Having completed the Urban Section of my vacation, and not yet ready to set out on the Wilderness Section, I am having the Lazing At Home Section. I’m using this time to work on my Windblown Shadows quilt.
Windblown Shadows is a Thimbleberries version of the traditional Windblown Squares block. You will note that it is composed entirely of triangles. Now, what level of accuracy and precision do you suppose I am bringing to this project? Do you think I have all those crisp points and even corners? Of course not. You get crisp points and even corners through highly accurate cutting and piecing, and I am just not made that way. I rely on elegant low-contrast color combinations, heavy pressing, and close hand quilting.
The process? As you may recall, there were hundreds of little triangles cut and sorted into tidy bundles, as seen in the top left corner of the picture at right. These are sewn together into squares, forming a sort of kite tail chain of squares like little flags, as seen in the rest of the picture.
Then the squares are sewn together according to the chart (the chart in the Thimbleberries book, not the one you see here). This is a very counter-intuitive way to sew the squares together, of course — that’s what gives you the windblown aspect of the block. So it is that I have to put the chart right by my sewing machine and follow it every time. In this picture, you can clearly see the imperfections of my work. I have no shame. Once it’s quilted, it will not look imperfect any more. It will have handcrafted charm. Or, as one of my favorite quilting books puts it, “That Dorky Homemade Look.”
Once the blocks are made, they are sewn together into strips. Really disciplined quilters make all the squares, then all the strips of squares, then all the blocks, then the strips of blocks, and then they put them together. I rarely even have all the fabric bought before I start sewing, so obviously I am not going to do it in the correct way.
I am also doing some knitting. Here is the Sophie Bag. I had it beyond this at one point, having done some knitting while chatting with people on my travels (no one said a word about my knitting), but I frogged it and began again. And why not? I am on vacation. There is no hurry.
And, well, yes, I am cooking and cleaning and grocery shopping. And getting up early to cook breakfast for my husband. But the sheer amount of time I am spending lying about reading and knitting, or sewing the quilt while watching silly Netflixes, definitely qualifies this as a vacation.
Ahem. I also have a whole bunch of fleece, or roving, or something, which I intend to turn into felted hats today by wrapping them around a Gertie ball and bouncing them around in hot soapy water. The whole thing (Felted Hat Kit –scroll down the page) sounds so random and mad that I am hopeful of being able to persuade number two son and number two daughter to join me in it.