Friday, July 28, 2017

Nearly No Quilting

Dear readers, thank you for your comments on my last post.  My daughters, grandchildren, and daughter's kittens have been visiting for the past week so my attention has been focused on them instead of creative activities.  I will respond to your posts tonight or tomorrow.

The little quilting I accomplished was stitching around 32 circles.  I was certain I wanted the circles "outlined" but now I'm not sure how to quilt the rest of the blocks. 


Concentric circles in the squares with circles?  But what about the plain blocks?  Or diagonal quilting through all the blocks?  Quilting along either side of and lengthwise through the sashing?  Through the center of each piece of fabric?  Or....?  I love Baptist Fans but there are just so many seams.  I used to think the quilting just held the layers together but now I realize how much it can change the character of a quit.  I want to choose a quilting pattern (or non-pattern) that will enhance this quilt.  I just don't know what it is.

I'm quilting with Americana thread, making larger than usual stitches (those seams!) but not "big stitch" stitches.  The thread was on sale at JoAnn for either $1.00 per spool or two spools for $1.00.  I can't remember which.

I like it a lot, especially compared to quilting with three strands of embroidery floss.  It pulls through so easily and doesn't knot.  Perhaps it's not the best quality thread but it was available.

These are the kittens we've been tending: Lady Jane Grey and Jack Black.  Our daughter brought them for a visit early in the month and, because she had to go home to work seven 12-hour days in a row, asked if they could stay so they'd have company and human interaction.  I like cats but don't love cats the way some people do but I couldn't say no.  They are cute.


They weren't much trouble because they spent their nights and some of each day in our breezeway, though it was a surprise to go out one morning to greet them and find one on top of our 36" grapevine wreath and one nestled into its lower curve.  And I believe they may have tested the patience of our Airedale, Hannah.  They went home with our daughter yesterday.

The ages of our grands are 5, 3½, and 1½.  How fun to see their shoes all lined up after a bath.


All seven of us went to our state fair on Wednesday.  The weather was great -- no rain, low humidity, and not too hot.  I had forgotten how different and fun it is to go to a fair with children.  They're interested in almost everything and want to ask questions, see what's going on, and participate if there's an opportunity.

This is our little 3½-year-old granddaughter.  Before the fair I found a little pioneer-style bonnet at the thrift store.  To that she added the free sunglasses and a cooling cloth draped around her shoulders.  She reminded me of a little grandmother.  And I was thrilled to see that vanity has not yet taken hold.  No worries about appearance for her!

We've had days of rain -- leaden skies, drenched-to-the-bone, need-a-light-on-at-mid-morning rain.  It's beautiful -- I love rainy days -- but they make it hard to choose colors and fabrics for quilts and blocks.


Of course the rain helps the flowers and other plants.  We saw this beautiful garden of zinnias in bloom in front of a home near the farmer's market.  I'm not a gardener but if I were I'd plant zinnias.














Now that our daughters and grands are gone and I have time to quilt, I hope I can quickly decide how to quilt the empty space around the circles in the quilt at the top of this post!

I'm linking this post to Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts.  Thanks for hosting, Myra.

--Nancy.

12 comments:

  1. What a lovely quilt you are working on!
    I like that quilting thread too!

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    1. Thank you, Kathy. It was hard to know how much thread to buy. I thought five spools should do it but I think I'll have some leftover. I guess that's good, since I like it so well.

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  2. I adore that quilt and love the idea of concentric circles in the circle blocks. Maybe squares equidistant to the concentric circles in your square blocks? Adorable grandchild and I live the shoe pic. The zinnias are gorgeous . For some reason I don't have much luck with them.

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    1. Thank you, Jennie. Martha of Q is for Quilter blog copied my photo and added lines of concentric circles to show what it might look like. I think all the seams intimidate me. I tell myself I can choose larger stitches but still haven't pushed myself to make a decision, though I think I might go with the concentric circles, especially since I haven't come up with a better idea.

      I thought zinnias were easy to grow but maybe not. It doesn't matter. My skin has allergies to so many plants that I rarely go near gardens outside. Unfortunately, we're growing weed patches this year since my husband can't work outside until his foot heals and I don't. He'll have lots and lots of work to do when he can finally get out there.

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  3. Hmmm, I like the idea of quilting circles within the circle and diagonal lines behind the circle within the square. The sashing just needs a straight line through the center. Simple is good in a busy quilt don't you think? Have you done any research on your thread? Some threads can break fabric. Thanks for sharing your lovely photos.

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    1. Hi, Gypsy. Yes, I think simple is good for such a busy quilt. And I like your idea of diagonal lines behind the circles. I'll have to play around a bit tomorrow and then I hope to make a decision so I can continue quilting.

      I searched a bit for information about Americana thread but mostly found people trying to find more of it. I had no idea threads can break fabric. Wow! I used this kind of thread on one early quilt and haven't had problem with it, but that hasn't been too many years ago to guess at how it will last over decades. I'll try to find out more about the thread tomorrow.

      Thanks!

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  4. I was thinking maybe straight lines out from the circle - like sun rays - don't have to be evenly spaced, or all the same length even. That can work in the non-circle squares, too. I tried to look up Q is for Quilter blog, but I couldn't find the right one.

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    1. Thank you for the suggestion, Susan. Your idea is one I hadn't thought of. I hope to play around tomorrow and "envision" the possibilities again so I can make a decision soon.

      Here's the link to Q is for Quilter where she posted a quilt with circle quilting: http://qisforquilter.com/2015/10/antique-circle-quilt/.

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  5. Love your grand daughter's socks too. The picture of the kittens is adorable! Can you tell I'm a cat lover :). Sounds like you have had a busy schedule. Enjoy your quilting time.

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    1. It's hard to tell from the photo, Robin, but I think her socks are white with debris stuck to them. Not long before this photo we'd been to the natural parks area of the fair. She is certainly a character sometimes.

      Yes, those kittens are cute. They are into and on to everything, though.

      I've been enjoying the hand stitching time. I'm finishing a binding first then will continue the hand quilting.

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  6. I'm always stumped too when it comes to how to quilt the quilt--so stressful! Whatever you do, it will be beautiful. I wouldn't have been able to turn away those sweet kitties either!

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    1. It certainly slows the progress of a quilt if I wait for inspiration about how to hand quilt it, Karen. My daughter's not sure she wants to keep the kittens -- they are into everything -- and asked if we want them. Uh, no thanks, not long term. It's been a long, long time since I've had a kitten and the ones I had were not as young as these.

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I appreciate your comments and look forward to reading what you have to say. Thanks for stopping by.

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