Saturday, May 8, 2021

A Million-and-One Tiny Stitches ❣

Hello lovely lovelies❣ The loveliest of welcomes to you❣ How are you all?? I hope you are all travelling okay as the world spins crazily on its axis. There is such sadness in so many countries. Goodness me, has there ever been a time such as this??

As for me, I am just sitting here gazing upon my 'little' quilt. Did I say little?? I must say I am bending the truth just a tad. My fabric flower garden is rather large, and for the past two weeks I have been buried under it, happily hand quilting away. 

The sky is all quilted! I am filled with great joy about that! the simplest of things, the little joys of life fill me with delight these days. Row after row of pretty variegated threads skipping in happy abandonment across the sky. Threads of the softest of hues; blues, pinks, peachy apricots, lemons, and greens. Who would've thought that 'boring' lines quilted from east to west and west to east, without any bangs and whistles, without any fancy quilting designs, could be so lovely. The quilting of the sky has given me the greatest pleasure, lulling me into a happy space thinking upon all things pleasant. The world can go mad (and it has) but here, with needle and thread in my hand and gazing upon my happy little fabric garden I am a contented gal. LOVE my quilted, watercolour sky. It brings to mind those early morning sunrises when the sun gently peeks from behind the distant, opalescent mountains, splashing streamers of pastel-hued colour across the sky. Sometimes......just sometimes, simple stitching really is best. WHAT!! Well shut my mouth!! What did I say?!! Quick, slap my face and bring me to my senses. I fear I am not quite myself. =)

Do you ever wonder as to the number of little stitches stitched in a quilt, completely fashioned by hand?? I wish my needle had an in-built counter tallying the stitches as the needle goes in and out, in and out. I have a feeling I would be greatly surprised as to the number of tiny stitches that have been stitched, thus far.

I feel as if I have stitched a million and one tiny stitches.  Tiny applique stitches, embroidered stitches, and now hand quilted stitches. AND...still many, many more to stitch. Usually, I cannot wait until the hand quilting is done, but somehow with this quilt I am in no hurry to have it finished. Strange really.  I am just enjoying the slow stitching and the pleasure this pretty quilt gives me. I have a feeling this is going to be my favourite forevermore. Someone asked me a little while ago how will I top this quilt?? I don't know, really; I don't think I can. But enough of the ponderation of future quilts, let us have a look at the lovely quilted sky. 

As tomorrow is Mother's Day I am posting this evening (Saturday) as I will be out all day tomorrow celebrating the day with my good husband. We will go for a long country drive through the magical, autumnal countryside, drinking in the glorious hues, punctuated by coffee and cake at one or two of our favourite cafes. Mother's Day is always bittersweet for me as my girls live in far away lands, but my dear husband always sees to it that I have the best day. And, I am never disappointed. As we drive through hill and dale, sweet remembrances of my darling mum, who is no longer with me, and my girls, will fill my day with the warmest of hugs. If it is Mother's Day where you are tomorrow, I hope you enjoy special times with your family. However you choose to spend this Sunday, may it be sprinkled with smiles, loveliness...and a little sunshine❣

Until the next time.............

Linking up this week to Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

'Tis The Season To Be Quilting ❣

Hello lovely lovelies❣ 'Tis a delight to have you visit my little autumnal place❣ Those Indian summer days have handed the baton over to the season of autumn; and where those balmy days have disappeared to, I do not know. The days have been decidedly cooler; after all Old Man Winter is nearly here. Jack Frost has showed up in the wee hours of some mornings, giving all of us who live down here at the bottom of the world a taste of those frigid tricks of his. The dahlias are no more, and though the cosmos and hydrangeas, with a few roses, are still hanging in there, the flower-filled garden of a month ago is no more. But that's okay as the cooler days have resulted in the landscape slowing down, preparing for a long rest, but in the process changing into a celebration of glorious hues  for which autumn is renowned. The falling leaves catch a ride on the wind, floating to the ground, covering the earth in a mosaic-like carpet of many patterns and colours. 'Tis the season to be snuggled under a rather large and heavy, and might I say, a very warm quilt......hand quilting❣

I have sat a lot this week enjoying  the quilting of the little leaves. All the leaves are finished. They sit happily among the fabric flowers, jostling for space; and I must say I do love them❣ The texture the leaves give to this quilt is amazing. I wish you could feel it. I will say it for time eternal, there is nothing quite like the squishy, squashy texture of a hand quilted quilt. Quilting these leaves has lulled my mind into a rhythm of needle down, needle up, skipping around the shape of a leaf  in a happy but at times imperfect way. Love the band of little leaves in all their perfect imperfectness.

