Weeding Free Sunday

Don't get too relaxed about those weeds because I'll be back at it today. Yesterday I gave myself a day off, and I used it to quilt the Chinese Zodiac quilt. You might recall that I deflated like a cheap air mattress when I discovered my batting wasn't large enough on Saturday.

So that meant my first task was to piece together some batting. For that job, I like the double overlock stitch. It gives me a nice flat seam, and it pulls the edges together without bunching.

Within about 30 minutes, I had my quilt sandwich, and I was itching to stitch.

For this quilt, I chose a bright yellow Aurifil thread for the top.

There was already a bobbin wound for this Essentials variegated purple thread, and that seemed as good a choice as any.

Since I hadn't done any sewing on Eliza in months, I decided to keep it simple. And, frankly, I think a diagonal grid is just great on this quilt pattern. It took me a few minutes to get my quilting land legs under me, and more than a few minutes to get the tension adjusted correctly. (Like...how did the tension get so far off just sitting there?) Finally, I got to it. I wasn't sure about the yellow thread on top, but I liked how it was looking.

I know I've told you about this Line Tamer tool before. It's the best tool ever for quilting straight lines. You can see a video of how it works at that link I've given you. I like it because it's easy to hold onto, and I can just watch where the end closest to me is lining up. The rest stays snugly in place around the foot of my machine, so there's nothing to think about except keeping it lined up where I want it. The needle stays put in its slot. I just eyeball it...no marking is necessary, and it gives me nice straight lines for this grid, and for stitching in the ditch.

When I had the space inside the borders quilted, I took it off the machine and took a break. It's looking pretty good so far.

So come walk with me...let's go get the mail out of the mailbox. The tulips in the whiskey barrel are starting to open. Here's the center of the most-open one.

It was windy here yesterday.

It's about a quarter mile walk out to the main road to get to our mailbox. Our neighbor has planted daffodils along our shared driveway. Some people are over achievers.

There are a few grape hyacinths in the mix too.

She has some of the pretty yellow daffodils with orange centers. I think these are my favorites.

This is a wild cherry tree in bloom. They produce some small cherries, relished by the birds and the squirrels.

Okay, here's the main road. The mailboxes are just off to my right. Take a good look at this road and commit it to memory. In a couple of months, the county is going to pave it. Yahoo!!!!!

We've lived in our house 16 years, and this road has been the fly in the ointment. Our cars are filthy all winter from the mud. When the rain stops and the road dries up, then it's the dust. We live far enough off the road that the dust doesn't bother us as much as it does those that live along here. Nevertheless, I've watched as a dust cloud has wafted over the trees toward our house. We've begged, pleaded, threatened, coerced, and cursed the county, trying to get this road paved. A group of us neighbors even got together and offered to pay for it. The county always said no. Even if we paid for it, it was more expensive to maintain a paved road than a gravel road. Sigh. We gave up. Then...while we were gone...the county decided to pave it. As you might imagine, it's a celebratory time for the whole neighborhood...except for one neighbor who complains about everything. There's always one, isn't there?

So okay...enough about the road. I've got the mail, so let's head back. Oh...here's a blooming weed.

I noticed these blooming violets on our side of the embankment.

And this trillium, which is my favorite of our wildflowers.

Back at the front door, here's the center of the lonely red tulip.

When I went back upstairs to recommence quilting...hm...there seems to be some drag on the quilt.

Thank you fur making this little bed fur me. It's so purrfectly comfurtable.

Okay, so we had to negotiate for the quilt, but she consented to lying in the chair beside the sewing machine. I had just the borders to finish. The yellow border was stitched in the ditch, and then I did this sort of braid motif in the outer border. I wanted to keep it simple.

It was another good one for practice because I felt a little out of control of my speed and movements...just like every day of the week.

About a half hour later, it was all finished except for trimming and binding.

Here's the quilt back.

Here's a closer-up picture of the quilting.

Since this quilt is going to Quilts for Kids, I'll follow their instructions for a "self" binding. I've trimmed the batting to the edge of the quilt top, and I've trimmed the quilt back, leaving an inch margin. I'll just fold that over and use a zigzag stitch to finish it off. They prefer a machine-stitched binding since these quilts are laundered frequently.

That will be my first order of business today, but then I'll be back doing battle with the weeds. I'll just keep at it until it's all done, and that job will take me through week's end, at least.

11 comments from clever and witty friends:

Kristin in Alaska said...

Well now I need to go buy that Line Tamer tool....

CJ Smith said...

That little kid's quilt is cute as can be. It's just happy!

Being a 'vette owner also I can share in your jubilation over getting the road paved! My old house had a quarter mile dirt driveway, so I definitely feel your (especially Mike's) pain.

Quilting Babcia said...

Paved roads can be a pain too, as in more and faster traveling traffic. Though I know your feeling about not having the clouds of dust in the summer. That child's quilt is as cute as it can be, and that braid border quilting is a neat way to finish off a border. Did you do any marking or is it all aim and stitch? We had a 70 degree day today, there are snowflurries in the upcoming weekend forecast ... April Fools Day may be at the end of this month!

WoolenSails said...

Those threads are perfect, love how they look in the quilt.
I wish I could see some blooms, I have one flower that has come up, even my daffodils are not blooming and they are always the first. Warm weather coming in, so hopefully that will help.


piecefulwendy said...

I love all the pretty flowers on your walk. I really think your neighborhood should throw a "Let's Get Paved" party. Haha. We avoid gravel roads as much as possible, but it does make our getting around a bit more inconvenient. Nice finish on the quilt, by the way!

Susan said...

I haven't seen yellow violets before. We have the purple, white, and the white with purple centers.

The yellow and orange in that quilt really blends well with Sadie's furs and eyes.

Nice job on the quilt.

QuiltGranma said...

What wonderful pictures, and I love how you tell the story... if I was there I sure would be appreciating the lovely scent of that tulip! Great job on the machine quilting even with your handy helper!

SJSM said...

Yay! A paved road is coming. Good news for your vehicles.

You are one quick quilter. The child’s quilt is ready to go. It will be greatly appreciated, I’m sure. I had started weeding in the front yard under our deodor cedar. In the process I uncovered an ant hill. They busily had covered one of our in-ground lights which made our tree so dramatic in the evening. I swept the ant hill off it and received a gazillion ants ready to combat the intruder of their home. Today I decided the back yard could use a bit of care. The herbs in pots were trimmed and weeded. I moved on to the garden and moved the stepping stones and got to work. On the last move I sprang the back. That will teach me to do one last bit. Today it is a stitching day as I wait for my back to recover. I was looking forward to planning my next steps in the garden but will work on the Beautiful blocks instead.

PaulaB quilts said...

Thanks so much for all the flower photos. Here in Wisconsin I haven't seen even one bloom yet. I visited Hillsboro years ago when living in Seattle. I recall some steep hills. Your quilting turned out very well and the simple lines don't clash with the fun fabric. Thanks also for the tip about piecing batting. Your supervisor is certainly diligent. Have a fun week!

Brown Family said...

It will be good to have a paved road. Love the quilt!

Kate said...

Looks like you got back into the quilting groove pretty quickly. It's a very bright and fun quilt. Thanks for sharing the pretty flower pictures, I took a walk last night in my favorite park and they've completely torn out the wildflower beds, it was just dirt. So no pretty flower pictures for me yesterday. Bummer. So I really enjoyed yours.