Sunday, July 19, 2020

Unity--Post 8

Stitching in the ditch
Quilting has been hard on my body. When I started this quilting project, I decided to not quilt more than two hours in a day.  I have worked on "Dad's Ties," practiced drawing and noodled about other projects. I've decided it takes me about the same amount of time to quilt a project as it does to piece a project. I've also noted that sticking to that two hour limit causes me less pain.

I spent a few weeks stitching in the ditch. I used a monofilament thread produced by Superior Threads in the needle and a polyester red thread in the bobbin. I reduced the tension setting from number two to number one on my machine. That change stopped the bobbin thread pulling to the top of the quilt and leaving a line of little red dots. I'm using polyester thread because the cone was gifted to me years ago. I'm into using what is on hand and it is time to use this huge cone!
View of the back after stitching in the ditch

When I finished stitching in the ditch, I took a photo of the back of the quilt. That red polyester thread is a great contrast to the light blue and dark blue fabrics. It blends well with the red and firework print fabrics. 
I estimate that it took me about 40 hours to complete the ditch quilting.

Quilting the center block of the quilt excited me. I wanted to quilt a circle in the center of the block. Unfortunately, after three tries which included lowering the pressure of the foot to -5, I was unable to quilt a round shape because the seams made the area too uneven to navigate with the template. 

I choose a different approach. I quilted straight lines in the blue and red diagonal shapes. I quilted a gentle curve in the center pinwheel. I used a
quilting ruler to quilt the lines; but, I free motion quilted the continuous curves in the pinwheels.

Lines and background filler

I added a few straight lines in the red triangle shapes. For the background filler, I used the same thread in the bobbin as I did in the needle so that the thread build up would be less. A long time ago, I took a machine quilting Saturday Workshop class from Barbara Shapel

She is a contemporary thread artist who does amazing work! In her class, she said she was inspired to create a 
View of the quilting from the quilt back
filler stitch from the wall paper in a hotel where she was staying. She shared the little filler stitch. This is the filler stitch I decided to use in the background. 

Barbara is a wonderful teacher. If you have the chance, don't hesitate to enroll in any class that she teaches. You will learn a lot and have fun too! My filler stitch resembles her filler stitch; but, it isn't exactly like hers. 

I think of free motion quilting as cursive writing.  We all have our own style. For example, the way I form the letter "a" will look different from the way you form your "a." Although, we both would recognize each form as an "a." This personalization is what I enjoy the most about free motion quilting. No one else is going to quilt like me!
 More lines and background quilting

It took me a week to quilt the center block. I thought that I would finish quilting this project this month. To do so, I would need to be much further on the quilting that I am. I will settle for making continued progress! Next, I'm planning to quilt the narrow sashing. Stay tuned for an update!

On the covid front:
Worldwide: 14.3M confirmed cases; 8.04M recovered; 603K deaths
U.S.: 3.78M confirmed cases; 1.11M recovered; 142K deaths
Oregon: 13,802 confirmed cases; 254 deaths

This week the governor imposed mask restrictions on outdoor activities when social distancing cannot be maintained. The reason she widened the mask wearing requirements was because the number of positive cases and covid deaths is trending sharply upward. Every day, we have had more than 300 new cases reported.

School officials are planning to reopen in the fall. In some districts, masks are optional; in other districts, masks are required. On-line learning will be in place some days of the week with students in classrooms on the other days of the week for in class learning experiences. Home schooling is an option many parents are reviewing. 

Being a teacher during this time is concerning. Contracting the virus and bringing it home to that teacher's family is a big concern. Our medical community and grocery supply community have been at this process for five months. I consider each and every one of these front line workers heroes.  Teachers are
Center finish
also front line heroes. 

Speaking of front line heroes, I learned on Friday that the temporarily laid off staff person that I so enjoyed working with will be permanently laid off as of August 7. She and I joined the company the same year. We've worked at that hospital for 27 years! I am sad and will continue to miss her and her no problem unsolvable presence. Covid affects the healthy too.
The looting and violence during nightly downtown protests continues. It has been seven weeks. Protests are held during the day too. A federal officer seriously injured a protester in the head with a less than lethal munition. News venues around the U.S. covered this incident. In contrast, I haven't read how the police officer, who sustained a traumatic head injury from objects protesters hurled at the officer, is doing.  

The mayor and governor want the federal officers removed. Although, it would appear that there is less damage to the federal property since their arrival. 

I value our right to free speech. Using free speech as a back drop to employ violence, however, is wrong. A number of
Maui, Hawaii anniversary dinner 2018
business will not recover from the one-two punch of Covid shut down coupled with the property destruction  during the protests.

To end on a positive note, today is our 40th wedding anniversary. We had planned to watch a Mariner baseball game in Seattle, Washington to celebrate. Unfortunately, the game was canceled. Canceling was a wise decision. Neither of us would have wanted to be around that many people right now! Instead, the two of us will have a quiet celebration at home.

My husband continues to be the best life partner ever. He makes the hard days work and the easy days even more fun. I am the fortunate one. 


Janice Smith said...

During these sad, troubled times it is good to celebrate happy moments. Congratulations to you and your hubby on your 40th!!! said...

Thank you for your 40th congratulations, Janice. I wonder what will be left of the downtown that I remember when this passes.