Thursday, March 4, 2021

Quilting and Other Stuff

Thank you - very much! - to nine of you who took time to comment on my last post about the Turn-Sharp rotary blade sharpener. That post has been viewed 590 times (so far), and it's your comments that mean so much and make me want to continue writing posts.

Through the past week I've been quilting and quilting, creating customized designs on my "Zing," patterned improv quilt. Quilting is with a walking foot and free motion foot, with top thread colors changed dozens of times. No doubt that's another reason quilting seemed to take so long.

It was satisfying to square the quilt top in preparation for sewing facing to the edges. (When I sew binding to a quilt, I don't square-up the quilt until the binding has been sewn on.) 

Do you ever face your quilts, rather than bind them? Some quilts seem more suited to facing than others. 

My favorite facing method is Easy Quilt Facing found on Bernina's WeAllSew blog. I like it because there's no need to fuss with mitered corners. Instead, each corner has a 5" fabric square that's been folded into a triangle, and sewn with the facing strips hidden under the triangle. 

I'm hand sewing it down now. 

Why is it that evenings seem more suited to hand stitching? For me, it snuggly-comfortable because I have my cushy swivel-glider, and LED light from a Slimline floor lamp. Handwork is so relaxing. 

A couple evenings ago I finished kawandi #5; it's the third kawandi I've made using my grandma's vintage fabric scraps and is 15" X 15". 

I don't have vintage pieces large enough for backing, so I look to my stash for something suitable. Isn't the "you can't buy this" label perfect for this piece?

Last week, after attending the South Florida MQG Zoom meeting - where we watched a great program by Ohioan Cassandra Beaver (TheNotSoDramaticLife) - I followed up on two SFMQG requests for charity quilt blocks. 

Here are five 13" X 13" Tossed Nine Patch blocks made according an Eleanor Burns video. We could use any fabrics to make a nine-patch block, but were asked to put a 5" white solid square in the center. After piecing, the nine patch is cross-cut twice, rearranged, and reassembled.

The second charity block request was for two Organic Diamond blocks. Free instructions on the MQG website. Blocks are a combination of foundation paper-piecing (on the right side) and piecing (a single Flying Geese block on the left side), and finish at 10". A whole quilt of these blocks made with solids would be beautiful wouldn't it? I see a search light in the design. Do you remember those? Back in the 'ole days?

Since I'm about three hours north of SFMQG chapter members, and won't see any members in person, both sets of blocks have been mailed to their respective coordinators. 

Since last fall, I've been a long-distance member of SFMQG, and it's been a very positive experience. During the past few days I worked with two other SFMQG officers to develop a SFMQG challenge called "Curve Around." I designed a logo and set the challenge parameters that will be introduced March 20 and due as a finished quilt in November. Can't wait! 

Locally, this month finds me wrapping up my Central Florida MQG executive committee position as Media Coordinator. I've held the position since starting the chapter in the fall of 2012. After 8½ years of taking pictures; maintaining the CFMQG website including posting to the blog and Instagram; handling publicity for guest and member speakers and programs; arranging Zoom meetings; and the like, I'm ready for someone else do the job. New executive committee members will step into position April 1. 

Book Recommendations  
I've been on a roll, listening to some great books over the past month. These two are worth adding to your list.

The Peacock Summer by Hannah Richell ticked all the boxes for me - the setting, and the accents. In the English countryside is the magnificent estate: Cloudesley. The owner is charming and overbearing: Charles Oberon. Young Lillian is trying to the wife he expects. When a handsome artist is commissioned to paint a room at Cloudesley, using the walls as a canvas, Lillian finds herself weighing the value of people in her life. Parallel to Lillian's story, 60 years later, Maggie Oberon returns to Cloudesley to find it. and Lillian, in decline. While attempting to figure out how to save Cloudesley, Maggie learns about herself, and secrets Lillian has hidden for decades.  

 Linda's score: 4.7/5.0

My Australian friends alerted me to the much-anticipated release of The Survivors by Jane Harper. Having previously read books by Ms. Harper, I put it high on my must-read list, and enjoyed it as much as I anticipated.

The story takes place in Evelyn Bay, Tasmania - the first book I've ever read that takes place in Tas! The rough ocean, and rocky, cave-strewn coastline comes to life as the reader follows Kiernan (a man), his partner Mia, and their infant Audrey on a weeklong stay at Kiernan's parent's beachside home. They're visiting to help his parents pack for a move, and it's a chance for Kiernan to reconnect with friends - the people he shared a tragic experience with more than ten years ago. Life abruptly changes when a body is found on the beach. Past memories are resurrected... an afternoon spent in the caves, with the tide coming in, and a big storm brewing. The story sucked me in and didn't spew me back out until it was completely finished. 

