So, do you wanna see the quilt? First, I quilted the left corner...
And then the right corner...
And then it was finished. Here's the final row.
And here's the whole quilt!
This is how it looks from the back.
Sadie wanted you to see how well her furs blend in with the colors. She thinks this quilt could go a long way toward ameliorating the problem of store-bought blankets in the trailer. (Ew.)
It was a lovely day here yesterday, and so I used my break times to get outside and walk. It was helpful just to stand up straight and tall, and my shoulder and neck were thanking me for it. The pink echinacea is fully opened now. You can see that there is another bud coming on the right there.
In spite of the howling winds and driving rain we've had, the Cheyenne Spirit is still blooming away. You can see that it has a bud that is going to open within the next few days.
And I wanted to show you how beautiful our red-leaf maple trees are looking right now. Their leaves are red all the time, but they turn a bright iridescent red in the fall.
And I was so excited to get started on the Sunflower Sampler free motion quilting project that Lori Kennedy is doing right now, so I got to work on that too.
As I've mentioned before, I'm trying to branch out a little with the threads I'm using for quilting. This time I'm using a polyester variegated thread on top, and a Bottom Line thread in the bobbin. Before stitching the flower, I worked with getting the tension correct. Since I'd been using a 100 weight silk on top and a monofilament in the bobbin, it was a trick getting it right. Here's where I started. This is the back, and the top thread is too loose.
Also, I was getting birds nests...
Here's another one...I was starting to wonder if I could pull this off.
Then, I took a look at my top thread and realized I had the machine threaded wrong. Duh. I rethreaded it the right way, and there was a major improvement. Go figure!!! So this is the quilt top now. And there was something not right. Top thread too loose???
Top thread too tight...a little bit, I think.
And ahhhhhh...it took a bit, but I got it dialed in.
I can't say enough good things about my TOWA bobbin tension gauge. It has made all the difference. If, like me, you're wondering how it can help, it's this: If I set the bobbin tension so that it is consistently in the "200" range (don't ask me what the numbers mean), then I know I'm only needing to work with the top thread tension. The bobbin remains consistent from quilt to quilt and thread to thread. When I switch to a new thread in the bobbin (or rewind it, or whatever change I make), I check the tension in the bobbin, and adjust it if necessary. Then, if the tension is still off, I know it's my top thread causing the problem. I hope I'm explaining that well enough.
So anyway...happy with my tension, I stitched the center of the flower (this week's assignment). Because the flower is an oval, I realized about halfway that I was going to run out of room on the sides before I filled in the top and bottom, and so I started squishing the rows together more on the sides and spreading them out on the top and bottom. In the end, it all worked out.
Next week, we'll start adding the flower petals.
So it's an all-day cooking extravaganza today, although I'm hoping I'll have enough time to machine sew the binding on the Cats. For now, it's spread out on the table downstairs. Smitty likes it.
Kind of looks like he's claimed it, doesn't it?