Tuesday, January 20, 2009

New Beginnings

Today is a big day for my US friends and for the world as well. Barack Obama is being inaugurated today. I plan to spend that time quilting on my charm quilt and listening to/watching coverage. I have been an event "junkie" since I was young - one of the boomers who has lived the important events on radio and tv. Since I am home, there is no way I was going to miss this one. There was a lot of coverage on both tv and computer, so I brought the laptop into the living room so I could see different coverage of the event. I have only 1 channel I can get right now since I don't have cable or satellite tv - just my rabbit ears.
I also decided that I could probably get a decent amount of handquilting in as well. My new mantra is that "if the tv is on, I will be handquilting". At least in the living room. I started quilting on the charm quilt yesterday but did not post photos.

Charm quilt in the Hinterberg Floor Frame, tilted to show the intial starting area

It's been quite awhile since I've quilted on a floor frame, and it took a few tripsto the studio to accumulate the things you use while you are hand quilting. I started out learning to quilt as a traditional quilter and have spent lots of time quilting with others around a quilt frame. I don't do a lot of bed quilts, I never have. I have always been able to do fine stitching and was known for it. I plan to quilt this quilt (mine) plus one each for my daughter and one for my son - full size quilts.

L to R: beeswax to use on quilting thread, non-sharp pointed scissors, 1/4 " tape, quilting thread (from my past) and size 12 betweens - my choice of quilting needles

After a lot of thought, I decided to quilt my charm quilt with white quilting thread since that's what we mostly used when I was beginning quilting. I also have several spools of the white quilting thread I used to use back then. My quilt back is a blue and white print, so the white quilting design will let me reverse the quilt from the charm quilt front ot a quilted design blue and white comforter type one - in theory anyway.

You will also notice the uneven edges.......the bottom and top are nicer diamond edges....... I have figured out that I need to fill in the pointier edges along this side and it's opposite. I plan to turn the edges under and bind or just stitch them shut to keep the integrity of the diamond shape template and be "true" to having the one template. Trimming the edges to make a square edge would mean that there is more than one shape in the quilt.

showing the individual block with 1/4" tape marking and beginning to stitch

One of my other major decisions I thought about on and off through the years was how I was going to quilt the charm quilt. Due to the random assembly of the blocks dark medium and light elements, there is no distinct pattern that emerges. Instead, a variety of patterns emerge as you look at different spots on the quilt. I like this aspect of my quilt and didn't want to hinder it. So I finally decided just to quilt 1/4" inside each piece. I will be interested to see what the design looks like on the back. The quilting will be more visible on the dark and more brightly coloured blocks.

Stanza thinks the new quiltframe makes a great perch for looking out the window

Since I am a big meanie and don't want tufts of cat fur on my quilt, I make stanza get off the quilt when I'm working on it. She soon decides that there are other places a kitty can nap. I keep the quilt covered with a flannel sheet when I'm not working on it for two reasons:

1) the window faces east and I dont' want the fabrics to fade - I like to quilt in the natural light in the afternoon

2) it keeps kitty "stuff" off my quilt.

Stanza napping on the Ottoman - she adopted this as her own after we moved into apt

The ottoman was left in the apt when we moved in - it makes a good coffee table with a shelf on it for a hard surface; is a great foot rest when sitting on the couch but it's primary purpose seems to be to serve as Stanza's own private comfort zone!

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