Sunday, January 5, 2014


Never fails, right after New Year's the weather begins to play havoc. Thankfully NC is below the Mason-Dixon line and we're far from the worst of it BUT it's cold outside.  When I left for pool practice this morning it was 19 degrees.

Got a question from J.K. yesterday about my on going trials with growing pineapples. "Had I ever had one grow to produce a small fruit?"  Ha, I wish.  My understanding is that pineapple plants take three years to produce a fruit and to date none of my trials have lasted that long.  Either winter cold, non-nurturing or moving and I simply tossed the plants have limited my gardening trials.  Furthermore, even if the plant did produce a fruit, once they bear fruit the plant is plowed under and replacement plant begins anew. Not that serious a gardener.

What I can boast about is the orchid plant that decided to bloom in January - how 'bout that?

On a cold day what better surprise than to find a bud bursting open with a blossom that defines beauty by simply existing. Do not get me waxing poetic about the loveliness of orchids.

A work in progress begins. . . . . a collection of scraps and plaids becomes a bright modern patchwork quilt.

However life is not all flowers and candy. . . . the sewing progress has had more stops than starts.

First off the 'Red Thread Mess' on the right is my own fault.  The one thing experienced quilters NEVER do is rip out stitching, never ever! Here's my day's work of ripping out red thread.  Why?

Some years back at a quilt lecture I heard an expert judge say that you never quilt a White quilt in White thread because if you want to photograph it or submit it for a juried show, the thread will never show - so always use a colored thread for the quilting.

Not so.  The Red Thread Mess is proof enough.
Planning a crib quilt for an upcoming birth I chose bright scraps and plaids as the mother has not revealed the gender nor any planned names,

So, to make an unisex quilt I planned to use a lot of white, especially after I found a small vintage table cloth about the size I planned and in quite good condition. Thus became the notion of bright blocks for the top and an all white backing. Why not stitching in colored thread? 

Getting into the free-motion quilting mode has been quite a job following Leah Day's tips and techniques but after the yoga mat and a table runner I thought I was ready.  Maybe I needed more practice (?).

After a couple of blocks I thought to sneak a peek at the back and found the worst sight imaginable.

What a mess!  How to fix it?  There is no fix, it's either rip or toss. After a stiff drink and dinner I thought best to switch to white thread in the bobbin and keep stitching to see if the white thread looked as bad as the red.

The quilt is still undone, more than half has been stitched in white and looks terrific; the initial blocks are in the process of getting ripped out (UGH!). Expect to have the stitching done by end of week - must get going as I still have to trim, hem and finish the work. Baby is due February 14th so the quilting shows cascading hearts, what else?
Stay tuned,  progress in motion.

No comments: