Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Here, There, and a Chair

Well as Spring approaches... fingers crossed, life seems to be making a more than impressive effort to butt into my quilting time.  Things like a WHOLE week off school for my 6 and 7 year old, who of which when locked inside a 800 square foot house can't help but be most annoyingly in my way... err, I mean preciously underfoot (smack self in head).  Although I'm not much helping the situation by taking over the kitchen... the entire kitchen, floor.  With the all important step of basting my quilt.  Unfortunately this is also the only route to the bathroom. 
On another note my eldest daughter lost a tube out of one of her ears and has unexplained hearing loss in her 'good' ear.  So off we go spending a ton of time,effort, and money traveling to and from Saskatoon for specialist appointments.  But luckily we go for surgery next week.  It's a small price to pay for a problem that honestly is not the end of the world, and I'm thankful for my children being  healthy (doesn't mean I can't make light of the situation and let you know how much I enjoy grumpy kids who are always `starving` and have to pee constantly, on a snow filled road trip... Through scenery central).  

There is a bright side to travel.  Any quilter who lives in a small town can appreciate the ensuing bribery that allows for a 'quick' stop into a couple fabric meccas!  

Anyhow obviously I have been working on my Astrology Quilt, there are 12 squares and using trapunto in the center of every square is a symbol of each of the Zodiac signs... I suppose I should call it a Zodiac Quilt eh?  Anyhow I followed the method presented by Leah Day (click here), using water soluble thread around a marked outline, and clipping away excess batting.  Leaving myself with this...  
 In hindsight I should have used a better quality/loft batting, but since I'm testing the technique for a  future project I'm happy with what I've got.  I really love machine quilting, and I believe I'm getting better at it (honestly there is just no getting worse at a skill like this).  But I'm afraid I'm stuck in old basting habits.  I know that pin-mors are all the rage but I find I'm always bundling up my quilts for one reason or another and I'm pretty well invested in safety pins at this point.  I'm sure I will go over to the other side one day, but not today.  My favorite tool for such an intense job as basting is obviously this little do-hickey.
The Do-Hickey
The Alternate Do-Hickey when the first one goes missing

Here is a photo of the water soluble thread (white with the permanent stitching on top (well almost on top :).  You just can't use trapunto on a quilt without some pebbling... right. Plus it seems to be one of those elite quilting designs that both looks and actually is difficult to achieve.  So, presenting my first attempt at pebbles... filling the complete center of each square, around the little swirls, in every nook and cranny... COMING OUT MY WAZOO! I'm pretty good a pebbles now. 

Anyhow the quilt isn't done, because other things have been coming up (as previously mentioned  I'm actually surprised I got this post done).  One of those lovely things was my visiting In-Laws.  I'm doing many quilty things in preparation of tackling a fairly ambitious project I have planned for my In-Laws, but nothing compared to what my Mother-In-Law has done for me.  

This chair is something that I claimed from my grandparents house, many years ago when they got new furniture.  This chair has been very special to me not only because it belonged to my grandparents who have taught me so many things (including love, adventure, youth, and a sense of self worth), but also because this is where I used to hide my beer and write depressing poetry in my youth.   My Mother-In-Law refinished this chair with her own two hands.  Discovering during that process the history of the chair written on the frame.  

Purchased at auction by my great grandparents in approx 1945 (original filling horsehair, rags, batting), reupholstered by my grandmothers friends in 1983, and again in August 2012 for me by my Mother-In-Law.  I love you Sandy, thank you. 
Me in my chair... It`s going to look good in my studio
Linking up to share with the Needle and Thread Network.  I hope you enjoyed my little story.  Other things have been occupying my precious quilting time, like the construction of my studio.  If your interested to read more about that, go check out my renovation blog... it has it's moments, that seem to be snowballing into projects with no end.

Renovation 800