I know, don't die of shock when I tell you that there has been some quilting going on around here. My darling mum was recently diagnosed with a malignant tumor in her bowel and underwent surgery nearly two weeks ago. Being so far away, I felt pretty useless, more so by the fact that we have all been sick again, so I couldn't even fly down to visit, let alone help look after her in the early days of her recovery.
What to do, I thought, other than make her a quilt? Because mum's surgery was scheduled so quickly I didn't have much time to put it together. I also didn't have any time to go fabric shopping, so I delved into my stash, finding the 1/2 yards of Amy Butler Belle that my brother and his partner bought for me for Christmas. I thought it was perfect for this project as it all coordinates. I decided, that since time was of the essence, I would make a strippy block quilt. I wanted it to be fairly big so I sashed the 5" finished blocks (rotated at each setting) with 5" white sashing. The finished quilt measures 45" by 55". I was really happy with how the quilt top turned out. Fresh, bright and modern.
Not so happy was I with the quilting. I know I've complained of this before, but it doesn't seem to matter how careful I am with the basting, the fabric shifts as it's going through my machine (even with a walking foot - which seems to be next to useless) and it ends up bunching. I think part of the problem is that my base-level Janome has such a small work surface that the weight of the quilt drags the fabric out from under the needle, despite my best efforts to support the weight of the quilt. It also means that my 'straight lines' are often not, due to the dragging. I guess this means that I need a bigger machine! Sadly, our finances are not in a state where this is even a remote possibility. I will just have to persevere. Maybe I need to do more stippling, as this will help avoid the bunching issues I'm getting with full width straight line quilting. I am also investigating different batting/wadding options, as it's possible my choice in that area is also affecting the end result.
I also made my first pieced back, not completely happy, as I somehow managed to get it slightly offcentre, and with the straight line quilting this really shows. I hope mum will forgive the quilt's imperfections. It's the thought that counts, right?
Anway, while it's not perfect, it made it to my mum a couple of days after she got home from hospital. I'm hoping it feels a bit like a long-distance cuddle every time she sees it/snoozes under it. It's the best I can do until we see mum and dad again - hopefully in a couple of weeks, our state of health pending.