I was struck by a comment from my last post. Angie wrote "I so admire your 'winging it' attitude - perfectionism is a devil that is constantly with me." I have thought a lot about these words this week. I know the devil of perfectionism a little too well. He and me have been lifelong acquaintances. I was that little girl who coloured very neatly within the lines and if per chance the pencil grasped by my chubby little fingers slipped over the precipice of a line, well, I would simply rip out the offending page and start again. I was that little girl who moved my mother's lamps, cushions, tchotchkes; anything that could be moved, around to a more eye pleasing arrangement. I know!!!! Just as well my mother tolerated her 'just so' daughter' . She just threw her hands up to the heavens, accepting and encouraging her arty-farty daughter. Though I do remember many a humdinger of  a conversation between the two of us on the subject of "Just So-ishness". So, re the subject of the devil of perfectionism sitting on my shoulder constantly, when it comes to hand quilting, I flick him off, glad to be rid of him. Actually, that horrid little devil chanting the incessant and irritating mantra of perfection spends less time sitting  on my shoulders these days. Those niggling, whispered jibes of his "it's not's not perfect" in my ear are simply not tolerated. I don't care for his company. He is a tiresome pest! 

I have read recently of a lady who quilts just to enter them into shows. Oh, she is an amazing quilter. Beyond belief actually. Every stitch perfect! Every stitch marching in unison behind each other, of perfect length. I imagine she goes home with a wheelbarrow teeter-tottering with blue ribbons. Good on each her own! But that will never be me. For me, stitching along hand drawn lines.....shapes, with no help from templates is freeing........imperfect, but freeing.....unfettering. The unspoken expectation of perfect hand quilted stitches does not weigh heavily on my shoulders. Now please do not misunderstand me. I love those quilts which showcase amazing quilting excellence. 'Their' perfect quilting does indeed maketh the quilt! I can look at them for hours astonished by the superb stitching before me; it's just that I will never be that gal. 'Tis a funny thing, but when I go to quilt shows and see which quilt has won 'the grand prize', I never seem to agree. I understand totally why the perfectly stitched quilt has won all the judges' accolades; it's just my heart always seems to love 'that' quilt where a stitch here and there has gone AWOL. What can I say??!! It is a frivolous gal that I am!!  Aah....the subjectiveness of art!

But enough of my ho-hummish musings. Let's see those happy little quilted leaves. Well.......a picture (or two) is worth a thousand words. =)

Today was a glorious sunny-ish, but cool Sunday. This afternoon I spent delightful moments in the fernery writing this post, and beginning to stitch quilting stitches across the sky of my quilt. Again, lines drawn freehand across the quilt, stitched with variegated threads. I don't want perfectly straight lines, but rather lines streaming across in an uneven fashion, as one would see replicated in nature. I want streamers of different colours partying across the watercolour fabric; a pastiche glowing with pinks, blues, mauves, lemons and aquas. Such a lovely way to spend a sunny, Sunday afternoon, don't you think?? I wonder what amazing stitching the band of  'Slow Sunday Stitchers' have enjoyed...when indeed Sunday arrives at their door??

Thank you for stopping by my little place. I know some of you have had the most difficult of  times this week. This season of your life you would rather not experience. Please know I am thinking of you and sending many a prayerful thought and hug your way. Please take care❣

Until the next time........

