Saturday, 6 February 2010

The Sun is Done!

There are many reasons people write blogs - well, today, I'm using it to get rid of my frustration.

The sun is on the back of our quilt group's fundraising quilt, the African fabric one. The quilt is so bright and busy that we backed it in black but Gay, who planned the quilt and did most of the work on it, wanted to connect the back with the front. She had a great idea - to make a quilted sun to applique on the back. This seemed simple but, I think, caused her more frustration than the quilt itself. She pieced the sun with scraps from the quilt but then had problems attaching it because she cut too much fabric off the edges to turn them under (there were other problems too). It is often the way that a quilting task that you think will take a lot of time and you postpone, often turns out to be straightforward and quick to do. The opposite is more often true, of course, that you think you can get a certain stage done 'in a morning' and you find there's no way and it drags on.

Anyway, Gay had understandably had ENOUGH (you know how that feels...) We decided that the best thing to do would be for me to applique the sun with embroidery floss and a buttonhole stitch (not blanket stitch which a lot of people think is buttonhole stitch). Blanket stitch leaves a little thread loop to neaten a raw edge and looks very pretty but in this case we had two fabric raw edges and places where the machine stitching was gone and the sun sandwich not joined. The buttonhole stitch is a tailor's stitch and is very strong. It needed to be when people were making buttonholes by hand, often on woollen coats where the buttonholes got a lot of use. There is a difference in the loops of thread around the needle that makes a little knot at the edge of the fabric to be protected and is really effective. My solution. Yes, I said, I can have that done in no time...

Well, yesterday I spent most of my day on that ******** sun and was humbled. I didn't have enough of any one orange floss so I made each length of floss from a mixture of four different coloured threads. This wouldn't have been so bad except that buttonhole stitch takes a lot of thread and I had lots of points and deep Vee-shapes to go round, so I was having to make floss lengths every ten minutes. I couldn't get a regular stitch depth because some of the sun had edge stitching and some didn't. The quilt was very heavy and I needed to turn every few stitches - couldn't put it in the frame because I was afraid I would sew right through the quilt instead of just the backing.

Now it's done and I can't imagine why I made such a fuss or why it took so long and wore me down. Weird, that. I will say, though, that I never want to see the colour orange again in any shape or form. Ever. Or at least a few weeks.

Going to see Avatar tomorrow (in English!) - not my sort of film normally but I want to see what the fuss is about. Have a good weekend!

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful buttonhole stitches. I had to enlarge the pic to see them. They are made so very well.
    It does seem that if you put off a task it grows into a life of it's own! HA!
    Thanks for your kind words on my blog.