Friday, March 18, 2016

Time for Blocking

Two things are on the agenda for this week and next.

First: Finishing another winter scene. This (incomplete) photo was taken at an angle, because it shows the quilting better than does my straight-on shot. The sky is simply stippled. I'm trying to decide whether the quilt needs a border before binding. There is enough backing and batting for a narrow one.

It was fun and fairly quick to quilt, with invisible thread on top and only one color in the bobbin. I had always been afraid that invisible thread would be too hard on the machine's tension disks, but during a phone call last week to my dealer (Moore's Sewing and Learning Center), I was assured that some of the newer, softer invisible threads are quite safe. They said Glynnis (their award-winning in-house embroiderer/quilter) uses Superior Threads Mono-poly all the time in the same model machine I use. Knowing Glynnis and her exquisite work, and having some of that very thread in my stash, I let go my fear and got to work.

And, wow. I had forgotten how much faster a landscape quilt goes when you're not stopping to change thread and bobbins every few minutes! The bobbin thread, by the way, was Superior's Bottom Line. The only other thread used on top was for a few lines of satin stitching, and that was Floriani embroidery thread. It was the perfect shade, a very pale blue, and it stitched out beautifully and has the perfect sheen against the blue-white snow fabric.

Second on the agenda: The aster quilt. It was finally laid out on the floor yesterday for blocking.
Blue jay to be added later.
It is larger than most of my quilts. Remembering all too well the neck, shoulder and arm issues that occurred after hovering a heavy steam iron for an hour-and-a-half over my last large quilt, I decided no way was I repeating that experience.

So, for the first time ever, after rolling the quilt out like a pie crust to smooth it (using a pool noodle--no kidding) and T-pinning it square, I simply covered it with some old white towels....

...and sprayed them with one of those pump-type garden sprayers. Not until they were wet, though; just good and damp. When the quilt is completely dry, I hope it will be as nicely blocked as it would have been by steaming. We'll find out.

After that, the winter scene was steam-blocked with the iron (no problem for that quilt, as I was standing, and the quilt is fairly small) on my 'blocking box' on top of the cutting table.

This hand-painted blue jay will be fused onto the aster quilt after squaring, trimming and binding. He's been hanging out on the design wall all this time.

That's it for now...

...except to say that my only grandchild is one year old today, Friday, March 18! Here she is, doing her own version of blocking (no sound). Happy birthday, sweet Lucy!!

Everyone have a great weekend--spring is here!! Well, at least in this half of the world.  :)



  1. Oooooh, the Aster quilt is awesome!

    1. Thank you Vicki! I used most of the hand-dyes I had from you, so it will soon be time to order more. Yay!!

  2. Such a sweetie! Happy Birthday, Lucy!


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