Linda's score: 4.9/5.0

On February 22, a reporter and a photographer from the local newspaper The Daily Sun, interviewed me for an article about my quiltmaking. It appears in today's, March 4 issue. A few statements aren't accurate, but I was flattered to have been contacted.  

The piece is about my pandemic quilting activities - my 2019 temperature quilt; taking virtual workshops; presenting a webinar; learning kawandi and making them with vintage fabrics; and creating improv quilts. 

There! If you've been reading my blog, there's nothing new to learn from the article. πŸ˜€ Linda


  1. I've never faced a quilt and honestly not quite sure what it is, so I'll go and check that link you shared. Thank you! I too enjoy hand stitching in the evenings, mainly it's because I like to spend the time with my family watching telly. They're growing up way too fast and it won't be long before they go to bed after I do.

    Both of those books were fantastic. You might like 'The River Home' by Hannah Richell too. And if you enjoyed reading about Tassie, you might like to read 'Bruny Island' by Heather Rose. It was an interesting read esp considering the current relationship between Aus and China.

  2. I think I would have lead this blogpost with the newspaper article- how exciting! I'm so glad you enjoyed The Survivors. There was a wonderful piece on one of our local TV shows with Jane Harper last night. She is a delight! And to top it off I am off to Tassie on Sunday for a road trip with my sister! Not quite the Italian trip we planned for last year, but a holiday (vacation) all the same! Your Zing quilt (great name!) is going to be fabulous! I really want to learn ruler work. That is a goal for me for this year! Happy sewing!

    1. Hi Susan My sister and I did a road trip of Tassie February 2020 before going to Melbourne then home to NZ, just before the countries went into lockdown. Loved Tasmania. I'm sure you'll enjoy your trip. Stay safe! :))

  3. I always love reading and commenting on your blog Linda. It's a source on inspiration and information. Congrats on the newspaper article. Pandemic or not, I think most of us quilters make good use of our time at home. I also enjoy your reading list and reviews. Haven't heard of the first title and have the second one on hold at the library. I'm number 32 of 79 so I think it will be awhile before I get my chance to read it.

  4. I had planned to comment on your previous post but then slipped my mind. I'll be interested in learning how long your resharpened blades last. I too find hand stitching is so enjoyable in the evening as I'm able to join my hubby in the living room and watch a bit of TV.

  5. I'm enjoying getting to know you through your posts. You've been busy with your quilting groups! I'm liking what I see of the Zing quilting so far. I'm participating in the Quilt Improv Studio black and white challenge, and I think I've finally settled on a layout. Quilting will be happening soon here, too!

  6. Congrats, on being interviewed and the article! I first saw that binding facing when Tommy (Tommy the Material Girl)...she showed this to us and, to be honest, I forgot about it! Thanks for the refresher!!!! You go girl!

  7. I had the facing article bookmarked, but I think the last time I looked at it, it didn't make sense to me. Your photo clarified it, and I hope I can remember about it for the next appropriate project. I don't understand, though, how you can sew on the binding before you square up the quilt. How do you know where to put the binding?

  8. Congrats on your finish, that near finish, and some really fun looking blocks, Linda!!

  9. Thanks for the link to the facing tutorial. I have done facings successfully from time to time, but I'm always looking for a better way and will try it next time I need to face a quilt.

  10. We had a demo of the facing technique you mentioned at our guild. It's a good one. High marks for the effort you're putting into the quilting with all those thread changes! Thank heavens for a couple of good books to keep you at it. How nice to have the article in the paper! More people to know about your accomplishments and perhaps get interested in quilting. You're the "human interest" section - congrats.

  11. More books to read, I always love seeing and reading the books you recommend. Its funny, but when I first saw the blocks you make, I too thought of those search lights, used so often here by car dealerships to promote "sales". Congratulations on having an article published about your sewing talent.

  12. Looking forward to seeing the SFMQG “ Curve Around” challenge! I have the Classic Curves Ruler but for now sadly, I can only blankly stare at itπŸ˜‚ Thank you for your book suggestion. I found “The Survivors” in audio at the Miami-Dade library...And added my name to the 5 weeks wait. Congrats on your “ Retirement” from your Central Florida MQG position!


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