Monday, February 20, 2012

Getting ARound To It

Credit: Mouth Motions
Early in January I responded to Sandy's podcast, wherein she called for "Quilty Resolutions".  She had 3 categories, including, "One UFO I'm Committed to Finish".  Now I have Bonnie to thank for the impetus to Get (my) Round Tuit and get going.

For one thing, when Bonnie quilts by hand, she has several of the same preferences and habits as I do, and that has reassured me -- it's great to know one is not alone in one's quirks!

Gummi Bears - Haribo Co., Germany

For example, I have many thimbles -- including several of the ones Bonnie's illustrated: antique (from my grandmother's sewing basket), leather, one that looks like it's made from the same stuff as Gummi Bears...but I'm uncomfortable wearing them.  I'm not fond of gardening gloves, rubber gloves for dishes and dyeing, or quilting gloves either.  I'd rather have a calloused finger on my 'under' hand, as Bonnie does.  She got an e-mail from a woman who was taught to get used to a thimble by wearing it around the house, making the beds, doing the cleaning, etc. I might try this "just to see", but I strongly suspect I'd have that thimble off within five minutes!

Last spring, though, I met a woman who uses her fingernail on the same under-hand finger.  I tried that and it works quite well -- less chance of bleeding on the backside of the quilt, and the nail doesn't seem to mind.  It recovers its regular appearance quite quickly.

Like Bonnie, I prefer a wooden hoop.  I don't have room in my house for a full frame, and I tried a more compact one but didn't like it either.  I have to have the thing in my lap so I can get close to it and move it around to get at the areas I want to stitch.  For that reason, I also don't like a 'bottom' on my hoop -- that is, I don't like my hoop attached in any way to any sort of flat bottom (like this one), whether or not it swivels.  I prop my hoop against me if I need to, to get at any angle I wish.

Thimbleberries "Dawn"
Block of the Month ca. 2007 or 2008
And I really appreciated Bonnie's comments about consistency being more important than size.  My stitches aren't small -- yet -- and I've managed only 2 to 4 on my needle at a time, but they are consistent.

Here's that quilt I'm committed to finishing this year, when I was trying to hand-quilt it in the frame.  I've since sold the frame and moved the quilt into a hoop -- still pin-basted.  I'm not fond of thread basting -- it seems to take me an inordinate amount of time and waste a lot of thread.  The pins I can 'recycle' and use again!  I just make sure to remove any that would get caught under the hoop.

This quilt is throw-sized.  I don't think I'd attempt to hand-quilt a larger one in a hoop just yet, but I won't say "never" on that.  If I enjoy finishing this one, who knows what I might do next?


Pat said...

I can't sew without a thimble and often wish I'd never learned as they are tricky little things and love to hide.

Judy Warner said...

Hi Margaret
With your determination, I am sure you will finish your quilt by Dec.

MaryLu said...

I love yout Thimbleberries pieces. I have several that I need a round Tuit in order to finish.
Thanks for sharing!!