Brunhild (my Husqvarna Opal) is still in the shop, so progress on anything quilty is still very slow. A visiting technician from another dealer had a look in her innards on Friday, announced he had to go after 45 minutes, shut her back up again, and is charging me $65 for the privilege. In frustration, I have couriered Brunhild across country, and hope to have her back within the week. I have learnt some valuable lessons over the last month. Lesson 1: Don’t drop a screw inside your sewing machine. Lesson 2: If you do so, just bite the bullet and send your machine away. In the meanwhile I have continued borrowing Daughter #2’s Bernina, and have sewn 23 square in a square, or economy blocks for the Gypsy Wife #2. The remaining filler blocks have been cut out, and are sitting awaiting Brunhild’s return. I cannot sew an accurate scant quarter inch seam on the Bernina, so would prefer to wait for Brunhild’s return before progressing further.
I have used my design wall this time round, since I am trying to balance the values, while keeping the look of the quilt dark and romantic looking. Looking at it in black and white suggests I need some more contrast within each block. Something to bear in mind for the last blocks. Carrying on my love affair with Jen Kingwell quilts, I would love to have joined the My Small World QAL , but with no machine and the magazine only turning up in town a few weeks ago, I have decided to make this quilt on the “go slow”. This means I plan to finish it over the next 12 months or so, but certainly not in the time remaining for the existing QAL participants. If you are interested, the pattern is available in the Spring 2015 edition of Quiltmania, though make sure to visit the QAL for the updated erratum, as the publishers made a couple of errors.Fabric stashing has begun in preparation, and in the meanwhile I have started another of Jen’s quilts, Midnight at the Oasis. There was another QAL for this quilt in 2013 hosted by Jess at Elven Garden Quilts. Obviously I am a little late for that QAL too. It’s not deliberate, it’s just that as a newcomer to quilting, I seem to be continually missing the boat, trend-wise. The advantage of this is that I can take advantage of all the hints and erratum that get posted during the QAL’s, and can pick a palette for the quilt based on the completed quilts I like. So far I have been concentrating on knocking off some blocks that don’t require a quarter inch seam. Truthfully I’m scared of paper piecing, so sort of ignoring the centre medallion for now. I also plan to replace the appliquéd flower border with a feature fabric, in order to avoid needle turn appliqué. That’s me, the ostrich to centre left with it’s head stuck in the sand! So far I am using scraps, rather than yardage, so a second version of this quilt may also happen. Maybe I’ll tackle the flower border in that one. No promises though. I bought a lot of low volume fabrics over the last 6 months especially for this quilt, including some garden themed fabrics. A second version would let me use them.Or I guess there is always Steampunk, or the Circle Game….In the meanwhile I shall see how much I enjoy making this initial version. For any of you lucky quilters out there in Southland, Jen is actually coming to your shores in conjunction with KitznThingz of Invercargill. They have tickets available for her trunk show, available on a first served basis. Linking up eventually with WIP Wednesday, Scraptastic Tuesday, and Lets Bee Social.