Saturday, 2 April 2011

Quilt Backs

At the beginning of this week I determined to assemble the back of the wedding present quilt ready for it to go to the longarm quilting person later in the month.   I am afraid progress has been painfully slow.  Last Saturday I bought a second piece of fabric to combine with one I probably bought about eight years ago.  That was a remaindered bin end and I knew it would come in  handy one day.

The blue fabric is the new piece and the William Morris the old one.  I washed the new fabric (mainly because the old one had been washed) but that is as far as I got for several days.  On Monday I received a the results of a biopsy I had some weeks ago for what I call my 'wobbly legs syndrome'.  It said I have a rare degenerative muscular condition called Inclusion Body Myositis.(IBM).   The consultant had mentioned something 'old people get' when I saw him months ago.   I don't consider myself old by today's standards but maybe that isn't the case.  The condition has no known cause (I guess it's age) and there is nothing they can do for it except physio.  If you look it up on the Web you find that the long-term prognosis isn't good but I have decided that something else could finish me off first and as at the moment my arms are fine, I just hope it progresses slowly and I don't have to give up sewing for years yet.  However, spurred on by twisting my ankle badly about ten days ago when one leg went as I descended some stairs in a shop,  I have started doing an exercise for my thighs (three times a day) that I found on the Web, begun practising Tai Chi again (I should really go back to the class) and made sure I have been swimming twice this week and for a two mile walk on the other days except for one when it rained.  All this seems to take up a lot of time that should be going on sewing.  Oh, and my GP told me I should not travel until I had seen the consultant which isn't till the end of May so I have had to cancel my spring holiday and find something else I can do in the UK in May.  Living down here you need to get away occasionally but John doesn't travel because of his fibromyalgia and I am used to doing a lot of things on my own.  Not such a good idea when I might fall and break something.

So here it is Saturday and all I have done on the quilt back is cut the pieces to length.  That's when I found the second problem: the blue piece was the end of the bolt and it has stretched.  In my youth when I made all my own clothes we used to hold the opposite corners and pull the fabric back into shape but at 88 inches long I thought this would be very difficult.  So this afternoon I have sat with a pin and pulled out a thread across each end and then cut along the line with scissors.  It seems a bit better.  Now for the third stage.

I had planned to make a 'frame' of the William Morris fabric but once I had cut off the uneven ends and cut it to length I realised I did not have enough for a piece at each end.  I was going to make it like this one.

I hope you enjoy the moving cats.  That is fairly typical in this house.  I made this quilt in 2000/1 according to the label and it is called Pacific Rim.  I machine pieced it but it was all hand quilted - hence the time taken.

I like unusual backs.  Here is another one where I took all the leftover pieces from the front.  Getting them to fit together was a bit of a nightmare with hours and hours of rearranging them on my bed as there was nowhere big enough to lay it all out in our old house.

And here is the front.  I made templates of the patterns on the Makower fabric and hand-quilted them.  This quilt always reminds me of sore hands as I developed slight carpel tunnel syndrome from all the cutting.  It was the first quilt I made from Cut Loose Quilts, the book by Jan Mullen that I have used for both nephews' wedding present quilts.

So tomorrow in between all the exercise I have to cut the William Morris fabric lengthwise and sew everything together.  I am currently thinking of putting a 'stripe' of the William Morris somewhere across the middle.  I think I may need to do this because in cutting the blue fabric straight I lost several inches and there may not be enough to use from top to bottom.

1 comment:

  1. I am so sorry to hear about your illness and I hope that when you get to see the consultant, he will be able to give you some reassurance. As you are still able to get around, and summer is on the way, I hope you can have some fun despite having to cancel your holiday.
    Best wishes Penny