A Bonus Quilting Day
I picked Margaret up around 9 a.m. yesterday morning and we headed to the church. Our sewing group quilts in the fellowship hall and normally, the quilt we are working on gets left set up with a sheet on it to protect it. Because of the memorial service last week, though, and the reception afterward in the fellowship hall, Pat took the quilt down and put it away for safekeeping. Margaret and I had to set it up again so we could work on it.
Putting a quilt into a frame requires a certain amount of skill, a skill I do not possess. I did the heavy lifting (such as it was) and stood by while Margaret deftly stretched the quilt out again so we could work on it. By the time we were done, the others had started arriving.
From left to right in the picture below: Shirley, Shirley’s daughter Karen, Karen’s in-laws, and Margaret.
The quilt we were working on was pieced by Karen’s sister-in-law, and she came for a bit, too, to watch and take pictures. Our sewing group often quilts on commission for other people to raise money. The cost is calculated by the amount of thread used.
I sat for a bit and put some stitches in. Margaret keeps telling me I am not too old to learn and I did reasonably well. I also discovered that I can quilt—more slowly, but I can still do it—left-handed, which is a nifty trick. We all try to work from right to left, but sometimes we have to go in the opposite direction. Who knew? This is an easy quilt to quilt. Some quilts are harder to quilt than others. Cotton batting is harder to quilt through than polyester. Batik fabrics are more tightly woven and tougher to get a needle into than quilting cottons. (A batik quilt with cotton batting is a dreaded combination, apparently.) The trick to quilting is to scoop up multiple stitches onto your needle with a rocking motion, then stop and pull the thread through all of them. That is more efficient than quilting stitch-by-stitch. I can get 2-3 stitches on my needle before I have to pull the thread through. I think Margaret scoops up at least half a dozen. Getting the stitches onto your needle isn’t difficult; getting tiny, even stitches onto your needle is.
[Our friend Holly was there and she told the story of the time Margaret came to her house to help with a quilt. “I just sat her down on a chair with wheels,” Holly said, and we all laughed, because we know that Margaret quilts fast enough that she moves along the side of the quilt at a good clip.]
When Joann got there, she and I got out the second quilt frame and Margaret helped us put a comforter in to tie. Anyone who doesn’t quilt is welcome to tie comforters—we’ve had work parties in the past when the men came and helped, too—so Joann and I sat and worked on the comforter and visited. It only takes about two hours for two people to tie a comforter. We had it done by 12:30 when Joann had to leave, and I brought it home with me to bind. I’ve been making comforter tops from 5” print squares and 5” Kona squares. They are easy to tie because we put a knot in the middle of each 5” square and that is a good spacing. We don’t tie each square individually—we do a row of squares with a long doubled thread, then snip the thread between each square before tying the knots. I’ll take pictures next week because I think we’ll be tying another top (that I have yet to sew together, but that should only take an evening).
I left around 1:00 p.m. and Shirley, Holly, and Margaret were still quilting. We’ll work on this same quilt again next week at our regular sewing day (August already!), but Margaret will have left by then to go back to Indiana. I am glad we were able to schedule some time for her to quilt with us. We had a lot of fun.
I really need to get back out in the garden. I am almost afraid to go look because I think the zucchini may have taken over, and I am sure there are more raspberries to deal with. The currants should be close to being ripe, too. I’d be out there this morning while it’s still cool but I have a few construction company-related tasks that need to be done ASAP and involve me driving to Bigfork and Kalispell. Hopefully it won’t be blisteringly hot this afternoon. If it is, I may be working on quilt binding (the Ritzville quilt needs to be bound) or aprons.