Sunday, January 23, 2022

Next to last step

 The thing I worried about most, was quilting the floral print border. Should I outline the pattern with navy stitching? That might have been a plan, but using navy thread on the navy background could be a problem. I had tried it on the Hawaiian blocks, and in some places the thread left a small loop and it was hard to see until it was too late to fix.  It really didn't show up in the echo quilting either.I left the parts I had done in navy, but switched to a regular blue.

I decided to use white thread on the print instead, as I had just bought a new spool, so am sure I will have enough. Then next, what should I do in the larger areas? This design is not really suitable for echo quilting. I used thinsulate for batting which will not shift and does not really need heavy quilting. 

I decided to try randomly sketched hearts, and use the lighter blue thread. Once I put those in, I decided this will be the way I quilt the rest of the border. I basted the border every 6 to 8 inches, and I can work on this part without using a hoop. I think this quilt has decided what it wants, and we are both happy.

Sitting here in my livingroom quilting, I am enjoying the birds visiting my window cafe. Last week I re-stocked my supply of sunflower seeds. Then, I began to notice they were disappearing at a faster rate.


I had seen this visitor last year, and moved the window cafe up higher, so it was not in reach of the fence below. That had seemed to be working, but this "Kuma nezumi" is a bit smarter than I thought. He has found a route along the top of the window ledge, that he can drop down into the feeder.

When I opened the curtains to get a better look, he did not jump down to the fence and run along the top, but leaped up in the air to the top of the window.

With him gone, the birds returned, but at night he must have come back, because the feeder had nothing left but seed shells.

I wonder if I need to remove the feeder from the window at night, or just buy more seeds. I wonder if this is the guy that chewed the electric wires to my heated floor.

My english student says he has seen the rat at the entrance to the house across the street. We have a number of old houses that were built in the day the area under the house was open with a few grates around the base. In the past, when we had rat problems, we closed off those open grates at our house to keep the rats out. I knew it did not get rid of the problem because I often see droppings or evidence of plant seeds being chewed.
We have many feral cats in the area, but they don't seem interested in that kind of problem solving. This guy probably knows I'm a rat-year person, and is taking advantage.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

border progress

I decided that, as long as I have to move the hoop around, I may as well do the next two borders together.

Since the 5-inch squares are made from a variety of yukata fabrics, I didn't want to use a quilting design that would either distract from the print, or not be seen at all. 

I decided on just a square inside the square, one inch from the border. I think that is enough to keep the batting from shifting, and the puffiness will be warmer. 

I had planned to use the same vine pattern for the second blue strip, and decided to use a blue thread instead of the white. Since I was doing this along with the squares, I drafted a different pattern that could be done square-by-square. It is quite convenient because I can keep two needles ready for the squares, white on light, and blue on dark, and I like the way the blue thread shows up in the third border.

I am finished now with three sides, so will have to think about what I am going to do with that floral outer border. I have a basic idea but am thinking between navy and blue threads, and how much I want that quilting to show.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Slow progress

On December 22 I finished piecing the backing, basted the quilt on the apartment floor, and began quilting the star in the ditch, from the center out.  Once the star was done, I began working on the Hawaiian blocks. At first I stitched around the applique using navy thread. It was hard to see against the navy background. I didn't take out my work, but decided to switch to a regular blue thread,  The applique quilting was done in white but it is not easy to see the quilted details 

Today, I finished quilting the first narrow blue border. 
The next task will be to select a quilt design for the border of five-inch blocks.

I really don't want heavy quilting, as it would distract from the yukata prints.
I am thinking of doing the second blue border with the same design as the first, only using the blue thread instead of white. 

It's nice to have a cozy quilt to work under, but my fingers are very sore working through the many seams in the backing.