Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Beaches, quilt alongs and some serious progress

There are some pretty unglamorous, but humorous, photos here. This is what it takes to baste a king sized quilt.

This is the ginormous secret. I'm pretty sure this is a safe place to spill the beans as the recipient a) has no idea abut it, and b) is blissfully ignorant to this blog. I managed to clear our deck and baste this baby one Saturday morning in July (9th to be precise). It was pretty chilly which is why I'm all dressed up in uggies and beanie.

I was a little bit concerned that the gaps between the decking would cause some issues but there really haven't been any. It was a big job, requiring much crawling around.
I used 100% merino wool batting (Heirloom) which came all squished and rolled up in a bag. There were kinks and funny creases all over it despite me taking it out of the bag about a week before to try and "relax" it. There was a lot of discussion on the web as to how to get these kinks out but all methods involved far too much effort and time and I went with the 'she'll be right' attitude. I did my best to smooth the batting as I basted but right up until I was stretching it in the hoop to quilt the kinks remained. It looks like it was the right attitude to take, as far as I can see all the lumps have smoothed out. I'm sure after a wash it'll settle even more.
Don't I look pleased with myself/overwhelmed?

I was cursing the fact that I was using wool for this as it was tricky to baste due to the lumps and bumps. I knew however that it would needle well, breathe beautifully and be perfect for the climate where this quilt will end up.
This morning I made the binding. It's a Lecien check that I picked up on special. Of course I didn't measure anything and just chopped and sewed away happily until I realised there was no way I had enough (I had made 10m!!!!) and had to add another length to an already lengthy tape.

I think it'll look pretty cute.
I have attached the binding and am looking forward to a few loooong evenings of hand stitching the back down. I zig zagged the quilt sandwich edges ( I don't usually do this) to ensure I didn't get any puckers or other mishaps. The backing fabric is a loosely woven, and very fine cotton that is prone to fraying so I thought a bit of reinforcement wouldn't go astray.

It goes without saying that I am looking forward to this project being finished. My hands are sore from holding needle and fabric. I am looking forward to doing something a bit different. I think I will feel pretty proud once it's all done....as long as it survives it's first wash. Always a bit nerve wracking. I started this quilt on 11 June with the first Dresden Plate block and have pretty much worked on it solidly every day since. More photos and background in my next post.

QAL Block #9 - Double star. I played with the layout a bit, and went nuts with the fabric choices. I really like it, although the real design seems a bit lost in all the busy-ness. I just adore the Amy Butler fabrics. I'm partial to many prints from across her lines. Love the colours, prints, spots and especially the large scale florals. I am late on this bus but have my eyes on some awesome bundles online for my birthday in a few weeks. I find I am especially drawn to the navy and aqua/turquoise colourways.

Lastly a few pics from yesterdays adventure. We had a scheduled power outage on the island and the forecast was brilliant so we went to Patonga Beach for a lovely walk and play, some lunch and then to nearby Pearl Beach for an ice cream. It was such a warm Spring day, and the first time my little J-bug dipped his toes in the great big ocean. A great family day out.

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