Hooray, it's finished!
This is the first of two quilts that I shall be entering into the annual 12 x 12 exhibition at Midsomer Quilting. It has taken me about a month, and today I put in the last few stitches. Although it only measures 12 inches square, it seems to have taken an awfully long time. Because the colours in the variegated threads are so subtle I can only work when the daylight is good, which can't be guaranteed at this time of year. Also, because the picture is built up by such a gradual process, it is best to leave it for a few hours, or days, and mull over what to do next.
For instance, here it is yesterday morning on a coat hanger on the kitchen dresser, after I had squared it off and before putting the binding on. After a good long stare and a cup of tea, I decided that the reeds in the foreground should be slightly taller and in a darker thread, so I added more. The foreground definitely needed to be brought forward.
Once the binding was on I hand-stitched the birds - three buzzards high up in the sky...
... and a flight of ducks breaching the horizon.
Where there are ducks, there has to be water. Putting in the reflections of the bushes and the colours of the sunset was tricky. I take my hat off to Linda. She made me make the effort.
By far the most difficult part to do was the cloud. It went through a stage of looking very scribbly. Because the thread is variegated it is impossible to predict where the most prominent colour will end up. I always end up stitching over colours that stand out too much, and eventually have to rein myself in to prevent a build up of bobbin thread on the back.
Selecting the material for the binding gave me a dilemma. None of the plain colours that I had were right, so I opted for a brownish, greyish and yellowish batik. Once it was on I thought I had made a mistake. It looked too busy, and I put a line of dark stitching just inside it to divide it from the picture. The thin dark line calmed down the busy effect.
Once I hung it on the wall, I saw I had made the right choice, because the colours of the binding blend in perfectly with the colours in the house. This is where it is going to live, just between the kitchen and dining room.
All the free motion quilting was done on the 1945 Singer 15K treadle. The machine in the photo is my 1927 Singer 99K, which I used for stitching the sun and for the binding.
I am so glad I have finished this quilt! Now I have to make another quilt for the exhibition before the end of the month, which is going to be completely different. Quicker and easier, in other words.
Here goes for week 65..
Many thanks to everyone who linked up last week to show their free motion quilting projects. What a coincidence - I dashed off to Wales for a few days, and while I was away Heulwen and Hoffi, the Welsh girls linked up!
The project in Week 64 that really caught my eye was Hoffi Coffi's little zip up bag - wonderful quilting! Zips are one of my pet hates, so she got maximum points from me as soon as I saw the picture. Then I read on and saw the latest example of her genius for recycling, so I had to give her even more points. If you haven't seen her blog post yet, nip over now and see more photos.
If you love free motion quilting, whether you are a beginner just taking the plunge, or you have reached the stage where you can do ostrich feathers with your eyes shut and still achieve perfect symmetry, then please link up.
Remember, FMQ is FMQ, whether your machine was made last week, or it is older than your granny.
Here are the very easy and slightly elastic rules:-
1. Link up with any recent post, ideally from the last week but within the last month, which features a free motion quilting project, whether it is a work in progress or a finish.
2. Link back to this post in your own post and/or grab the linky button for your blog's sidebar.
3. Visit as many of the other participants as possible and say hello in the comments box.
4. The link up will remain open for four days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Monday.
So far quilters from the USA, England, Wales, Australia, Canada, Germany, Holland, New Zealand, France and Macau have taken part. The first participant from each new country will get a special mention the following week.
Linking up with Kelly's blog My Quilt Infatuation for Needle and Thread Thurs
and Sarah's blog Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Whoop Whoop Friday
and Nina Marie's blog Creations... Quilts, Art... Whatever for Off The Wall Friday
and Amanda Jean's blog Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday.