I don't know that what I did to my Long Time Gone was worth the effort. It's been like a monkey on my back since I started. However, I'm happy that I've done it. And I bet that NO ONE will be able to see what I did. But that's OK. Here's the good news - Sections 1, 2, and 3 are back together. And Section 6 is now completely fixed. Section 5 is almost ready for the final sewing together. That one was easy since I hadn't sewn it completely together.
I should get Section 5 and 6 together today - maybe - and that leaves Section 4, which contains FOUR pineapple blocks, and they aren't done yet! But I should be good to get that done over the weekend. Phew -- this is a complex quilt and lots of pieces. I think that one of the class participants counted that there were over 3,000 pieces in it.
But I need to get moving on other stuff - it's all piling up. I didn't get a lot of chance to sew yesterday. When I get the long arm running and the embroidery machine, there's no time to sew. It's a lot already just feeding those two machines. I usually sew first thing in the morning while I watch Alex and Ricky.
I did get another quilt done, but I'm not sharing it with you at this time. It's my quilt, and it was on the list of quilts to be quilted in May; however, I didn't think it needed to be done urgently. Then I got a note that an editor wanted the picture of the finished quilt. By 1:00 PM yesterday. OH - well, that's not going to happen! So it bumped the customer quilt, which I'll do today. And I must get that binding on and try to get a decent picture. All in a fun day!!!
Wait -- the quilt top has been posted to the internet, so follow this link to see the top and how I assembled it.
As I was quilting it, I was thinking of other quilts that I've done. The big question is when the quilt top is busy or heavily pieced - do you do custom quilting, or do you do an edge to edge? Here's the back of the quilt so you can see the quilt pattern.
|The back of my quilt|
As I was quilting it, I think I know the answer, which took me years to figure out. If the quilt is really busy with lots of small pieces, will the quilting show? If the pieces are small, the motifs need to be small and will take MORE time. If the prints are really busy - does it make sense to be custom quilted? It made me think of a quilt meeting years ago; a customer got up for the show and tell with a quilt her long warmer had just completed (not me). The customer was so proud of this custom quilted quilt. From the front, we could see nothing. The quilt was turned around, and the back was equally as busy, except for ONE section. She proudly pointed out - "See the custom quilting!" Well, I wouldn't have paid for custom quilting when I can really only appreciate it from the back in one small section. That long arm quilter should have DISCOURAGED her from that style of quilting. And maybe she did, as some customers just don't get it.
There are loads of other reasons - what's the end use of the quilt? What is the quilt made of? Embellishments? Odd fabrics? And a whole lot of other questions. So keep that all in mind the next time you ask for custom versus edge to edge.
And I can't say enough for picking the correct thread color. That can make or break your quilt, especially when choosing an edge-to-edge pattern. I'll never forget my very first lesson in long-arm quilting. Carol picked this HIDEOUS color off the wall to use on my quilt (that I don't think is finished). I was horrified, and yet - it blended right in. I must dig that quilt out and finish it!
Here's the border of the quilt. And you can see how that thread just blends in. It's sometimes a challenge to pick a thread color when there is a huge contrast in value or color.
|The thread blends into the fabric|
As I was reassembling the Long Time Gone quilt, I managed to get ONE more of the Snail's Trail blocks together. I don't have quite enough pieces cut for the remaining nine blocks, so I'll be cutting that later today. And I have to make FIVE more blocks than the ones that are already cut. Why?
|Snail's Trail block|
Well, I'm not making all the rows in the book, but I'll make one of each block to show in the class. That means I have this little cabana on the beach with no water. So I need to make five blocks for the bottom, and it'll make a cute little wall hanging.
|My cabana block|
I'm marching along on my Virtual Challenges. I see they are going to ramp up the number they release as they have become popular. I'm currently working on the long ones, as I'll be able to rip through those short ones in a month or two per challenge. I'm currently walking the Appalachian Trail, and sometime today, I'll be leaving Pennsylvania and moving into New Jersey.
|Moving into New Jersey today|
And on my cross Canada walk that I started on January 1, 2020 (last year), I'm almost in Quebec City. Amazing that I've walked the equivalent of Victoria, BC, to Quebec City in one year and four months. Yikes - that's a lot of walking!!!
|Almost in Quebec City|
These virtual challenges have been a godsend actually. The daily goals get me out of the house and it has helped enormously with keeping my weight under check. I like to eat and well - I'd be much larger if I didn't walk! And now I'm to the point that if I don't walk? Well, I don't let that happen. It's become a HUGE priority for me. I don't care how busy I am in the studio; I WALK - every day, regardless of the weather.
In my effort to distract the dogs from digging beside the house, I boiled up a kettle of vinegar and poured it all over the area. They did NOT like the smell, and I got a shiny kettle. However, I notice that Miss Lexi was back there at some point in the day. So I don't think we're quite done with this issue.
But as I mentioned, there's never a dull moment in the house. Look at Murphy! It's like she's sacrificing her teddy bear on the stone altar!! But she's so cute that how can you stay mad at her? YES - she's in desperate need of a bath and a trim, but the groomer is closed because of the pandemic. Only taking emergency grooming.
|Proud Murphy with her teddy bear|
|Lexi is a bit more laid back|