Unplanned Forays



I don’t plan to get side-tracked but it just seems to happen anyway! As it turned out, the tasks that I did instead of what I was meant to be doing proved to be useful after all. Maybe I was preoccupied because my great friend, Tania, moved out of the house next door after 8 years of being my neighbour. She has not moved too far so we will still catch up for coffee but we won’t have daily dog-walks to set the world to right. It seemed to rain constantly all week so it is hardly surprising that I was easily distracted like when I collected an undelivered parcel from the post office depot and came home with another set of bargain kitchen chairs. I will soon be able to open a cafe with all of the seating and tables that I have stashed away…

I had slightly forgotten that I had two long-arming pupils in my studio this week but it was really nice to be teaching them one-to-one. It reminded me that I quilt automatically most of the time so I really had to break things down for them and encouragingly point out that they should not expect their quilting to look wonderful after just one lesson.


As soon as a new batch of 80/20 wadding was delivered, I loaded and quilted a lovely quilt for a Church raffle. There were lots of small pieces so it required a reasonably dense amount of freehand quilting to capture all of its seams. Plumes and swirls soon covered the entire quilt and I felt that I was doing some proper quilting at last. Without even advertising, another two customer quilts came in this week, proving that I should be able to manage without my teaching wages as long as I don’t spend too long writing a book and working on ridiculous self-imposed exhibition challenges.


The photos that I took are pretty good because I set up two IKEA floor lamps with massive photographic bulbs. My husband showed me how to adjust the camera tripod and self-timer so I can have a go at setting up some shots for my book projects without relying on a second person and getting frustrated by the lack of sun.


I thought I would finish off piecing my Peppered Solids blocks and put them away in a box but of course I carried on until I had completed the whole top. I don’t remember planning to make this quilt too large but it ended up at 78” square anyway. I love the colours of this shot-cotton range but because the fabric is a looser Indian weave, it tends to stretch and distort quite easily. I added a border of grey Cherrywood just because that it what I already had and simply made it long enough by adding a few simple strips.


This directly led to another unplanned foray into robot quilting. I knew that I wanted to quilt this with a very traditional Baptist Fan design and it seemed like a good reason to pluck up courage to use the computerised system for my long arm machine that I bought to do the very traditional or basic customer quilts. As with most software, there would appear to be several ways of achieving the same objective and it did not want to behave the way I thought it should. There was a fair bit of trial and plenty of operator error but I eventually managed to download a digital design, transfer it to the tablet, turn it into a pantograph design, set up the long arm to work remotely, then fumble and fudge the placement onto a mock quilt of fleece. I wanted to be sure that I had it all sussed before committing the design to my Peppered Solids quilt so I had another go with a raggy 1930’s quilt top. I am now optimistic that I know how to fit each line of quilting onto the quilt without crashing the system. Maybe I should go ahead and finish my solids quilt before I forget all of the tricks and shortcuts that I learned over two days by refusing to give up until I got it all working properly?!


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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