Full-on Formal


Sometimes I have customer quilts that don’t get quilted as soon as they arrive. This one came last year as a “no hurry” quilt then its owner eventually took it back to complete herself before returning it recently since it looked rather challenging. This customer makes perfectly pieced quilts and she always warns me not to overdo the fancy quilting. This quilt required formal quilting, particularly stitch in the ditch. I am usually reluctant to use rulers as I once ran over one and had to retime my machine. I think that using rulers on a longarm machine is actually quite tricky to begin with – you certainly have to sew far more slowly and concentrate. It is all a matter of confidence – I used a really small ¼” thick ruler that couldn’t slip for the straight lines and a 2″ circle template for all of the pumpkin seeds. I eventually became faster but it still took me 5 full days of quilting to finish this quilt. I am really pleased with the results and know that I will not be afraid to use rulers again. However, I was conscious of how long it took to be so precise and how I was spending the entire week on just one project. 

The formal quilt kept me mostly out of mischief. I had coffee with Mo one morning and came home with 2 new laying hens. Mine are lazy layers so I wanted two everyday chooks with no airs and graces. They have already shamed the other lot by laying a brown egg each every day.

It was a week of very variable weather – we had gale force winds that threatened to pull off my canvas yurt’s roof. The anchoring straps worked themselves loose so I had to go out and haul them in to avoid a catastrophe. I had planned to drive to Perth for the QGBI Scottish Regional Day but we had a severe weather warning for heavy snowfalls. I spent the spare day usefully catching up on correspondence for the Yurt tour in the USA and browsing for internet special offers on Kitchenaid mixers. It will take me ages to decide whether to buy one as they come in so many lovely colours.

I have packed up all of the accessories belonging to my recalcitrant sewing machine to take for a service in case I decide to trade it down. I can only justify doing this if I can get a good deal as it originally cost me a frightening amount of money and I have hardly used any of its fancy functions. I have to pre-quilt some kits for a class that I will be doing for Stirling Castle Quilters this week and maybe I will get started on quilting one of the new Yurt panels. I am dying to get started on Mo’s fabric collage hare but really need to think about how this should be quilted. I also need to decide whether to make something for FOQ this year – if the hare works well then we could consider entering it into the reinstated two-person category.


About thequiltquine

Quirky Quilter in Scotland Creator of The Quilted Yurts, Patchwork Smart Car, Metallic Norse Wholecloths, Coracle, Quilted Henge, Quilting Tutor & Speaker, Occasional Pig-Keeper, Primary School Teacher, Mother, Writer, Landrover Enthusiast, Gin Connoisseur

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