk, hope. I micro-stippled for days-on-end this week. And buried another 1.5 million knots.
And just to switch tedious tasks, I finished embellishing 20 feet of rick-rack:
That right there is 750 faux French Knots by machine. It took oodles of hours to figure out the right formula to make this happen. Pounding 12 wt cotton thread through polyester rick-rack, deliberately piling up the thread was fraught with peril.
The final formula, after much experimentation and failure:
12 wt Aurifil Cotton on top
Quilters Select Perfect Cotton Plus (60 wt cotton with poly core) in the bobbin
Superior Topstitch Titanium Coated needle, size 100/14
5.5mm stitch plate (even though I have a 9mm machine)
Plain ‘ole #1 5.5mm BERNINA foot
Top tension at 2
Stitch width at 5.0mm
I chose to use the 12 wt thread because I wanted the knots to be beefy, a statement. The reason I needed the knots: the rick-rack is a bit too blue and the knots cause the eye to blend the colors in the direction I wanted. Because there are only two colors in this quilt, the blue-ish purple looked out of place next to the faded vintage tablecloth. It took forever to figure out the list of requirements to make those knots work. Otherwise, there was a huge mess of top thread on the bobbin side.
The rick-rack will probably be the very last thing to be added to this quilt. There is no way to sew it on due to the profound lumps of the faux French Knots, so I will glue it on once everything has been quilted.
I auditioned quite a few designs for the oddly shaped white blank sections and settled on off-kilter daisies with micro-stippling in-between:
I’m very happy with that design.
So I turned my attention to the border and auditioned some ideas:
You can see that the clamshells in the white part were a bust. I LOVE that grid work I have sketched for the border! But, the central part of the quilt is very densely quilted. Having a loose grid like that in the border is a formula for a wavy edge. It may need something more dense. I’ve got some ideas that I will work up this week. I do need something linear out there somehow.
It was an odd Mother’s Day. My son sent a lovely Peony bouquet and this was the most perfect peony I think I have ever seen:
I did take some time away from the machine and took a hike to Beale Falls, right next to Beale Air Force Base. We got it in our heads that we could cut right through the AFB, saving quite a bit of time. Not! Of course you can’t just cut across an AFB in the middle of a pandemic, duh!
We stopped on the way in to show ID and they had us pull over while they ran a full background check (15 minutes!) before turning us around. We surmised that they probably had to completely disinfect everything after we left, making us feel pretty foolish about trying to take a short cut.
It was beautiful, a mix of shade and open fields:
That led to a lovely waterfall area:
Visitors were politely social-distanced. We met this little guy close up, figured frogs did not need to social distance:
He totally looked like a leaf! And the day ended with a lovely sunset, as nice of a Mother’s Day as could be expected.
Maybe next week I will be close to finishing this quilt. Oh that would be so nice! I have done nothing but make masks and quilt since the lockdown began. It really has been nice to have this block of time to quilt, despite the circumstances. I needed down-time. The few remaining events that remained in June are slowly dropping off. Both Long Beach in July and Houston in October are a go as of this date.
I’ll link up with Nina-Marie’s Off the Wall Friday. I always enjoy perusing the links.