Ya know, even though I don't put much belief in astrology, I can totally see myself fitting nicely under
the sign Gemini. It's like two people living in my head. This week it was totally pointed out to me...again. For the last few years, I've been busy in my quilt studio designing original work and creating it with my Janome. This month, I've become totally obsessed with the exact opposite. I have two, yes count 'em two, pattern quilts going at once both mostly done by hand. Well to be fair, Rain, Rain started out as a patterned quilt and grew into a scrap monstrosity. Plus, I'm fully committed to the Quilt Show's Block of the Month quilt, Homeward bound.
So what I learned this week....
FINALLY, I learned how to thread 8 pearl cotton into a #9 crewel embroidery needle. After much experimentation, I've been using the method I learned from Spruce Crafts. You pinch the thread between your pincher finger and thumb with just a bit of thread showing. Then you lower the eye of the needle onto that little bit while you push up the thread. It doesn't work 100% on the first time,
|photo from Spruce Crafts but it shows exactly how I was able to do it.|
but it's been working better than anything else has! I don't know how people can thread their #8 Pearl cotton so easily but I've had a hard time. I also decided that my favorite needle is Colonial
embroidery needle #9. It's sharp and thin enough to hold about 3 rocking stitches but I can still thread the eye. I've been quilting 1-2 hrs a night and I'm still on my first needle so that's saying something.
I'm quite sure what I'm doing is not really considered big stitch quilting but it's not little either. So I guess it's in between quilting. I do like getting my needles from the Colonial site because they have a great selection to choose from! I don't know about you, but I've had a hard time finding good quality needles anymore in the stores! BOY! I've really been enjoying being back at my frame. I'm working my way through the Mentalist (again). I think tonight Patrick will FINALLY get Red John.
For my studio time, I've been working on the block of the month quilt which apparently is all hand applique. I finally have mastered Sarah Fielke's method of making bias stems.
Then today I tackled making circles using templates and tin foil. I don't think I've ever made real templates in my whole 30 years of being a quilter! What I ended up doing was using Kay Buckley's perfect circles to make cardboard templates. Then you trace the circle on the wrong side of the fabric and cut an approximate quarter inch around it.
Then you make a tin fabric-cardboard template sandwich wrapped in tinfoil...and press.
Now when Sarah does it they come out perfectly. As you can see I am going to need a bit of practice. Actually, the last ones came out better than the first ones. I think part of the reason is my cardboard templates are perfectly circular so I might have my husband try recutting them for me. With something like 130 circles to go I should get in some practice!
The thing that is working is Wonderfil's 100 wt invisafil thread. I've been using light and dark grey and it disappears into the fabric. Plus it stitches up nicely without tangling. LOVE IT!!
So the traditional side of this Gemini was hard at work this week....
What Have You Been Up to Creatively?
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One to two hours hand quilting a night? Bring on the clapping hands emoji! Interesting method with the circles. You are on a roll!
Ha! You remind me of me. Such fun projects!
I saw that foil thing and wondered how it worked for the average person, especially at first. I love colonial needles in general. I use the small eyed ones to bead with
Thanks for the great tip about threading needles.I'm doing a lot of embroidery now and the hardest part is threading the needles. I will try your method.
love that first block with the house in the center and curved white lines. Are those lines pieced?.
Hi Norma, the lines which are light violet, are all hand applique. They are only 1/4" bias tape stems which Sarah showed us how to do. It's a little tricky to do them perfectly! I don't know why I didn't realize how much hand applique there was when I decided to do this quilt!
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