I’ve always loved that name. It’s a mountain range in Africa, and now, it’s the central section of this quilt
I’ve finished the hand quilting inside the circle: moon, mountains, clouds and sky. No blood was drawn, for a change, and my quilting calluses have come back a lot faster this time round; it’s not such a long time since I finished Worldwide Friends and my hands have retained the memory. It’s also lovely to be able to get rid of the safety pins, which are deeply annoying when hand quilting. There’s a sort of magnetic attraction between the pins and the thread on your needle and a tangle is virtually inevitable. Even if you’re nowhere near them… The sky and moon are densely quilted to keep them flat, the mountains less so, and the clouds very lightly quilted indeed to keep them puffy. You can see in the photo above that they’re almost 3D. The mountain quilting doesn’t show well in this image, but it’s mainly jagged straight lines, echoing the upper outline of each one.
The back is looking quite respectable too, and I haven’t missed too many stitches. That green Fossil Fern batik backing is beautifully soft and smooth, for which my left hand was very grateful. There were areas that were tough to work on, notably where the appliqué panels overlapped at the edges. The other areas were fine, and the fact that this piece is smaller than a full size quilt made the whole process manageable. I haven’t used a hoop at any point – I rarely do. The quilt was laid out on the table, and I worked with my left hand underneath, my right on top and the weight of the quilt provided all the tension I needed.
Next is quilting the circle containing the poem. I’m still debating that one. A bit more sketchbook time is needed. I’m beginning to think concentric circles is the way to go; two each at the bottom and top and two between the lines of lettering. Perhaps some sort of shape around the stars separating the stanzas. A diamond, maybe?
The final step is to do the corners, stitching down the stems and extending them out into the tendrils, stitched all the way through all layers, so the stitching will be visible on the back. I’m considering whether to stitch blue on top and green underneath so everything blends a bit more on both sides. Once that’s finished, the quilting of the centre panel is done, and it’s on to stitching on all the leaves. Given the joy that stitching around safety pins brings, I think pinning on all the leaves at once is a recipe for flinging the whole thing into the corner and screaming. I shall sew one at a time, using the template as a guide, and working away from the leaves already applied.
But first, a short break for family dinner; the curry is smelling amazing!