Chained Islamic Stars

I actually started this quilt many many years ago, I believe while we still lived in Germany, and I got 37 squares finished and ran out of steam. It is a very fiddly design. I designed it myself. The finished square was 9 inches and the post and sashing was one inch, but it was all one inch, (cut 1.5″) and man, it was tiresome.

I also didn’t quite know how to make the chain work, but last week as I sorted in preparation for packing up the quilt room, I knew what to do. When I had a surprise and one morning of my week fell open, I was able to stitch 36 into a nice quilt top that I can use as a table cover – or something. I got to show it at the Qater Quilt Guild meeting yesterday, before it gets packed up. It will be months before I can get to it once more.

The truth is, even after 10 years, I love the intricately patterned fabrics I found for the stars. Ten years later, I rarely use white as a background – now, I am itching to try this same pattern (I can figure out now how to do it with less fuss) with a dark background. I love the way it has all gone together.

For my Kuwait friend – I don’t think you ever even saw this unfinished one, but slowly slowly I AM working on that pile of UFO’s you assigned me!

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Tension

2010 will be another interesting year for us, a year full of changes on the Richter scale of 10, like a 10. We have a retirement, a move, a survey of all the household we have had in storage for 12 years, and a move from there. We have to buy a new house, and get it ready for our habitation. We have a grandson, and we will be living near family – that hasn’t happened for a long time.

We will no longer be living overseas. I cannot imagine.

So I am trying to finish up projects, eyeing shelves that need to be packed. NO. I am not leaving behind a lot of fabric. I will part with some, but I just did this, this packing out and moving in spring of last year and so no, I am not going to part with so much this time. Well, actually, I am.

I am looking at a quilt I started two years ago, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish. I know who it is for. The quilting went bad and as I fixed it, I just wasn’t happy, so I let it go for a while. Now it doesn’t look so bad, but when I look at the back of the quilt, I can see my tension on my machine was erratic. There is another major flaw that my sharp eyed quilting friends will spot, but this is a quilt meant for use on a boat, so even a major flaw won’t matter:

It always shows. When you do handwork, it always shows. If you cross stitch, the stitches are too tight, and it sort of buckles. If you knit, the scale is off, and it feels too tight when you finish, relaxed knitters knit some air into their works. When you quilt, it shows on the backside, even if it doesn’t show on the front. If you hand quilt, the stitches are too tiny, too tight, too perfect and you come out with a hard piece rather than one of those lovely soft hand quilted pieces. It shows. Your handwork shows your state of mind.

My problem is that often under pressure, I turn to my handwork! So I can look at pieces and know what I was going through. What makes me laugh is the pieces I work the hardest on, nobody cares. Nobody but me. Things that I design and toss off in a heartbeat – people love! Go figure.

Today I am putting the binding on the two little baby girl quilts. They don’t look so bad now that they are quilted, thanks be to God. I keep telling myself “this is a hobby! This is supposed to be fun!”

Georgina’s Blog

You think you know a person, and then you discover you know nothing! One of the quilters in our Qatar Quilter’s Guild is so productive, I don’t know where she gets all the extra hours in the day to do all the work she does. In addition, her work is meticulous! Her color choices are always right on the money.

Part of the reason I love her work is that while her piecing is perfect, her applique skills are even better!

What I didn’t know was that Georgina also has a blog; it is in Spanish, but I can understand almost everything – she illustrates with lots and lots of photos. WOW. She is an amazing lady. Here is her blog address:

Georgina’s Blog