In a Bind

This morning's post finds me in a bind[ing] mood. After wrestling with Semper Fi for weeks, the quilt is finally to the hand-stitching-only stage. I was determined to see it finished before the weekend was over, and it fought me every step of the way. My friend Lyndsey reminded me that being in The Outer Limits was causing my thread problems. (Smacks hand to forehead.) Of course! It only makes sense.

Toward the end of the day on Saturday, I'd walked away from the quilting in frustration over ongoing problems with thread breakage. It's no exaggeration to say I couldn't stitch more than about six inches without getting another break. Everything was tried to correct the problem, including switching out a half-empty spool for a full one. When the problems continued Sunday morning, Smitty convinced me to kick that Aurifil thread to the curb.

Previously, I've used Aurifil thread on Eliza with success. For whatever reason, this white thread was giving me fits, and so I switched it out for a less-expensive spool of Essentials thread. I've used Essentials for years, and it did the trick for this quilt. My thread breakage problems disappeared, and I could quilt along my merry way. When it was finished, I took it downstairs and spread it out on the floor. It's such a huge quilt, it's hard to get a good picture of it, but here goes:

Inspector Smitty at your service! I'll need just a few minutes to fully charge my lasers, and then I'll be ready to give this quilt a good once-over.


Stop yelling, Smitty. I'm right here. I thought we agreed we weren't doing any more quilt inspections until we'd renegotiated our treats-for-service contract. You have to be furrm in these labor disputes or you'll never get anywhere.

Oh, you're right, Sadie. I furrgot about that. It's still a good oppurrtunity for me to be photographed for my new Purrine Corps recruiting poster. Which part of the quilt shows off my furs best?

We had to wait for Smitty to finish up his photo shoot, but then I was able to get a little closer to the quilting.

While I was waiting for him, I made up a little label for the back.

And I had time to sew the binding strips together and get it pressed for machine sewing.

I was kind of dreading wrestling the quilt on my domestic machine, but after about 45 minutes, it was finished and ready for hand-sewing.

It's waiting downstairs for me, clips in place, and I'll get started on that today.

The only other sewing I did yesterday was to stitch up the first of three snowmen for this go-round on "I Believe in Snowmen." This is the 8th of 16 embroidered blocks for this quilt.

When I came upstairs to write this post, I left Sadie considering how she might snag a morning snack from the hummingbird feeder. The window glass presents a significant impediment to her purrogress.

Today's time will be measured in lengths of thread. I want to focus on hand-stitching the quilt binding, but I'll probably stop every two lengths of thread to do something else. There are two more Tiny Tree blocks to make, and I need to get after the applique for the next Dancing Chickens & Flying Pigs block. Also, I simply must catch up on some housekeeping chores. I don't know about you, but a quilt takes over my life when I'm pushing through to a finish. I'm getting an early start, so we'll just see how far I can get today.

10 comments from clever and witty friends:

Julierose said...

Busy busy days,,,Semper Fi finish is so beautiful--I know they will cherish it..great job on the whole really B I G piece...hugs, Julierose

djquilting said...

Barbara, I'm so glad Semper Fi is finished, and what a great job you did with the quilting despite your thread problems. I especially like your quilting motif on the stars. A treasure for sure. Doris

Lyndsey said...

Well done Barbara that really was a massive task. It looks magnificent. I'm pleased it passed the quality control stage, since Smitty and Sadie really are perfectionists. Good luck with the hand stitching.

Vicki W said...

This quilt has really come together quickly! It's going to be such a treasure.

Tilly said...

What a beautiful quilt and so big. Think the recipients will be very glad with such a beauty. And your assistants really need a treat for their inspection work.

Dorothy said...

Despite all of the hype of how wonderful Aurifil thread is, I've had a lot of problems with it breaking just using it as a "piecing" thread. Frustrating because it is expensive

Louise said...

I've had that same issue with particular spools of Aurifil. My machine loves it right up until it doesn't, sometimes mid-spool. Usually it's darker colors that break for me and I figured it was because the dyes weaken the cotton? Maybe that white dye is really bad, ha!

Denise :) said...

Many years ago, our cat Merlin would sit at the window watching the birds at the feeder and his little mouth would move and he'd make those funny little chirrup noises, and we'd laugh and laugh ... until the day he pounced THROUGH the window. LOL! That's what the pic of Sadie made me think of! Semper Fi is amazing -- it just really looks terrific and the binding you've selected is perfect for it! Go you!!! :)

piecefulwendy said...

Wow, I hadn't realized just how large that quilt is! It looks fantastic! Glad the kitties gave their appurroval, so you can get on with the binding. Like you, when I'm on the home stretch, I'd like to just do that and nothing else. Darned housekeeping! By the way, the package is on its trek to you.

quiltzyx said...

Semper Fi is so beautiful! Congratulations Barbara!

And there's that Sadie being a rabble rouser again. A union leader no less!