1. Quilted the geese. Mostly just outlined their major areas in a free-motion satin-stitch so that their bodies would puff out a bit and look more dimensional.
2. Quilted the turtles. Gotta admit I wasn't looking forward to this, but they turned out to be more fun than challenging, although there was definitely a 'learning curve.' For them, I used a combination of free-motion satin-stitch and free-motion straight-stitch. With the first turtle, I had to break thread roughly 8 times as I kept working myself into areas I couldn't easily get out of. With the second turtle, it was one continuous thread, start to finish, no breaks. At that point I was pumped enough to do a third one! Alas, there are but two...
3. Quilted this frog.
Just kidding. We found this little guy yesterday on the porcelain-berry vine in the back yard. He was only 1-1/4 inches long, and turned green as soon as my husband picked him up. He's called a grey tree frog. I love frogs. Ok, back to quilting:
4. Time to steam-block the quilt. Tools: carpeted floor, flannel-back vinyl table cloth (flannel side up), old cotton sheet, quilt face-down, lots of T-pins, press cloth, spray bottle of water, and iron. This photo was taken just after the quilt was blocked (took about an hour after pinning). After that, it lay untouched overnight, until there was no question it was dry. And what a difference. I always forget just how much smoother and better these wall quilts look after they're steamed and dried. Blocking 'marries' the quilt layers without flattening them (hold the iron just grazing the backing; do not set its full weight down on the quilt!!), shrinks out any warping, and makes it far less likely that those buried knots will ever work their way out.
5. Time to square. Pinned the blocked, dry quilt back up on the design wall. And suddenly it hit me that I could use a plumb bob to get a true vertical line. I'm sure people do this all the time, but I never had a design wall until this quilt, so the idea had never occurred to me. Wow, what a timesaver!
See the string hanging from the flower pin? That's just a paper clip (not the old wire kind) clamped onto the bottom end of the string. This (the string plus the clip) is a makeshift plumb bob. The paper clip is heavy enough to pull the string into a straight (plumb) line. When the paper clip stops swinging around in the air currents caused by your window air conditioner, your pedestal fan and your ceiling fan, you can get your true vertical line and mark it on the quilt! (And yes, I had to turn off the window unit, pedestal fan and ceiling fan--one by one. That darned paper clip didn't stop moving until all three were off and the air was perfectly still. Hey--ding ding ding--here's an idea: Maybe I should have used a bigger paper clip. Duh.
Oh well, next time. :)
Anyway, the quilt is now squared and trimmed, and binding strips have been cut. I'll save that photo for next time.
Now it's time to sign off and do the fifth load of laundry. Why do I always think I can save all the chores until the last day before a trip? Hooking up with Leah Day's FMQ Friday post--she's teaching her husband to stitch free-motion--is this cool, or what??? (Wait, do we really want our spouses in our spaces? I might have to think twice about that... ;) Anyway, his first free-motion attempt is pretty impressive. Also hooking up with Sarah Craig's Whoop Whoop Fridays post, where she has got a clean house this week (I'm SO jealous, but yes, now and then it just has to be done) and is generously sharing other folks' work instead of her own.
Have a good weekend, everyone, and if you're having 75 degree weather like we are today, take a break from quilting and get outdoors!