Instant Gratification, It Is Not

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Did we all remember the end of Daylight Savings Time today? I didn’t. Showed up to work an hour early at 6:45am. I could have had another damn hour of sleep! Bah! Oh well, gives me time to get organized and recap my night’s stitching.

I’ve already discussed my exciting Friday, which was spent on the dining room floor, with the wretched basting all day.

Yesterday, I started The Hand-Quilting. This is far more pleasant because a.) I’m not on the dining room floor, b.) I’m in my comfy bed and c.) I have Entertainment. Naturally, there was crap for TV on all day yesterday, but I didn’t mind – it was only on for a bit of distraction.

Off we go!

Laying in Supplies

Laying in Supplies

Things got off to a bit of a rocky start, per usual. I had a leather thimble on the middle finger of my left hand, and a metal one on the index/pushing finger of my right.

The first stitch seemed ridiculously difficult to pull through. When I finally managed to get two stitches loaded on and pulled the needle through, I discovered two things: 1.) A very bent needle, and 2.) A leather thimble stitched to the backing flannel.

Alright, take two.

No leather thimble, just my fingers to feel when the needle pricked through. Much easier this time. 🙂 Getting the quilting on one10 x 17 panel took me almost four hours, but at least this time, I was getting something real done!

My stitches are epically uneven, and I didn’t mark any lines, so they’re crooked. But I really wanted this quilt to be very very handmade – ok, I also didn’t want to spend hours marking the damn thing, as it’s going to be a 100-hour quilt, anyhow.  Even though I thought it looked silly, initially, I became more enchanted with the uneven, homey stitches as I went along:

Panel one

Panel one

You can see how uneven the lines and spacing are, and how big and ungainly the stitches themselves are, but I’m completely ok with this. I’d originally planned to go a few more rows into the center, but I think they’ll start looking squished and weird. Plus, I like the unadulterated fabric, too. The one thing I wonder about is, “will not having any quilting in that large an area with thin cotton batting cause any problems?” It says to quilt every few inches, but what happens if one doesn’t?

It took me about 8 hours to do 3 panels… lots of work to go. Also, basting safety pins are not healthy for the basting stitches. I’d say about a quarter of them have been ripped out from catching on the pins as I work. I hope enough remain to keep things stabilized. The rest of the pins should be out in the next session or two, I hope.

The more time I spend on this quilt, the sadder I will be to give it away to someone who, in all likelihood, will not appreciate it or the time I’ve spent on it. I feel, though, this makes it all the more important to do exactly that – give it away.  As I work on it, I’m trying to think about my mom, our relationship, and what I am willing and able to do in the future.

I’ve mentioned our issues before, but only in passing; I suspect as I work through this, I’ll talk about it more to help myself figure things out. I think better when I write. Currently, she and I are not speaking much at all, and this is a good thing. Initially, she instigated the “I never want to speak to you again” thing (something she does with people in her life, and she means it when she says it – but she doesn’t realize it’s not a matter of simply calling people back when she realizes she’s made a mistake) and then, after she changed her mind, I was the one who said, “Sorry, but you made that choice and now you have to live with the consequences.”

Not having to deal with her is a relief, but I feel so sorry for her. She is essentially alone in life, outside of work (she is a PhD psychologist in private practice) with only a few friends and no significant other. Her body is falling apart on her, and I know she’s lonely. Yet, when we are together, we just bitch and argue and drive each other crazy and judge.

Perhaps this quilt will end up being The Forgiveness Quilt, and the time I spend hand-quilting it will give me plenty of opportunity for consideration.

Speaking of hand-sewing, I also put together a couple of hexagon flowers the other night, just to get a little practice hand-stitching. I think they turned out basically ok, although I think paper hexies will work better than the Teflon ones, since I have to cut the basting threads to get these out, leaving the edges ratty.

Hexie flowers

Hexie flowers

Alrighty. Time to start working.

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3 responses to Instant Gratification, It Is Not

  1. Great job! I think your hand stiching looks Fantastic. Your quilt will be Lovely, Very handmade.

  2. Barbara

    If you don’t quilt in the middle of your blocks the batting will bunch up and be lumpy. After all of this work you don’t want that. Perhaps another rectangle or two in the center that are a bit further apart….or some quilted diamonds? You’re doing a great job!

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