Still here, still chugging along.... I've been really busy with Emma and work, the past week, but I have still managed to do some fibery things. I started another doily (I know, I know. WHY do I need all these doilies?) during the fair week, and haven't done much on it since. I did get another two rounds done over the weekend.
It's this one, from Christine's wonderful site full of vintage patterns. I love this site. Most of the doilies I've made in recent years have come from it. I'm making this doily out of #30 Cebelia crochet cotton, with a #12 hook. That's pretty much my default thread.
On Friday, Emma and I made the trek all the way down to Puyallup, to enter two thing in the BIG Fair!
The sewing thread doily and a hardanger doily I made last summer. This was in the county fair last year, but the Puyallup Fair lets you enter things that were made within the past two years, not just one like the San Juan County Fair.
It was a fun day out, but a lot of driving. Puyallup is a bit farther away than I thought. Actually, it wouldn't have been at all bad, if the traffic had been reasonable. Getting there wasn't too awful, it only took a little over two hours, but going back north on I-5 was horrendous. The stretch through Everett (maybe 15 miles), which is always slow and congested for no apparent reason, took us an hour and a half! I was actually starting to wonder if we'd have time to stop at Jo-Ann's before we made a dash for the ferry.
We did have time, and good thing too. I had a 40% off coupon, and got the batting and backing fabric for my Ohio Star quilt. The fabric was on sale, and with the coupon, they practically had to pay me! I sewed together the backing, pin basted the layers together, and quilted three of the stars on Saturday. Yesterday, I finished quilting the rest of the stars. Now all that's left is to run some quilting lines in the sashing and borders, trim the edges even, and finish the edges.
I must say that I immediately understood the appeal of long-arm quilting machines after quilting just one of these stars. My sewing machine is a very bare-bones model, not made with quilters in mind. I can't even drop the feed dogs, so free-motion quilting is not an option. All my stitching is of the straight-ahead-only variety, though I can manually hold a button down and go in reverse. Every time I want to change direction, I have to stop, lift the presser foot, rotate the fabric (pulling the WHOLE QUILT through the (very small) arm of the machine), drop the presser foot, and continue stitching. What.A.Pain.
Actually, it wasn't so bad. By the time I'd done three or four stars, I'd gotten into a rhythm. I could do a row of three stars in an hour. I like the way it's looking. The quilting lines really make the pattern pop. Kind of like how the final backstitching makes a counted cross stitch piece come to life. I was going to hand quilt this, but I decided that since the piecing on the top is a little wonky and beginner-looking, I'd machine quilt this one, and hand-quilt the next one, paying much more attention to matching points perfectly while I'm piecing it.
I think Emma can't wait for it to be done. I spread it out on my bed yesterday to get a look at the quilting, and she immediately got under the edge, crawled up onto the bed under the quilt, and crawled under it all the way to my pillow. She poked her head out, said "Emma ny-ny, Mama," put her head down, and pulled the quilt up around her shoulders. It's so nice to have your work appreciated, even if it's not perfect.