Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Ode to the Red and White

That title reminds me of "Ode to a Grecian Urn" which I just looked up is a peom by John Keats.  I, however, am not quite so well-read.  I know it from "The Music Man" that I think is a great old musical.

Anyway, I couldn't think of a better title.  I'm not so good at titles.  I made some red and white nine patch blocks for two reasons.  One reason was in honor of the Infinite Variety quilt exhibit in New York.

Simply amazing!  In another stage of life, I would have flown out to see it.  Instead, I decided to make my own red and white quilt. 

The idea was spurred on by a challenge from the Temecula Quilt Company:

It's a fun shop that I visited once on vacation.  It is full of miniatures and reproduction fabric.

The blocks in my quilt are 1" finished.  The nine patches were so fun that I ended up making three quilts!  (All of them are miniatures.)

I am attempting to hand quilt this first one.  I may change my mind about the others by the time I am done with this one!  I am using wool batting.  It is quilting very nicely.  I, on the other hand, am not quilting so nicely.


I spray basted the layers together.  They are holding together fine, and I am having no issues with the layers shifting.  The trouble is inexperience.  BUT that is why I am making the attempt at something 13" square.  I thought that was a good size to start with.

I am obviously not done quilting yet.  I do have a good needle.  I don't remember what kind, but it came recommended to me, and I got it at a quilt shop.  I am using my machine quilting thread.  I probably could have made a better choice there.  It is good thread, but I don't know if it is the best for hand quilting. 

I put the thimble on my second finger, and have been trying to get the rocker motion.  Oh!  It's not working.  Again, I chalk it up to inexperience.  My thimble is metal on the top, and the rest of it is rubber.  When I miss, the needle jabs through the rubber.  I may be getting another thimble that has a greater margin of error.  I'll let you know how it goes.

So that's the WIP for today.  Any advice?


Mary Grace McNamara said...

The Music Man reference is the only one I know of, and the first thing I thought of when I read the title! I love that movie...the mayor's wife is such a piece of work!

Try using a leather thimble with the metal piece. I've had success with that. After repeated use, however, your needle will eventually poke through it too, but it takes a while!


WoolenSails said...

I cannot use thimbles, I have tried different types, so I just keep jabbing my poor finger;)


Wanda said...

I have found that I have a better time with the following:

1. Use bees wax to condition the thread (goes through the quilt better and your thread doesn't tangle as much).

2. I use the 1/4" tape to mark where I want to stitch - helps me to concentrate on the stitches not where they are going.

3. I use a reading light to help me see what I'm doing - just clip it to my shirt and point it to where I'm stitching.

Hope these help.


Anonymous said...

My favorite thimble is a brass Dritz thimble size 7 because it fits my index finger perfectly. My back up is a plastic cheapie that looks like a fake finger w/ fingernail(for the rocking motion) and a hole above your fingernail. It looks like a 5 cent knock off of a Roxanne thimble--very homely but it works great and it fits alomost anysized finger.