Yes, this is happening! My string of pearls quilt is finally being quilted. I fell behind in this QAL early on, and I’ve been lagging a few steps behind the whole way, but now that the quilting is commenced, I still have hopes that I’ll have it finished in time. Next Wednesday is the binding tutorial, so I have 7 days before the last step gets revealed. I’d say that I have at least 6 hours worth of quilting to do before I’m finished (and that’s probably a conservative estimate).
The closeup above shows what I did with all the black connecting lines. I just outlined them and then ran around the edge of the squares about a 1/4 in from the edge. One advantage to falling behind is that I realized if I was going to put all that visible stitching in the black, it would be safe to skip stitching in the ditch as the first quilting post of the QAL suggested. And anytime that I can avoid walking the fine line between black and gray, I’m a happy girl 🙂
Many of the QAL participants are busting out some serious FMQ skillz to fill in the gray open areas, but I don’t have any FMQ skillz…yet. So, I’m doing a little bit of a wonky echo(ish) quilting. Originally, I was aiming for nice crisp 90 degree turns and perfectly even spacing, but this design is requiring frequent pivoting of the quilt. Bye-bye even spacing and crisp turns; I figure wonky is fine so long as it’s consistent, so I’m going to go with it. I think the center of the colored squares will be more echo quilting. I thought about leaving them unquilted, but since there is somewhat dense quilting everywhere else, I’m worried that it’ll just make the piece look unfinished. Maybe?
Betzee is just your basic Brother sewing machine with a small throat space, so I’ve been manhandling the quilt through that narrow space again and again with all those pivots. A few of the days this week were cool enough to allow me to shut down the AC until I started wrestling this quilt through Betzee. When I started breaking a sweat, it was time to fire up the AC again. I will give my parent’s a shout out though for buying me Betzee for my b-day because she does stop in the needle down position; if she didn’t have that feature, I’d be a crazy mess by now.
In other non-quilt related happy news, I got good news at my Lasik foll0w-up today. Even though I felt like I was squinting and couldn’t read the bottom lines of the chart, the doctor said I’m still at 20/20. I think the squinting was just due to some dry eye induced blurriness that should go away with more healing time. I’m allowed to rub my eyes gently again, which means I can get the eyedrop gunk out of my top eyelashes. Yay! I can also stop wearing the protective shields to bed at night, which means no more looking like a demented racquetball player while I sleep and no more weird goggle lines embedded in my face in the mornings. And, I can start wearing eye makeup again. Woo-hoo!
Also, I came home from the doctor’s appointment to find that the carpenter I hired was finishing up the install of the trim in the kitchen. He did an amazing job matching it to the old window trim that butts up to the ceiling, and it’s nice that the trim is not on the dining room and living room floor any more.
And, I checked the mail to find that my fabric from Stash Modern arrived today. The tracking number showed it in Georgia yesterday, so opening the package today was an amazing surprise. I’m glad it got here because Saturday, I’m going on a local quilt shop adventure, and I can find the Kona solids that I need to mix in. This is also the giveaway fabric for September 15th, and now that I’ve seen it, I’m even more super excited to reveal it. Remember to check back then.