Not this guy, apparently. He's really enjoying the seed in the feeder. I haven't enjoyed filling it this week, though, often in nearly 0 degree weather, but we don't want these beautiful birds to go hungry!
Meanwhile, inside the house, after (mostly) conquering the static-cling problem with my polyester thread, quilting proceeded on the garrison landscape....
...only to come to another halt.
This is the largest landscape quilt I've ever pieced and layered, roughly 45 x 54 including the borders. Granted, the harp space of my machine is wide, 11 inches. Still, notice the excess bulk in front of the machine, which you can't leave in your lap without experiencing serious drag problems. However, bunching it up on the sewing table where it would cause no drag, I could barely see what was going on under the needle. And the sides of the quilt were rolled up so tightly that, as Leah Day warns in her quilting videos, it was like dealing with a couple of logs. Long story short, I was hunched over the machine like Quasimodo as I tried to stitch in free motion. There was nothing 'free' about the motion! The quilt was simply unable to move as needed.
Remember, this is not a bed quilt. Landscape quilts can be a bit stiff already at this point, with up to three or four fabric layers in some areas, plus batting and backing--and again, this is not a small one. You can't just smush it all up under the machine, and you don't want to crease any thick areas by folding them flat--hence the log rolls.
So, what to do? Well, considering a major part of the bulk is batting, there seemed to be only one solution. It's what my friend Kathy does when making a queen-sized bed quilt on her machine, which has a very small harp space. Back to the cutting table...
...where I un-basted roughly a third of the quilt on each side, and cut the batting out, leaving the center third intact. Of course the two cut batting sections will be put back later, after the center is quilted.
And what a difference! Here's the 'before' again...
...and here's the 'after.'
After several days of intense stitching, I needed a break--not just from free-motion quilting, but from looking at the same thing day in and day out. Usually, I have two or three landscape quilts in the works, at different stages. But not this time. So, two days ago, I pulled a few fat-quarters off the shelf; prints I probably wouldn't use in a landscape, for various reasons.
Anyway, this hodge-podge (or hotchpotch, depending on what side of the pond you're from) of fabric pieces resulted in a combination on the design board that made me feel pretty cheerful.
The border will probably be this blue batik, which is darker than it looks in the photo.
Hooking up with Leah Day's FMQ Project Linkup, and with Sarah Craig's Whoop Whoop Friday blog (haha, Sarah is also asking if anyone else is ready for spring--I think all of us are done with winter!). If you want or need quilting inspiration, you will find plenty of it in both these places, as well as with their reader hookups.
Have a great weekend, and again, those of you in single-digit temps, stay warm!