Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Under Adverse Conditions

I finished this big project last month, and even impressed myself with how well it turned out, considering the adverse conditions. I need to write them down lest I forget. It was 105 degrees all month, and at least 5 degrees hotter in the sewing loft. Then add quilting gloves. (At least I didn't notice hot flashes, I was already sweating.) The house is still under construction so the floors are USB flooring planks that don't sweep well and can't be mopped. The ceiling fans are in, but between them and the open windows it was so windy everything had to be held down in the loft. No design wall, so I used a giant flannel sheet on the floor as a design surface. Dirty and dusty! And I had to keep reminding myself, keep it simple, no fancy stuff. The solid strips look pretty good, although at the time I had my doubts. The backing wasn't big enough for this king sized quilt, so I tea dyed a piece of similar fabric and pieced it. Close enough. I hand sewed the binding in one day. This photo was after I washed the quilt to get the dirt and dog hair off, and it is drying on the garden fence. (No drier, yet.) You can see the side clothes pins holding it so it doesn't blow away! Just as it dried, a freak thunder/lightening storm hit and the only rain for the whole summer started! I had to hurry it inside so it would be dry to mail. By the way, it didn't rain enough to water the garden. That was another difficulty, climbing up and down the 24 ft ladder to the sewing loft every half hour to move the garden sprinkler each day. It is so dry and windy here that I had to water daily to keep my veggies and flowers hydrated. I almost fell off the ladder once, which was a good reminder to be careful. Whacked my shin.  Even if I love heights, gravity still exists.

As tough as it was wrestling that giant quilt on my lap under my sewing machine in the heat, it turned out so pretty.  I quilted it in wavy lines every half inch all over. No wrinkles, smooth and soft, highest quality cottons with a bamboo batting. The patron LOVES it. Interesting, her name, Danna, means patron in Japanese.

The best part for me (more than getting paid to make it,) was the giant learning experience. I feel so much more confident in my ability to machine quilt. I broadened my style by sewing with soft pastels. I designed the pattern myself, and created a work of art.

1 comment:

  1. Oct 13
    Hi Jane, Your post blew me away... the beautiful quilt and the conditions you worked through to completion. AND the fact that you hand sewed a king size binding in ONE day. Wow Wow Wow
    I was referred here by the Squash House blog. Thoroughly enjoyed her account of the steelhead fishing trip and the ranch and "ranch girl" quilter, so I had to come here and check out your blog. Obviously, I am impressed and will be adding your blog to my reader. I hope the smoke is gone for you now. I'm down the road aways at the northern end of the Sacramento Valley in CA . Our mtns still look smoky, but at least we can breathe again.
    Happy Fall!