Worldwide Friends: seeing red

...at last!

Screen Shot 2015-05-15 at 12.33.46 pmI’ve plugged on, gritted my teeth, and finally, finally, I have the centre quilted. Just the facing, hanging pocket and final line of quilting around the outside to go. It’s been long. It’s been boring. It’s been painful. But it’s done.

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I felt that at this stage a small celebration was called for. You can’t go wrong with cupcakes and coffee to celebrate a quilty milestone. The fact that I enjoyed them in solitary state means there aren’t quite as many left as you see here. Oh, and I make no claim to skill at piping frosting. It’s on. That’s all I ask.

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Spot the ghost bunny in the quilting.

The next phase is finishing the edges and installing hanging loops. This is definitely going to be a wall hanging rather than a bed quilt, so I don’t mind having loops. Here’s how the facing will go on: I lay out the facing hexies, following the outline of the flower edges on the front. I then whip-stitch together a manageable  strip of facing, ladder-stitch it to the outer edge, remove the papers, and then add the next strip of facing to the side of the first and repeat. Once the full length of the edge is done, I’ll hem down the inner free edge of the facing to the reverse of the quilt.

Screen Shot 2015-05-15 at 12.34.04 pmIt’ll go like that around three edges, starting at the bottom and working up the sides. On the top edge, I first have to sew the hanging loops to the straight edge of the quilt body (ie, the backing and batting), in the dips between hexie flowers before starting the facing. Once that’s attached, I proceed as before, except that I need to hem the free edge to both sides of the hanging loops, so there’s a little extra work along the top edge. I need to dig out a long piece of dowel to use to ensure that the loops are even in length, otherwise the thing will hang wonky, not a good look at either the Show or on the wall at home.

Screen Shot 2015-05-15 at 12.34.57 pm

Doesn’t look like much, but there’s enough there to go all the way around the edge of the quilt

And here is the result of several evenings’ work on facing hexies. There are 182 of these babies, enough for the whole facing. I needed some dark red thread to stitch the facing together; oh dear, a visit to the LQS… Why is it I cannot go into that shop without coming out with something I didn’t know I needed?

It’s difficult to maintain momentum with this quilt. If it were machine made, I’d look at it and think that I had just a couple more days of work to go, but because it’s all done by hand, it does seem to be interminable and I get discouraged and demotivated, and it’s all too easy to walk away and think of things I want to do more. If I’m ever tempted again to submit a large hand-stitched hexie quilt to a show only 6 months after starting it, will you guys out there please talk some sense into me? Although it’s adequately quilted in terms of holding layers together, it’s not quite as fully quilted as I’d like, and if after the Show is over I still feel that way strongly enough to dedicate hours more work to tweaking it, I may revisit the quilting.

That said, it’s just gorgeous, thick and warm and beautiful, and I love it and the generosity and friendship it represents! I like it even better after several vanilla cupcakes…

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36 thoughts on “Worldwide Friends: seeing red

  1. EllaDee says:

    Now that you’ve quilted WWF and it’s puffy it looks even more detailed from the angle of that pic than it did hanging. No wonder you need coffee & cake. The piping looks fine to me ☺

    • katechiconi says:

      Neatness of piping has absolutely no impact on the flavour, I find! The Dowager, who is a cake decorating goddess, would find plenty of flaws to point out, but it wouldn’t stop her eating them!

  2. Wonderful work. Such a sense of achievement you must be feeling, and full of cupcakes? Can’t be bad. Those stacks of waiting hexies look exciting, all together like that.

    • katechiconi says:

      I’ve laid out the hexies for the bottom edge, and tonight I shall start stitching them together, a welcome break from the quilting needle! It’s at times like this that I wish my blogging friends were nearby, so I could hold a ceremonial tea party – cupcakes for all!

    • tialys says:

      I used to go to a similar thing every fortnight in the U.K. and really enjoyed it.

      • tialys says:

        Oops – I pressed too soon. Anyway, I joined one in France but there was more bitch than stitch so three of us formed a breakaway group. Then the two French women fell out with each other so now there are just two of us every Thursday afternoon which is great for my French and she has become a good friend.

