Advancing on two fronts…

I have progress to report, but the photos don’t really do it justice.

On the AHQ quilt, I have finished the front and the back, and it’s sandwiched and mostly pinned, ready for quilting to start tomorrow. I have used up all three of my boxes of  quilting safety pins, having two quilts currently at the quilting/ready to quilt stage, so there are a few rather gappy areas.

Screen shot 2014-08-18 at 5.29.00 PM

The back: red at the top, then cream, then the navy kangaroo fabric I love so much. Simple, easy, and DONE

I was therefore forced to do some work on Amistad, so that I could free up some more pins for the AHQ one. Oh, the hardship… I still need about 15 more to properly secure it, but my fingers are complaining quite loudly now, both from the arthritis and from the needle sticks. It’ll have to wait till tomorrow.

Screen shot 2014-08-18 at 5.28.40 PM

Smaller Big Stitches, achieved in a fraction of the time.

I’m pleased with how the hand quilting is looking. I tried a short ‘between’ quilting needle when I first started hand quilting years ago but I couldn’t get along with it. So I’ve always used a fine long needle with a long eye. On the first Amistad block with interlocking circles I found the curves were too tight to use the long needle properly. I was getting grumpy, and the needle got bent. I fished out my needlebook, took out a between needle, and away I went. I will never go back to a long needle. I don’t know what’s changed, but I’m loving the short fine needle now and I can work much faster. I can even see myself doing weeny stitches, it’s so much easier to use. But try telling me that before!

Right, I must now attack the third front: the Wedding Sampler.  Until tomorrow…

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12 thoughts on “Advancing on two fronts…

  1. tialys says:

    I think that kangaroo fabric should become part of the Australian forces uniform but it also looks great as a variation on the French flag as on your quilt back 🙂

    • katechiconi says:

      Perhaps I could write to the Commander in Chief of the ADF and suggest it… or maybe not. The front of the quilt is a frenzy of red and white, I wanted a bit of calmness on the back!

  2. I love quilting with betweens, but my eyesight precludes threading the darned things! Re safety pins: do you not like using 555 temporary glue? I get a much smoother result than with pins or tacking, and it’s very quick to do, specially if you can draft in a helper to pull taut and fold extra-long quilts when the table’s not big enough for the whole thing.

    I agree about the gangaroo fabric.

    • katechiconi says:

      I’ve never got results I’m happy with when I use glue. Most of the time, I’m on my own when I’m doing the pinning, which would also make it hard to get things smooth. The process I’ve developed works for me, it was just that I don’t normally have two quilts on the go at once! I have a work lamp with a big lens for close work, which is invaluable for threading!

  3. mdlonnie says:

    Thank you for keeping our troops snuggled.

  4. Kirsten says:

    Do you use a template for the cathedral window type quilting or just are you doing it free-hand?? It’s very symmetrical if you are just doing it by eye!

    • katechiconi says:

      I have a circle of card, which I have notched at each quarter so I can align it with the seams. First you draw a circle inside each square, then you draw the overlapping circles, which have the seams running through their centres. It’s pretty straightforward. The pencil marks will wash out once the quilt is done. The square spiral is just done with a ruler, using the width of the ruler as the guide.

  5. I don’t have enough of those safety pins for more than one small quilt. I often end up thread basting the outside edges when I run out of pins.
    The orange peel quilting (also known by its fancy Japanese name) looks wonderful!

    • katechiconi says:

      I have two large boxes and one small one of safety pins. For a double bed quilt I generally need both big boxfulls. It was quite funny being compelled to hand quilt Amistad so I could free up more pins – the perfect excuse… I’m glad you approve of the quilting; my stitches are getting smaller and more even. One of these days I may even do some weeny hand quilting on a small project like a cushion cover. Yes, I think cushions must be catching….

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