Long and Winding Road

From tree top to tree trunk was a long and winding journey, but Tree #7 is complete now. For all the  gnashing of teeth, it kind of turned out okay. I took a few little cheater back stitches where the edges were uneven enough to bother me.

Then I was ready to sew on the beads. These were just sewn on randomly, although I used the picture as a guide. They were supposed to be held on using French knots. I had about half of them sewn on when one popped off. The knots weren't large enough to hold them, and so I took all of them off and started over. Now they're sewn on as the others have been, using two stitches looping through the center of the bead. I like it better that way. The French knots hid the luster of the beads. Here's how it looks now...all finished.

Tomorrow I'll start on Tree #8. This one has two new-to-me stitches, but they look so much easier than the braid stitch. The leaves will be stitched using "fishbone stitch," and the little flowers will be sewn using "ribbed spider web wheels." No spiders will be harmed in the stitching of this piece....unless I see one, and then I'll squash it. (Mike always catches them and liberates them to the great outdoors.)

I had some housework to do yesterday, which put a large dent in my sewing time. There was some time in the afternoon though. My two catsultants helped me puzzle out the math and measuring for the railroad track border. When I do too much math, smoke starts coming from my ears, and that sets off the smoke alarms. The catsultants are purrturbed by the smoke alarm, and so we try to avoid this as much as possible.

But the borders are irrelevant until the center blocks are sewn together, and so that's where I started. It didn't take long to get the first two rows sewn together.

I'm consulting the book to be certain I have them oriented correctly. In doing so, I discovered the example in the book didn't use all 60 blocks. There are 60 blocks, to be sure, but two are repeats, and two are missing. Oh well...mine uses all of them, and so I had to decide which ones I preferred for the corners. When I quit for the day, I had the third row sewn together. This morning, I'll sew it to the rest and then get on with the rest. There are 8 rows of 7 blocks each, and then one in each corner of the quilt.

Also, I have some brown #7 Perle cotton thread on order. This quilt kind of begs to be hand quilted with big stitches. I figure as long as it's the world record holder for the longest-running UFO, I should just keep stretching out the time it will take me to finish. (High fives all around!) Besides, it will be a good project to take along when we head south.

There was a pretty sunrise this morning. In the image below, that's Mt. St. Helens on the right and Mt. Rainier on the left. I love that bright spot of red light on Mt. Rainier.

There's not much on today's agenda, and so I'm hoping to get all the blocks sewn together for Mulligan Stew. If I'm really speedy, I might get a start on the railroad track borders too.

9 comments from clever and witty friends:

Ann said...

I love your idea of the railroad track border. So clever. Can't wait to see this one finished. It's so old fashioned. Nice job.

NancyA said...

Your braid stitch looks great (and no one needs to know about the little extra stitches to improve things). I watched her video and the stitch looked involved, but doable—in a straight line!, Wow! Curves and tiny curves at that! Kudos!

Julierose said...

Definitely a long and winding road for your tree--but it really is lovely! i especially love the addition of those vibrant red beads...it really looks Christmassy for sure...lovely work...hugs, Julierose

Quilting Babcia said...

Your braid stitching looks mighty good to me. Beautiful sunrise.

bcarlf said...

The Christmas tree turned out so pretty. I look forward to seeing the new stitches on the next one.

That photo of the mountains is amazing. You should enter it into a contest!

piecefulwendy said...

That little tree really turned out nicely, and I have the Beatles going on in my head now, too -- one of the songs I like, so thank you! Good thing you are using cat math for those borders. I'm sure the figuring will be much easier with their help. That next little tree looks a bit intimidating!

Charlotte M. said...

I think your braid stitch turned out lovely. I just recently learned the fishbone stitch myself and I really love the way it looks. Your trees are coming along nicely.

Louise said...

The braided tree looks like it's made of garlands. It turned out great and the way you did the beads seems just right! I must not be paying Angel enough, because she won't catsult on any of my projects. I keep telling her that we're family and shouldn't I get a discount?

quiltzyx said...

Lucky you to have catsultants that also do math! With their help, the railroad tracks should be a breeze.

Learning 2 more embroidery stitches, wowzers! The red bead are such a great touch too.