Yes…Still Stitching!

Yes…Still Stitching!

Ordinarily, I enjoy the ebbs and flows of a seasonal cycle, working out of doors in this summer weather, rain or shine. But given the timelines of this Explorations project, my time outside has been seriously curtailed; not to mention that deadlines are the bane of my existence! Everything that can go wrong does just that – just because – it’s the nature of this way of working.

I thought I had 3 rolls of the same purple thread for this piece, but when I ran out of the spool I started with, it turns out that I was mistaken. The color was similar but when stitched on next to it, it was clearly more of a violet than a purple. I looked around locally, not wanting to have to trek far for it but couldn’t find it.

I ordered it on ebay which meant I had to wait for it. Of course, when it arrived it was the same color as the three spools I already had – close but no cigar!  A friend (thanks Alanna!) told me about a quilt shop in Tewksbury, Sew Together, that I wasn’t aware of and they had 2 spools of exactly what I wanted! Whew! They actually carry Aurofil thread, an elusive commodity in this part of the woods!

I previously mentioned that there’s quite a bit of curved stitching and I’m not very experienced at working with it. As I go along, it began to bunch up in certain areas and it was going to only get worse if I didn’t deal with it. You can see the problem below.

 

So, I went out to my outer studio and cleared the large working table of all the debris that has piled up there and I blocked the whole thing. Thankfully, that did the trick and I could carry on.

Here’s a good link to a quilt blocking tute by Jenny Lyon.

It’s been awhile since I’ve had my machine serviced. Knowing that it really needs a tune up, I was hoping to just get this piece done before it started acting up. Need I say, I was not so lucky! The stitch size is slipping and so as I go along, the stitch may start out as #2 and wham! it slips to #4 …what’s next!?

Stitching Away!

Stitching Away!

A lot of stitching going on here!

I don’t usually work with the large size of this quilt, 30 x 50″, so I’ve never encountered the problem I’m having with erosion of some pieces of the eco printed silk organza. My machine is a small-throated Elna 2600, so all the rubbing and  pushing and pulling has placed a lot of stress on this more fragile fabric. I had to remove a small section and replace it – tricky business! On the advise of my critique group members, I used invisible thread that I placed a distance from my machine on a detached thread spindle which made it so much easier to use.

I’m also replacing the branches. So far, I’ve replaced all of the branches that should appear to be in the background and am working on those that are in front of them.

One huge part of the eco printing process that I haven’t mentioned recently is the gathering and growing of print plants and I’m so sad to say that one deer has been seriously damaging my crop!  She particularly loves my native Rudbeckias and Plox but I’m fighting back with an ecologically safe deer repellent.  I’m not betting in this though…sigh.