Thursday, July 25, 2019

Hand Stitching Light

I like to keep my hands busy, so in the evening when Dan and I are watching TV together, big stitch hand quilting is what I want to do. Unfortunately, I've had many evenings where I started stitching during early evening light, but the lighting became so poor, I had to set my quilt aside.

Here's a picture of me hand stitching using only the end table lamp to illuminate what I'm working on. Though here the light looks acceptable because the picture was taken during the day, visibility is not acceptable in the evening. Our end table lamps have lightbulbs that emit a warm, soft light, so seeing is extremely difficult.

My ability to hand quilt in dim light has increased dramatically since investing $13.99 in a Ledgle brand rechargeable LED book light. I'm wearing it around my neck.

The lamp provides illumination right where I need it, without distracting Dan who's usually sitting in the chair next to me. Both lamps have three different settings, with the third setting shining two LED lights.

Because each side is flexible, I can point the light on where I need it most.
Big stitch hand quilting my selvedge quilt
The light arrived with a charge, enough for several hours of stitching. It can handily be recharged with my iPhone plug, or at my computer, using the included cord.

The light is available in several exterior colors - black, light blue, blue, and yellow. This is the light blue one that I'd call closer to "aqua."

If you're interested, here's the product I ordered from Amazon. By the way, I am not being compensated for this review. It's entirely of my own doing because I think it's worth sharing with my quilt-y friends. Even if you don't quilt, it would work well for knitting, crocheting, embroidery, and reading.

In the sewing room, I've been trial-and-erroring to learn to sew set in circles. They've fascinated me since seeing @mariquilts beautiful inset circle blocks on Instagram. She blogs at TheQuiltingEdge

I used Painter's Palette bright yellow with Gelato ombré to piece convex circles, and Painter's Palette pale aqua for concave circle/background block. No clue where this is going, but it's fun playing!
If you're as in the dark as I was about how to cut and sew inset circles, I highly recommend watching this YouTube video. It was made by Sharon, to explain how to use her Classic Curves Ruler (I love this ruler!) for inset circles, and includes video by Cassandra Beaver, a modern quilter from Ohio whose designs I really admire. Between the two of them, they do a great job of explaining how to be successful at making them. Always be learning, right?

I spent a day last week catching up on my temperature quilt. To make these Drunkard's Path blocks I'm using the Classic Curves Ruler! I put this picture on Instagram and it has received the most likes of anything I've posted this year! 
Though I had angst about this project because of the colors, I ended up adding three "hot" colors to the top temperatures - Painter's Palette sangria, amethyst, and bordeaux (the hottest) - for a total of 23 different solids to represent temps from 33F to more than 98F. Bet you can see we've had a long spell of hot temperatures, both high and low!

My latest audiobook finish is "The Perfect Couple" by Elin Hilderbrand. I picked this one because I'd read her Christmas-y Winter Street series last year - Winter Street; Winter Stroll; Winter Storm; and Winter Solstice.

All of Ms. Hilderbrand's books take place on Nantucket Island, a place I've never been. It sounds out of my league, but charming. "The Perfect Couple" book is about several 20-somethings, an engagement and wedding plans, liaisons between women and men (who shouldn't be liaisoning), and figuring out love. Of course, there's an unexplained death to keep readers guessing about who-done-it. 

Linda's score: 3.6/5.0


  1. Your temperature quilt is really getting interesting Linda. I have a couple of little rechargeable lights that I use when doing close stitching. Thankfully I don’t need to watch my knitting, my preferred Winter craft, quite so much.

  2. I love those little lights, very clever and I may need to get myself a pair. Love your quilts and so fun watching your temperature quilt grow, I'm really enjoying the journey with you!!! Happy Quilting!!!

  3. Oh my, I can never get enough light on anything and always try new lighting ideas. This one looks particularly good because you can angle it to avoid shadows. Thanks for the tip. The Temperature Quilt is looking dramatic and beautiful! Set-in circles- a fun challenge.

  4. Yes! Crafty Daughter gifted me with one of those lights last spring and they are amazing! These temperatures quilts are all so unique. I’ve listened to a few of her books! Thanks for reminding me of her, I’m always on the search for another good book to listen to.

  5. Those little lights would be a great traveling companion for reading or hand applique too. Will be looking into them. We've installed overhead LED lighting in the kitchen, laundry room and my sewing room, it really helps a lot with these aging eyes! Also have an Ott floor lamp by my recliner, and a Daylight lamp by the hoop stand in the sewing room. Couldn't sew without them anymore. You are crafting one of the best temperature quilts I've seen!

  6. I can see why everyone loves that temperature quilt: I do, too! I love how the blocks look with all those curves. So fun and so beautiful, all at once. Thanks also for the tips on the light. Impressive that you are still going strong on your selvage quilt sewing.

  7. Love the temp quilt progress of course - I'm so intrigued! And also very interested in your stitching light - very cool!

  8. What a great idea - thank you. I am often turning off the floor lamp so that we can watch TV in a darker space, but this will be a great solution. And your quilt is just beautiful - what a great version of that pattern - looks like things have heated up! :)

  9. Thank you, Linda. I just ordered one from Amazon. I find the light in our family room to be poor for doing any hand work! Your hints are often so helpful to me.

  10. Thanks so much for the lighting tip. I will go order one directly because it looks like a very interesting idea. Never heard of this before!


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