Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Caught between the Moon and New York City . . .

or, more accurately, between the Milky Way and a suburb north of NYC!

I have been working on the Constellation quilt. I have stitched many of the stars, all except those around the outer rim.

The part that has really slowed me down is the band of stars in the Milky Way, all French Knots!

For the past four evenings, I have done nothing but French Knots. I have done hundreds of them! It is very fatiguing to do them through the quilt hoop and template, and, I am sure I will have to re-do many of them. It is hard to see with the template on top.

Here is a photo of the whole quilt so far.

(click on photo to enlarge)
(Whenever I lay out anything on the dining room table, Furry insists on jumping up to see what's going on)!

It is hard to see the progress with the template. You can probably make out the tiny white dots in the middle of the screen. That is perhaps a third of the Milky Way. I have a long way to go!

The construction lines of the quilt are stitched with quilting thread, but I am using DMC Glow-in-the-dark white floss. It looks like regular DMC, but it tends to get fuzzy, especially when it catches on the template. It really does glow in the dark, but I don't know how to show it here in a photo. It needs to be very dark. I am not sure who will be looking at it in the dark, but it's an interesting idea!

French Knots
I think I may need to order more of the Glow-in-the-dark floss. The French Knots eat up a lot of it.

The stars themselves use a very interesting notation system. It was inspired by the system developed in the 1950's by H. A. Rey. Rey was an amateur astronomer, but is probably best known as the author of the Curious George books.

Each star is represented by their visual magnitude (brightness as seen from the planet Earth).
The stars have six  corresponding sizes on a scale of 0 (brightest) to 5 (faintest or smallest).
Each star is stitched using a backstitch. This is how they appear on the quilt.

The quilt is coming along, but I still have a long way to go. I am a little nervous about the big reveal, when I tear off the template. I hope the stitching is not too sloppy. I cannot imagine making a full size quilt. The option is to make x's instead of French Knots. I would definitely do that if I were making the larger quilt!

I do have another finish for 2016. Before I started the quilt, I finished up a pair of socks for Keith's birthday. They are knitted with Kroy sock yarn. I couldn't post them before this, or it would have spoiled the surprise. I hope they fit. Every pair I make fits a little differently. Here they are.

Hope he like them!

I am currently thinking about how I will finish the quilt. I guess it should be hung on a wall. That means I will have to sew quilt hangers on the back. I have never actually done that with a quilt, although I have read about it. Hmmm, another experiment!

That's all I have for now. Enjoy the Spring everyone.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

A Finish, and a Very Cool New Project!

Love Heart from Bothy Threads is finished!

Love Heart from Bothy Threads
I sewed on the last of the beads yesterday. It is hard to see them, but here is a close-up.

I always forget how big heart-shapes are. I do wish now I had stitched it on 32 ct instead of 28 ct.

And now for my cool new project!

Keith gave me this for Christmas!

I have always loved astronomy. When I saw this quilt from Haptic Lab, I knew I had to stitch it!
If you are not familiar with Haptic Lab, you can read about them here. They have city quilts from all over the world, and a map of the constellations from the Northern and Southern hemispheres. Very cool!
I am stitching the Northern Hemisphere Constellations.

For the night sky, I chose a marbled cotton from Moda.

The template is placed over the quilt sandwich.

It is a bit awkward stitching this way. I am making the wall or crib size. I cannot imagine stitching the full size version. The template is very stiff, but at the same time, it is fragile. It tears very easily when the stitches are pulled through it. I tried to tape it together in some places but the tape doesn't stick to it.

I am a very traditional quilter, and stitches on this quilt are larger than I am used to making. Also, it is a leap of faith how the stitches will look, because I won't see them until the template is removed. The stitches need to be tight, but it you pull too tight, it tears the template.

It will be hard to show my progress on this because the stitches do not show on the template.

Here is a shot of the back. I think you can see the stitching better here. I chose the same marbled pattern from Moda for the back, but in a light blue, for the day sky.

I haven't gotten to stitching any of the stars yet. I am still working on the construction quilting that holds it together.
By next time, I will hopefully have some of the stars done.

The weather looks like is is starting to warm up here. I am certainly looking forward to that! The chickens and bees are too!

Thanks for all of your kind word about my stitching. Some of you, I tried to get in touch with, but the email was bounced. I have no idea whether is is you or me. Please know that I appreciate all of your comments though.