Sunday, August 24, 2014

Another Finish!

Another finish! Yeah! This one took a long time. Partly because I was afraid of the machine applique (still am....ask me what I think once I take the quilt out of the wash!), and partly because of my arthritis in my thumb -- which the latter, of the two, kept me away longer than I wanted!

It's not a big quilt. The little man is now 4 months old, but it's still a great size to cover him in the winter months and for him to drag around as a toddler. Mom told me the room was blue's and brown's and that they were focusing on an "airplane" theme. I found lots of patterns, but they were so much more grown up (outlines of large jetliners).

The pattern is called "Fly With Me" designed by Kristen Grassaway. I found it as a .PDF pattern at Connecting Threads. She has a lot of cute patterns. I found the cutting instructions a bit confusing and had to paste little fabrics to the pattern cutting directions. I'm one to "make it up as you go along", so patterns are not my forte. I usually look at it and work it out myself. Remember, I'm the girl that HATES math -- so that's probably more than half of the problem!

I have always thought you "HAD" to have one piece for the back! Well I still wanted to incorporate some of the blue in the background from the front. I ended up having a whole new quilt on the back with the whales and a couple of stripes of white through the back. Of course I had to use my "black and white text" binding. I think it gives the whole quilt a bit of a lift without taking away from the whole quilt. Have you ever seen quilts where everything is nice and then the binding just screams "I DON'T BELONG ON HERE!!!!"

My applique is a work in progress. I used minimal lite fusible web ...meaning the body of the plane on the insides does not have fusible. I only have about a quarter inch of fusible around each pattern piece to hold it down. The wings as well have only the fusible web along the outside edges as well, as I cut the middle out. The windows and front windshield have webbing for the whole piece. Another thing that I did was put fray stop on the ends of each part that my thread was cut. I don't want it to fall apart until it's "worn" apart, if you know what I mean! I used matching thread for each piece of the applique and a small zig zag. It's not perfect, but from farther away it looks just fine! I think this helped me overcome my fear of machine sewn applique! Those little windows are smaller than a dime. Best advice: GO SLOW, take your time around corners and watch where your needle goes up and down. I'm happy with the outcome and wouldn't hesitate tackling this again -- except maybe tackle it sooner rather than later!

TIP: as the applique pieces are on one piece of fabric -- I zig-zagged the edges before putting together the rest of the quilt. The blocks were much easier to maneuver  around all those curves!

Thanks to my long arm quilter, Karen! The simple quilting is just great and "enough". Sometimes people over-kill on the quilting and lose the simplicity. It's just "right" or this little one! I wanted this quilt nice and soft so he could cuddle it around him!

Now, on to the arthritis. I have been typing all my life (from when I was 12). I remember the typewriters where you had to pound on the keys and throw the carriage to the right (you know what I mean if you ever typed on a manual!). Put that with always using my hands for crafting! You name it, paining, ceramics, croheting, knitting, Bunka, etc., etc.Flash forward to now, the joints are now wearing thin. I have had my second injection of cortisone into the joint and it hasn't helped much this time.

Using your hands all the time and in particular "pinching" fabric between your pointer finger and thumb hurts! (bubye for now those hand-pieced hexagons).  Putting my hand onto my rulers to hold down and cut fabric is another challenge.

Wearing one of these is a pain in the butt, but it does help with the pain somewhat. It's pretty hard to hold stuff that needs "delicate" touch. Meantime, I do what I can to get these projects done! If any of you have experience with this, I would sure love to hear about your journey through this. I suspect as I age, I will be having more issues! I just want to be able to continue to quilt! (Not to mention I have some years before I can retire! -- the last 7 years or so, I have been typing way more! Heaven forbid with the newer generations and all their "texting!" Can't imagine what's going to happen to them!

I'm going to try and take a hiatus and send my Babylock Symphony in for a spa day or two, so I'll just be content with folding my fat quarters and organizing the rest of my sewing room! I've got more planned to sew, but I think it will be a bit before I show you all any finished projects!

Meantime, think of me when you are sewing and as always.....


BillieBee (billiemick) said...

Such a cute quilt. Maybe that's what's wrong with my hands as well...hmmmmm....I'm old as dirt so I guess I wore them out...giggle.

And Yes I did use manual typewriters...:)

Margo said...

Thanks BillieBee! I keep telling Chef that too...I'm old as dirt! ha ha!

Anonymous said...

Yep, manual. Our high school typing class had only 5 electric machines, and I was so happy when I got a turn on there! I owned a portable manual for many years until I could afford my own used Selectric. Loved that machine! Your airplane block is adorable, and the whole quilt is perfect for a little guy. It will be a favorite as he grows older, and he'll probably want another one when he's bigger! Sorry you are having so much joint trouble. Hope the rest helps.

Margo said...

Ahhhhh the Selectrics! I remember having one of those! Remember when the auto-correct came out and we didn't have to use white-out? Those were the days! ha ha! I'm headed back to the doc to see what they an do. I hate to think what the next generation will be like with their non-stop texting! I would imagine their thumbs will be worse than ours!