Saturday, July 13, 2013

Biting the bullet

Yesterday I began piecing the tenugui for the back of the owl quilt.

When it was all together, I found the backing was rather larger, meaning some of the animal towels might have to be cut too much.
Since I really wanted all the animals to be displayed, I went up to my stash and found some rust fabric left from a quilt I made many years ago for my #2 daughter.

I cut some two and a half inch strips and added a frame to the top.

Tomorrow, after church, I have a Cub Scout outing to the subway museum so probably I wouldn't have enough time to do basting even if I could locate some space. I decided to bite the bullet and move furniture to clear a space in my livingroom.

The space was rather tight and it meant I had to crawl on top of the work. It made me appreciate the women doing the ASIJ quilt, taping the flimsy to the island of tables, spreading the batting, and putting the last layer in place ... then everyone grabs needle and thread and that quilt is basted in no time.

I used Thinsulate 60 loft  and pieced two sections from the bolt.

I rolled it and spread it gradually, making sure the seams were lying flat. That is the hardest part and I am never really satisfied. I have thought the only way to get it all the way I want is to baste every seam in the right direction.

I began pining from the top border, then I flipped it over and made more adjustments, and flipped it back. I really don't think it would have helped to baste with thread because crawling back and forth across it was counter productive.

I will need to use a hoop for quilting unless I baste it with the hoop on, which I might want to do for the borders,.

Now it is bed time but I have managed to quilt the owl's tummy from bill to toes.

The squares are two inches and with this kind of batting, the combination of diagonal and in-the-ditch will be enough.

I'm glad to have the quilting underway but it sure is HOT sitting with this on my lap.

Meanwhile, the next lilies are beginning to bloom.

Are these what they call "Tiger Lilies"?
Instead of seed pods, they have lots of mini-bulbs developing in the leaf axis.

These lilies are large and white.

And the pineapple lily has begun to flower.

I love to watch this plant change day-by-day.

Too bad computers don't come with smell. The last of the gardenias are finishing up their spring blooms.

I'm sure you could find our gate, even if you were blind, just by the smell. The only care they really need is watching out for caterpillars about the time the buds come out.

This year, only one bud was chewed and I never did find the culprit.

My monstera-leaf philodendron couldn't take the heat in the greenhouse where we sleep. Yesterday I brought them down to the first floor and, though some of the leaves are dying, the plants have perked up  and may survive.

The cacti are all quite happy. Tomorrow is supposed to be very hot too and it's almost here. Wish there was a way to save the heat until mid-winter.


  1. When you find the method of saving the heat for mid-winter, please let me know. We have a lot ot heat in Texas lately. I really like how your owl is coming along. I dislike making the quilt sandwich also. I have a large table and lots of space but that doesn't seem to help much. It's just a tough job. Beautiful flowers you have. I like gardenias but hey don't do well in the hot, dry climate of west Texas. The lillies are gorgeous.

  2. the orange lilies that you show as Tiger Lilies are the same as what I have and call Tiger Lilies. Love the owl.

  3. Lovely flowers - I can almost smell them.

    I am amazed each time I read of your progress on your quilt. It is looking so great. What a clever idea to add to the top so the back was what you wanted it to be. It is coming along nicely.

  4. garden and quilt looking good xx

  5. I like the rust fabric frame - and agree with JoAnn - it was quite clever of you to add to the top to save cutting the back! The rust color ties to the leaves and the branch and the owl - it looks as if you intended to make it that way all along - ;)) You are a FAST quilter to have his tummy done already - at that rate you will have him finished in no time at all - ;))

  6. Hellooooo, dear Julie ;>)

    Back from Spain, I'm catching up with my fav' blogs, and I'm starting with you... That owl quilt is simply stunning and SO BEAUTIFUL, WOW!

  7. I keep meaning to buy tenugui, but then get scared it won't behave in the machine for me. Do you think there would be any problems in particular I would come across?

  8. I take my hat off! You're quilting in the Tokyo heat.

  9. Too bad I'm still not in Japan. You could come and baste at my house then. Love the owl quilt; it is gorgeous!! Take care friend and stay cool!

  10. I enjoy seeing all the tenugui. I have several pieces from bonodoris I attended. I haven't done anything with them yet but they are with my yukata fabric waiting for inspiration. I like the variety you have as mine are all similar.

  11. wow, lovely owl quilt and the flowers!! hugs