A quick burst of Happiness

You know how some things make you smile just to look at them?

There’s a big smile on my face, and it’s all down to a quick interlude with my Amy Butler Lark and Cameo charm packs. I had taken down the design wall flannelette sheet to give it a quick clean and get rid of all the threads from the back of the ToL quilt. After a couple of hours of quilting, I decided I wanted a quick break. I put the sheet back up. I started fiddling with the squares.

An hour later, I had this:

Happiness: the layout

Happiness: the layout

Doesn’t that just make you smile? Imagine the squares separated by 2 inch white sashing all round to spread the joy and make the quilt bigger. And I’ll bind it with leftover turquoise from the ToL quilt. Haven’t thought about backing yet, maybe something totally random made from whatever I have big scraps of. It’s simple, cheerful and a welcome break from the complicated intensive stuff. I love it! There are 4 squares of non-AB fabrics; I’ve used pieces of Philip Jacobs floral prints, which seemed to work with the rest. No prizes for spotting the ringers, though!

Then I got back to work on the ToL. I’ve finished outlining the top of the tree, branches, leaves, flowers and fruit, and the three birds in the tree. Next is the two birds inside the circle above the tree, then the birds outside the circle. I’m ‘saving’ the roots, grass and fish for later this week when I have more time. Once all that’s done, I’ll draw bark-y type lines on the trunk and branches, ripples in the water and clouds in the sky, and the next lot of quilting will start. I’m really happy with the progress I’m making. It’s going nice and fast.

My fingers are less happy, and have just announced it’s time for me to stop for the day. I can’t wear a thimble on thumb and first two fingers if I want to be able to hold a needle, and they’re the ones getting hammered. Same thing happened before when I did lots of hand quilting. I built some truly impressive calluses on my fingers which saw me through to the end and took weeks to wear off. Perhaps I should consider keeping them by doing more hand quilting. It would certainly save the initial pain!

Next time I take a break, I’ll start cutting the sashing…

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11 thoughts on “A quick burst of Happiness

  1. alisonsye says:

    It looks wonderful. Yes, it did make me smile, which is lovely because I’m just about to set off for work.

  2. Every time people talk about hand quilting, the words ‘blood’ and ‘calluses’ get a mention, and I wonder why I am so keen to learn how to do it properly.

    • katechiconi says:

      Blood only at the beginning, while you get used to not stabbing the hand on the underside of the quilt. Calluses from the grip you need to take on the needle when rocking it up and down through the fabric. Since I’ve more or less decided I need to keep in practice, I should hopefully avoid some of these hazards going forward!

  3. tialys says:

    I can’t use a thimble either. I have one of those leather ones that I sometimes use just to help me push the needle through but it’s not actually on my finger so it doesn’t make for speedy work. I made a quilt for each of my daughters on their 18th birthdays (although I was almost a year late with one of them!) and I tell them their quilt is very special as it contains their mother’s blood, sweat and tears. I like to see the thinly veiled look of distaste on their faces 😉

    • katechiconi says:

      If they start making Eeuw noises, ask them if they’ve ever thought where they came from…. That ought to cause gagging and squawking worth watching! I do have a thimble for those times when the needle has actually worn a hole in my finger, but it slows me down a lot.

  4. Jule says:

    This will be a great quilt when completed! The white sashing will make the colours sing. 🙂

  5. Ashley says:

    Love love love this. So freaking much!!!

    • katechiconi says:

      I can’t wait to get started! I still have to cut the sashing, but that’s really quick. I let myself work on it in quick bursts between epic hand quilting sessions…

  6. Ashley says:

    And I spotted the extras right away. Only because I know these two lines so well. What does that say about me???!!!

    • katechiconi says:

      I think if I had to pick one person who would spot them immediately it would be you! But the two odd fabrics work kind of OK with the colours. Not quite as graphic, but I don’t think it shows too much. I could have made a rectangular quilt and left some out, but I love squares!

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