I'm actually home for nine days straight after finishing up a fabulous teaching engagement at Maine Quilts in Augusta. This is the longest stretch of being at home I've had for quite awhile. It is giving me some time to catch my breath and gear up for another busy stretch of teaching. Part of catching my breath MUST include some quilting time at my machine.
Miss Juki has had her bottom lip out big time lately as I'm always spending time on the computer on class stuff instead of spending time with her creating. I decided I must carve out at least an hour or so a day while I'm home to get my next project started.
I purchased this breath-taking linen about three years ago...I found it stashed on a shelf and bought it for about $30. I have always wanted to do a quilt with the Baltimore Album designs and this linen provides the perfect setting. The blocks were marked about a year ago??? This is going to take an amazing amount of time to do but it also has a lot of foundation work that needs to be done before the beautiful quilting can even begin. This is the perfect time to start pecking away at this...the foundation work should be done by the time I am home for a long stretch in November and December and then I can devote myself to the pretty stuff!
The lace work on this linen is like nothing I have ever seen before. I need to do some research and find out what type of lace it is and where it originated. It is about 3 inches wide and exquisitely done. It holds fragile 18" blocks of fabric together.
And then there are these beautiful little "fingers" that extend way past the center of the linen. mmmmm...
I tensioned and pin basted the underlayment, wool batting and silk backing together. I then placed this fragile linen on top of the pinned sandwich removing the safety pins from underneath the center square. I stitched in the ditch around the outside of the square to stabilize it. I lightly marked where the edge of the next square would be.
I've learned the hard way that you must quilt underneath lace and lay the lace over the top of a quilted sandwich. I am quilting repetitive straight lines underneath these rows of lace. I've marked lines about an inch-ish apart and then quilt them. This is stabilizing that area. Then I go back and add lines about every 1/4"-ish apart. This is providing a beautiful texture underneath the lace.
Once this is done I fold the linen over the top of the quilted sandwich and stitch the next block down. I am repeating this process throughout the linen until this is done. Very painstakingly tedious but it will be well worth all the hours. I've already found the perfect beads to attach the lace to the quilt sandwich.
This is one of two labors of love that I will be working on...this is the second one! My good friend, Karen Azevedo, (you've seen her posted MANY times on my blog) joined me while I was teaching in Sisters and gifted me with this fabulous linen. Wow.
Those of you who whine and complain about ESSing (stitching in the ditch every stinkin seam) have absolutely nothing to complain about. Do you see what I get to ESS?
I can hardly wait to get this piece in the machine. I am going to add a beautiful blue underlayment of Cherrywood Fabrics and have the perfect backing found in my stash.
Life is very slowly getting back to a routine after Harold's passing...we're still taking things about a half-day at a time...healing always takes time. Thank you very much for your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.
Big Hugs, Cindy :)