Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Home Stretch

Here's what's under the needle today:

Yup, I'm on the home stretch of the Big Quilt. It will take a bit of time yet because after I finish sewing the binding on, I have over 470 inches of handwork to do to stitch it to the back. I would have had it sewed on by now, but yesterday I was stuck in indecisiveness about what color to use for the binding. I had the pale gray that you see here, a bluish gray, a print and this Kona Celestial, which is much richer and more teal than you see here. (I also had bits of the rest of the colors in the quilt and could have made a really tedious binding that matched up with patches along the edges, but the angles boggled my mind.) Right from the start, I had been planning to use the Celestial, but I had enough of the other fabrics to consider them as well. I ruled out the pale gray and the print (the backing) right away, but couldn't decide between the blue gray and the blue. My husband liked the blue. He was a little hurt that I didn't immediately take his advice, but I had to also consult with a quilty pal. Bernie liked the blue, too. It's bold and contains the quilt design nicely. The blue gray would have let the design sort of run off the quilt (interesting), but it was just kind of blah and maybe prone to dinginess. Also, the backing has the blue in it but not the gray. So Celestial it is. You'll have to wait until it's all done to see how it looks on the quilt. 

In the meantime, we had some fun this morning taking our first bicycle ride of the year. We couldn't go far because the snow melt and some rain has flooded part of the trail that we take toward town, but it's good to start a little slow after sitting around for the last three months. Last time we rode was Christmas day, which was awesome because we sure don't usually get to ride during December. 
Water under the highway bridge and about 1 1/2 feet over the trail.
No green leaves or flowers yet, but they're definitely on the way.

I'm making some headway on the closet clean-up. I set aside some old books, yarn, and even a stack of magazines (ones I had bought on vacations just to browse--I had never used them for patterns or specific inspiration). I also bundled up some old work clothes (another closet). Let's face it: I'm never going to wear suits or jackets again. I wasn't even wearing them the last years I worked. I was saving them for I don't know what, so out they go. What a relief! We did a little antique browsing on the way to and from our daughter's house during the holiday weekend, and here's a sobering collection I found along the way:

It looks uncannily like my closet, doesn't it? It looks like either someone else decided to do the great cleanout--or her descendants did. The shelf next to this one has a bunch of patterns, homemade templates and handwritten plans all organized in plastic bags. I'm really hoping this quilter is still around and just decided to lighten up. But look: Those big boxes of magazines are $20 a lot. Not worth much. I don't know how much the binders cost. In a moment of weakness, I considered buying the two Quilter's Newsletter binders so that whatever magazines I end up keeping would be in similar looking binders. But I restrained myself. I don't need to sort out someone else's collection, too. 

A little ways from this sad collection, was this cabinet:

I really hope those quilts didn't belong to the quilter who owned the magazines. They should have stayed with family or friends. It is a good thing our car wasn't big enough though, or that cabinet might have gone home with me, and I really don't need it. Back home, I decided to have another go at reducing my magazine collection. I checked my most recent magazines and recalled that I can get digital versions online for the last three years. So I can get rid of them. Then I plan to go backwards through time to weed out the rest of the collection. I think I'll have more success getting rid of more recent magazines than those first few years where I was really relying on them to learn how to quilt. 

Okay, time to get back to the binding, which is sitting in the machine just the way you see it in the first picture. 

I'm linking up today with Sew Fresh Quilts. The button is on the right. 

Have a good week! I hope your week brings you close to putting the binding on something.


  1. Oh dear, that is a lot of hand stitching with that binding. But you are definitely in the home stretch!
    Funny to compare that shelving in the shop with your closet at home. It is so hard to part with things. Once I get organized and purge some of the stuff, I rarely (if ebver?) regret it.
    Volunteering in a thrift shop, I see so many people happily buying craft magazines. I am sure if you donate yours, you will be making someone very happy.

  2. Hooray Janine for getting the Big Quilt quilted! That will be some job hand sewing on the binding. I put bandaids over the parts of my fingers that get the most wear when I sew a big binding on and it helps a lot.
    LOL - I thought that actually was a photo of your closet at first. It makes me sad too when I see someone's quilts being sold off like that. Maybe she was such a prolific quilter that everyone already had a half dozen quilts and these were the left overs.
    Enjoy these early spring days!

  3. Ooh, I can't wait to see the finished quilt!!! Like the blue binding a lot.