Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Unity--Post 13 Quilting Border Six in Progress

Westalee circle template and spacer
Border five of the Unity quilt was the neutral squares. My plan was to use the Westalee circle template with a larger spacer to quilt the circle and fill in with pebbles. Unfortunately, the seams made it impossible to use the template. I even tried lowering the pressure on the foot even more than I had when stitching the previous circles.

I was bummed as I have tried to use templates in my quilting. The bulk of the seams continues to hamper my ability to use these templates. If there are no seams in the area, I can hold the templates and achieve a passable result.

I looked through my quilting supplies for a suitable template. An empty wooden spool looked like it fit the space as I had envisioned. The spool came from my great grandmother's sewing stash. I use her old thread to machine base the outside edge of the quilt sandwich. She was a great seamstress so putting a little of her into each of my projects makes me smile.

Marking the templates 

She grew up well to do. She fell in love with a bachelor farmer. When she married the farmer, she could boil water; but, that was the extent of her cooking skills because her family had a cook! 

Her husband taught her cooking basics. She quickly learned how to cook even the most intricate dishes. She cooked by feel. When people asked her for recipes, she shared the recipes. The results others cooked were never as good as tasty as what she cooked though. 

Word was that neighbor ladies had ridiculed her because she couldn't cook. The story was that when she shared her recipes, she purposely left out an ingredient so no one could replicate her success. It makes a good story; but, I remember her as a caring and giving person. I think she played around with quantities and ingredients. I think she used the recipe as a basic starting point because, I have her cookbook and a couple recipes she developed. Terms "base" as well as "substitutions" are noted in the margins.

Finished border section
But, back to quilting! I used a blue water erasable pen to draw the circles. I free motion quilted the circles and added pebbles. Once I finished a side of the border, I spritzed the circles with water. The lines disappear easily. I have completed one side of the border.

Because of the fire threat, I have packed this project along with my machine. When the fire threat has passed, I'll unload the car which currently holds the sewing machine and a couple in process quilt projects. I look forward to making progress on this project again! 

In the meantime, I'm linking up with Longarm Learning with Rebecca Grace Quilting.

On the fire front, the air quality is improving. We are rated "unhealthy" instead of "hazardous." Yesterday, I could actually see the tree line from our house which is about 500 feet away and which I haven't seen in a week! I'm still not walking outside because of the air quality. When my husband had to spend time outside when the air quality was hazardous, he pulled out his heavy duty mask!

I've found that simmering a few sprigs of lavender and rosemary sprigs from the garden throughout the day, helps cleanse the air inside the house. My smoke headache is much less since I've kept the herbs covered in water simmering in a saucepan on the stove. Sage would be a good add to the mix; but, I don't have access to a plant. My eye lashes are no longer matted together when I wake up either! We are okay. We haven't lost our home. Yes, the smoke makes breathing difficult; but the smoke will pass. Rain is forecasted for Thursday or Friday. 

My husband modeling his mask
The Riverside fire has burned 135,000 acres. There are now 500 firefighters working to contain the fire. Last night, the media reported that the firefighters are closing in on containment. We are still in a level two evacuation level which means be packed and ready to evacuate. The fire is still about a mile from us. Firefighters are working hard to keep this fire from merging with the Beechie Creek fire. A few days ago, firefighters pulled back from fighting the fire because they thought that it had merged. Realistically, I don't know how the fires haven't merged. Likely, God is holding them apart.

It is surreal to leave for work in the morning with the car packed with some "important stuff" and my GO bag. Being at work, where I can't check the wildfire evacuation map, feels disconcerting. Being able to return home at the end of the day, is miraculous. I worked yesterday and I work again today. If we do evacuate, we have a plan of where to meet and where to go.


Rebecca Grace said...

Okay, Terry -- I have a tip for you with the seam allowance issue and your templates. I ran into the same thing on my Spirit Song/Sermon Scribbles quilt. It made me glad I was using an actual pieced quilt rather than just practicing on blank yardage, because I never knew that the uneven surface created by the highs and lows of seam allowances would present an issue until I tried quilting with rulers on a heavily pieced quilt! What I did with my cutout circle rulers and other rulers where I was running into trouble is that I put a couple little pieces of HandiGrip tape on the places where my ruler had lost contact with the quilt surface (causing ME to lose control!). The HandiGrip tape really grabs the fabric to help rulers stay put, and it has some thickness to it to compensate for the bumpy quilt surface. Just a little 1/4" piece of it on opposite corners of a ruler like your circle cutout, then position the ruler so the HandiGrip tape is in the low area, away from the seam allowance. I think you'll have much better results! HandiQuilter makes that stuff and it's on their web site, on Amazon, and lots of other online longarm supply stores.

As for your GO bag -- that reminds me of the final stage of pregnancy, with your due date approaching, when you have your hospital bag packed and ready to go at a moment's notice. But how horribly different when you're preparing for sudden disaster instead of for a longed-for, joyous birth of a child! I was just reading about the fires in National Geographic before I clicked over to your blog. Did not realize that this was happening literally in your back yard! Had been praying for those threatened by the fires already, but will now lift up you and your husband specifically. I admire the way you're able to take this in stride and go on with your quilting. Thanks for linking up with Long Arm Learning! said...

Thanks for the tip Rebecca about the tape. I have used the grip tape that came with the ruler set It helps; but, isn't the best solution. Putting on more pieces obstructs my view of the lines. I'll check to see how the HandiGrip tape compares. Yes, the GO bag is just that . . .something that you can pick up and go with that will sustain you for a few days. . .it could work in a number of circumstances.

The Joyful Quilter said...

Oh, goodness! How can you quilt at a time like this? I can't imagine having a raging inferno a mile from my house. It sounds like you are ready, if there comes a time that you need to evacuate. I suppose you quilt while you are able (just to keep some sense of normalcy.) Stay safe!!! said...

Joyful Quilter, I did quilt to keep my mind off all the people whose homes have burned to ash. I started a couple flannel tops to donate. I had to keep my fingers doing purposeful activities!

Home Sewn By Us said...

Hi Terry! I am popping over from Rebecca's linky party. I love the idea of using your grandmother's spools of thread, both as a basting tool and a template. I am so sorry to hear that you are so close to the fires, and cannot imagine the stress of that situation. Many here are praying for you and everyone along the West coast for the fires to subside. I hope the rain not only helps with the fires but also clears the air. Work must be a bit of a relief but also an added layer of concern not knowing if you have a place to return to each night. {{Hugs}} a bunch for you. ~smile~ Roseanne said...

Rosanne, thanks for dropping in from Rebecca's Linky party. As I type this response, I'm listening to rain fall. It is weird seeing smoke in the air while rain falls! I know the moisture will help the fires subside. I'm sure God will allow just enough to fall so that there aren't mudslides in hillside places that are ash now.