Sunday, April 11, 2021

I Just Want To Hand Quilt ❣

Good Morning lovely lovelies❣ 'Tis a sunny, with a little-bit-of-a-nip-in-the-air kinda day, here today. A perfect day for snuggling under a very big....and heavy quilt, enjoying a little hand quilting. Or perhaps a perfect day for quilting in the fernery where the sunshine embraces me with a warm hug. thinks that is how I will enjoy this lovely Sunday morning❣

But before I chat about all things quilting, I was wondering, how are you all?? Life down here has been rather pleasant of late. It is school holiday time so me and my good husband have been out and about; and entertaining some guests who we have not seen 'hide nor hair' for twenty years. My friend was our next door neighbour in Sydney, for many years.....until she sold her house to 'the neighbours from hell'.....but that is a whole other sordid story for another day. Actually, it is a dossier filled with many unbelievable and strange stories. Stuff worthy of a good crime novel.....indeed stranger than fiction.....but true. But enough about the illegal world of  chicane and devious people, let's just say we escaped (actually..... we flew out of there quicker than a bat out of hell) and headed way down to the bottom of the world, where ghastly neighbours are but a dreadful, distant memory. It was fun catching up with my friend though; all the family toings and froings that have gone down in twenty years. Isn't it funny, how when you don't see people for yonks, it really only seems like yesterday that we were sharing a cuppa (yes.....even in those days tea was enjoyed in a pretty fine bone teacup) and chatting about all things life.

The weather here in this far rural outpost has been lovely. Surely for those of you way up there north of the Equator, spring has sprung.....hasn't it???? Here, we have had beautiful sunny, Indian Summer kinda days, punctuated with enjoyable moments with the hand quilting of my pretty applique flower garden. BUT.....there is definitely a nip in the air, so I just know Jack Frost is not too far away.

Now.....about the border and backing fabrics. I purchased a beautiful fabric called Vibrant Garden a year ago, with the thought that I might use it for the border of this quilt. It is an all over print with hydrangeas flourishing all over. Perfect!! So, so happy that hydrangeas are dancing around my applique garden. It was just meant to be. You have seen it before as it has been the backdrop of many a flowery photo shoot. =) For the backing I have used a fabric with spring flowers smiling happily.......LOVE the daffodils❣ This fabric too, has popped up in many a photo shoot over the last year. When I saw all those happy flowers, I knew it would be perfect for the backing of my flower garden quilt.

Now to the quilting. I am quilting with Gutermann Sulky 100% cotton, size 30, variegated threads. As these threads are not coated, before I stitch I run them through a thread conditioner and protectant, (Thread Heaven) to prevent the thread from knotting. I am loving the variance of colours. Normally I use a plain coloured quilting thread but I decided to live precariously this time. I do not care one iota that my imperfect quilting stitches will be laid bare for the world to see. =)

For the flower section of the garden I am quilting leaves here, there and everywhere. No templates, just drawing the leaves as I go. I must say I am having the best fun making it up as I go. The leaves are giving the quilt the most fabulous texture and they seem to cause the flowers to pop. The leaves growing wherever they will are adding beautiful dimension and depth. The hand quilting is breathing life into my little applique flower garden. Love, love, LOVE the texture thus far. I have used a 60% wool 40% polyester batting which is giving this quilt a softer and warmer feel.

Sitting here in the sunshine-filled fernery I am going to enjoy more quilting of the leaves. As I look out to my little world beyond, to the distant hills kissing the blue sky, to the verdant my little autumnal garden, I cannot but smile at the beauty of the landscape which surrounds me; hugs me. Getting into the groove and quilting for a couple of hours will indeed be bliss. Hand quilted stitch, after hand quilted stitch; leaf after relaxing. Yes indeed, I just want to hand quilt on this sunny Sunday morning. I just want to sit here, drink in all that is before me, giving thanks to God, that I am able to enjoy the beauty of His amazing handiwork beyond the windows of the little fernery. So thankful, too, for the gift of your beautiful visit. I hope I have sprinkled little smiles into your day. May your day be a lovely one, a blessed one; where a little sunshine and beauty causes you to smile.

Until the next time.........

Linking with Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching.