Sunday Kettles, Quilting and Knitting Conundrums
The whistle of the kettle. Or should I say the sound of someone taking the lid off the electric jug, filling it up with water and the sound it makes when it boils. It's a happy, soothing sound, synonymous with having a relaxing break from work, gathering around to catch up with family and friends and enjoying a favourite cup of tea, perhaps with some craft at hand. I read somewhere once that Tea is a hug in a cup and I'd have to agree. It really is one of the simple things in life that can often turn a gloomy afternoon into an occasion.
This particular Sunday was cold and mizzling - that's our term for when it's not raining, it's drizzling and it's sort of misty - mizzling. It's just wet enough to be annoying if you're outside, and it's not heavy enough to make puddles, just dampness. The wind was blowing a gale to match and all in all, it was an inside day. I'm trying to get into the habit of going for lovely long walks, and we also live on a small farm so I know townsfolk will be wondering what on earth I was doing trying to be outside anyway. I can tell you one thing, that kind of weather is more romantic on the movies than it is in real life. Though, coming inside and peeling off boots, scarves, beanies and gloves does give one the feeling that I'm in the countryside of some quaint English place - especially when the fire is also crackling. Pretending I'm in a place far, far away, in some fictional story, can sometimes make the situation slightly more appealing sometimes, you see.
That's not called 'glass half full'. That's called I've got a teacup and tin of biscuits instead. Figuratively speaking.
I dug the knitting needles out and decided to remind myself exactly why I don't knit. Well not really, but after repeating mistakes and undoing my simple knit-and-purl dish cloth several times, I remembered why I gave it up for crochet. Still as it took me an entire afternoon of frustration to simply learn to chain with crochet, I was patient and I am now several rows into my knitted square, despite having one small hole in the bottom corner. Oh well. I have knitted before, but I specialise in dropped stitches and holes. Perhaps I am a talented knitted with misplaced skills...maybe I should be making lace?
I really do want to get better at knitting, because Sarah has inspired me so much with her gorgeous, hand-knitted sweater. I say sweater because that's what the pattern was called. In a place where 'mizzle' is a bona fide weather description, I'd actually call it a jumper. Sweater sounds somehow more, interesting. Sarah's also the poor, patient soul who I handed my knitted square to again and again, to undo. I think she is reconsidering her 'maybe-one-day' plans to teach a beginner class after having me on her hands. I reminded her that I am a bit different. Haha.
Sundays are also good for sewing. Something I am rather a bit better at than knitting. I finally got out the quilt I have been working on since last year, which has turned out to be a rather belated birthday gift for my sister. My first ever *proper* quilt. Can I just say one word?
I'm in love.
To think I left mine it's in packet for the many years I have owned my sewing machine. A thoughtful freebie that didn't serve to pique my interest until after trying to push this quilt through the machine, I heard a whisper from the drawer. *Walking Foot*
To be honest, it always scared me. I'd peeped into the box and then suppressing a scream, I'd closed it. (well not quite but that's kind of how I felt about the odd looking creature) The idea of unscrewing things was off putting. Strange I know. Stranger still given the fact when I finally decided to give it a go, it was pretty easy. Especially as I consulted Youtube for a quick confirmation for what went where.
Golly, what a difference it makes! I dragged the sewing machine out to the dining room, so I had more room for the quilt. I just did very simple, sew around the squares quilting which suits me just fine at this stage. All the while marvelling at how well a Walking Foot works. Seriously, if you have a phobia like I did, do try and get over it and try out yours - you'll be so glad you did!
I was really excited seeing it all come together AND knowing that I would finally have one WIP finished at least! I was determined to bind it nicely, and use a gorgeous Apple Farm print that went with all the beautiful colours in the quilt top and backing.
(I'm also nervous I might secretly be liking making quilts more than I thought I would...oh no! They told me it's catching!)
For the binding I consulted several tutorials but ultimately, I found this video the one for me. Within a few minutes I was binding my quilt according to the instructions, which were easy to follow and produced lovely results. I decided on my own little hand-stitching method for the binding, where the stitches are invisible on the front and back. I also found this tutorial on Red Pepper Quilts useful.
I really enjoyed the binding process, so much so I was thinking afterwards "hmmm, what can I make just so I can bind it!?" I like the final, finishing touch it put on the quilt. I liked making the nice neat, mitred corners. There's just something that got my nerdy sewing side with binding. I like the technique!
I can't wait to share photos of the finished quilt. I just need to finish the hand-stitching and then the mandatory thread check before I wrap it up and give it to the birthday girl!
Tell me, do all quilts take this long?