      • katechiconi says:

        My problem is that the only people here who are doing that sort of thing are more of my mother’s generation, or are making things I cannot sincerely admire, or have conversation you could market as a soporific. I’ll stick with my lovely blogging community, even if it is a bit short of immediate conversation. Unless anyone would like to Skype? I have 4 blogespondents with whom I Skype regularly, and it’s lovely.

  3. tialys says:

    We will definitely stop you in your tracks if you ever make such a rash decision again. Having said that, it’s looking beautiful and I can only think the fact that it is for a show on a specific date and we are all watching and waiting with interest and awe has been the impetus you need to keep going back to it.

  4. katechiconi says:

    That, of course, and the fact that I loathe leaving anything of this magnitude unfinished. I’ll definitely make more hexie quilts in the future, but not with a deadline!

  5. I can’t think of anything better than this: “it’s just gorgeous, thick and warm and beautiful, and I love it and the generosity and friendship it represents!”

    I have 2 quilts hanging in my living room. One is a quilt I made with my sister. The other is a quilt made with women in my “small group,” as a round robin. They are 2 of my favorites of all time, things I could never have done by myself, not because of the skill involved but because of the creativity and personal touch of loved ones.

    • katechiconi says:

      A collective of women focused on the same goal is infinitely more effective than the same women, acting alone. And I think this is particularly true of creative activities. Women share well and are usually not competitive at the expense of achieving the best result.

  6. Anything is better after cupcakes. But your perseverance has paid off – very gorgeous 🙂

  7. claire93 says:

    I’ve got my cheer leader costume on, with pompoms waving wildly ^^
    Give me a K, give me an A, give me a T, give me an E
    go Kate!!!!

    You can do it Kate!

    • katechiconi says:

      You’re right, I can! I can’t tell you how much all the support means to me. It’s the difference between talking myself into finishing it, and talking myself out of finishing it….

  8. Conor Bofin says:

    You have slowly reeled me in to being intrigued by your huge quilt project. Wonderful project Kate.

    • katechiconi says:

      I am honoured, sir. That a man who knows head cheese should be remotely interested in this quilt is a tribute to the collaborative nature of the project and the lovely people who have contributed words, ideas and fabric.

  9. If I had realised that you were putting yourself under pressure for the show, I would have talked you out of it. People have been telling me to enter my Dear Jane in the next show for two years, since I had about thirty blocks. It ain’t happening. I’ll think about entering it only when it is finished. (It will be hanging in its incomplete state at next week’s craft show, but as a display and not an entry.)

    • katechiconi says:

      Six months ago, it seemed entirely doable. In the interim, the quilt grew in size and scope, the back acquired its own personality and real life took the front seat, as it should. But I won’t be doing it again. If I enter anything in the show again, it’ll be a quilt that’s already finished, and perhaps not a bed-sized one!
      Dear Jane will be an awesome contestant when she’s done, but that will happen as time and fate dictate.

  10. wombatquilts says:

    Wow and wow. I can not wait to see the finished quilt in all it’s glory. Amazing stuff Kate.

    • katechiconi says:

      Nor can I, the operative word being Finished! It seems that the closer I get to completion, the slower I work, or perhaps it’s just events conspiring to prevent me spending a few solid hours at it… I have less than a month to go, of which two weeks is eaten up with jury service, o joy.

      • wombatquilts says:

        Can’t you take your quilt in with you to jury duty?

      • katechiconi says:

        Wouldn’t that be amazing? But no, nothing allowed with you. No pens, pencils, notebook, phone, laptop and certainly not anything which might take your mind off the matter in hand. WIth luck, I’ll rock up and be told they don’t want me for a day or so and I won’t have to attend the whole time. If I’m really unlucky, the case will run over and it’ll take more than 2 weeks.

  11. rutigt says:

    Congrates to you!!!! You have been doing a very good work, an amazing work 🙂 Now you are really worth to celebrate!
    Hugs,Gun

    • katechiconi says:

      I gave myself a celebratory night off that day, but the needle’s back in my hand this evening. I’ve just started attaching the first section of facing.

  12. Kirsten says:

    I was just thinking that you were nearly there until I saw the piles of red hexes . . . how long until the show??

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