Angel and I are alone on the boat this week while DH Sean is at a conference in Dallas. We've decided to pretend that we're at a quilting retreat, with nothing to do but relax, sew and eat! I've been doing the quilting and she's been "testing."
The boat is docked at a marina to make it easier for Sean to get to the airport, and to have access to power and water. The power has been great, allowing me to luxuriate in cool, dry air conditioning day and night. The water has been...off. Being fixed. Fixed tomorrow, ma'am. Maybe Monday, ma'am. Poor Dudley the Dockmaster finally admitted that they needed parts from the US to fix the water, and offered to drag a hose all the way down the dock to fill our tank. Six hoses, actually: it's a long dock.
I'm grateful to Dudley, because I really wanted to get a few quilts washed. By yesterday, I had finished quilting and binding these three, so they got a trip to the "spa" and are now washed, dried, and ready for their new homes. Don't they look jaunty up on the foredeck of our little shippy ship?
This first one is called Wild Horses (Couldn't Drag Me Away). Many moons ago, I bought a small lot of fabric on eBay because I wanted the bright, running horses on a black background. When the fabric arrived, there were several rail fence blocks already sewn, and lots of strips of horses cut. The strips ran both parallel and perpendicular to the horses' direction, but I figured by the time I twisted and turned all the rail blocks, that wouldn't matter. I added a few more brights from my stash to round out the rail fences, added a couple of borders, and voila!
Here's a close up that shows the simple stipple quilting I did. The fun, busy design didn't need any more than that. Wild Horses will go to Wrap A Smile.
Counting Fishes will also be heading to the Wrap A Smile charity, to help comfort a child undergoing surgery for a cleft palate. You may remember that this fabric was given to me by Karen. The bold, bright fish and big numbers dominate, and it has a little rhyme in small text, too. I really love using happy novelty fabrics like this. The fish have such sweet smiles!
This one got simple wavy line quilting to mimic flowing water. A fun, Juicy Fruit stripe matches the colors perfectly for the border. I wish I had another couple yards of that stripe; it's super versatile!
The third quilt is a little larger, and is just the right size for Quilts Beyond Borders. I'm calling it Butterfly Banners. Made of orphan blocks, I had fun quilting this one with a few different, easy motifs.
First I stitched in the ditch around each purple sashed area for stability. The four patches and sixteen patches have a curvy orange peel motif. I changed thread color a couple of times to try to match, but it's a bit tricky with brights and white right next to each other. The scrappy HST butterflies are simply outlined.
The banners have a diagonal, offset cross hatch design in light blue. I love that scooter fabric! Finally, the background field has a stipple in white thread. The pretty white with soft violets was given to me by Sean's aunt, left over from her years working at Laura Ashley. I'm happy with the turquoise striped binding, too.
Here's a quick peek at the backings, courtesy of the gusty breezes. I was lucky to find single pieces of coordinating fabrics for each quilt that were just the right size. All these charity quilts have machine sewn binding and that goes zippy fast. It takes me about 40 minutes, total, to sew the binding to the back, flip it to the front, and finish stitching it down. I know many of you love the serenity of hand stitching binding, but I HATE doing it. Seriously, if I hadn't figured out that I could machine bind, I'd have given up on quilting after about 3 finishes.
This quilt was still under the needle when Dudley brought the hose, so it hasn't been washed yet. I'm trying to batch them together to fill the machine and not waste any water. Scrappy Asian-inspired chunks from my stash make up this soft piece. Originally I thought it would go to Covered in Love, but it has whispered to me that it might have another destiny. Nothing specific, just a hunch. Fortunately, I have two other CiL quilts queued up.
The back of the as-yet-unnamed-and-unassigned quilt is made of large squares of tan neutrals. I'm not sure how I ended up with so many of these blah prints, but they work well together as this backing. My stash of blah fuglies is now reduced, so win-win!
I was clearly on a roll with the stippling, and used it again for overall coverage. I do a mean stipple. "Mean," as in, "half of all quilters stipple better than Louise, and half stipple worse." Good enough for softness, drape and texture.
And finally, this was tonight's sunset over Nassau harbour. Every time I read about someone else's quilting retreat, there are always photos of the lovely setting, so here ya go. Like at all good quilt retreats, alcohol and dessert were consumed while enjoying the view.