Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Three more "Red Bride" blocks

Civil War Bride quilt (using the Threadbear pattern) in reds - needle turn applique with back basting prep. I'm finding my light pad invaluable, especially with the fussy cutting. The fabric pattern usually shows up well even from the back when placing pieces for the back basting.

In case you think I whipped them up easily - not true I'm afraid. There were a few fabrics unpicked and changed to get the balance I was happy with, and I'm still not sure...but enough meddling now! 

It was a relief to leave them alone and get back to more 'secret gift' Auntie Green stitching - so calming in the neutrals.  I think a few close up snippets in a collage is not giving too much away? 
For this I am working with appliqued 1/4 inch bias tape stems and back basted prep needleturn for the rest.

Hand quilting practice is going pretty well on my Four Block applique quilt. I have experimented with various devices designed to help reduce pain in the hands - so much so that I felt like Edward Scissorhands at times (great movie but the hands could be awkward and dangerous to coordinate!). 
Persistence is the key with these gadgets and I'm desperate - desperate to find a comfortable method. 

In the left hand under the hoop I have the TJ quick quilter - no more sore finger tip and it seems to make my stitches more even in size (always a bonus) - love it.

I know gadgets are a very personal thing so this is just what works for me. I should tell you that I have  'knobby' arthritic fingers (no I am not going to show you - believe me - not pretty) so getting a thimble to fit and to stay on is a challenge. 

On the right hand I have an open adjustable thimble - love the tip for pushing the needle through. Also in the right hand is the yellow needle puller. It took a while to adjust to this but I now think it is brilliant. Previously I had tried different sizes of silicon and rubber thimbles (on thumb and forefinger) to help with needle pulling and they did the job well. But, because of my very knobbly finger joint, they either fell off or cut off the circulation (visualise finger tip turning blue by stages). 

We went on a family bush walk south of Sydney at the weekend - was lovely to spot spring flowering Australian flora such as this flannel flower (or Actinotus helianthi 'Starbright' if you must know) native to Sydney. The petals and leaves are as soft as felt - hence the name 'flannel' .

Flowers about 2 inches across