Saturday, September 3, 2016

Finish for a friend

Quilting has been sporadic here on Vector, but I'm happy to report that I managed to finish a piece. This is Balance, a comfort quilt for our friend G. 

We met G through boating, so I tried to take some boaty glamour shots of the quilt. Here it is draped across the Portuguese bridge. 

I flipped it up so you can see the nicely coordinating turquoise back. The structure in the upper right is the ramp that leads down to the dock from the downtown Chattanooga waterfront pier. That sucker creaks and groans every time another boat goes by.

A view with the water under the pier as backdrop. A local stand-up paddleboard rental company launches from here. Watching newbie SUPpers fall into the river is a daily form of entertainment.

A view from the back deck, across the Tennessee river. My physical therapist's office is just to the left of the tall white structure. I go to PT three or four times a week, and to be frank, it really sucks. I can see improvement in my shoulder in term of range of motion, but there has been little relief from the pain. Of course, that's often the nature of PT.

Fortunately, it doesn't hurt any worse when I sew. So I've been able to quilt a little each day, for about 20 minutes at a time. It's been keeping me sane, and gives poor Sean a break from my constant whining and crankiness. For Balance, I decided to quilt a different motif inside each color rectangle. I did fans inside the light grey ones.

Big flowers inside the reds and flowing lines inside the black and white.

Wavy crosshatch inside the greens and a watery back and forth motif inside the turquoises. Inside the central, darker black squares I simply echoed the edges. The non-white fabrics are unquilted so they move forward while the background recedes. Each section took about 20 minutes, so it worked out well for my little shoulder sanity breaks.

Here's a close up of the swirly backing fabric and the striped binding. I hope she likes it!

As I worked on Balance, I didn't have much energy to do much else like tidy up. So the stacks of fabric that Sue sent are still piled up on my cutting mat. All the cute, happy, brightly colored fishes kept catching my eye, so I decided I would make a fish quilt next. I've also wanted to learn how to do curved piecing, and chose a drunkard's path block. I combined the fishies with wavy line fabrics to represent water, and dotty fabric for bubbles.

The blocks are quite large, about 8", so the whole top went together pretty fast. Ironing is the one quilt task that bothers my shoulder a bit if I overdo it. Big simple blocks require less ironing; a good thing! This one is called Ocean Portal and will be a Project Linus donation. It's cheered me up, and I hope it will do the same for the young recipient.


  1. Louise, I love the fishbowl quilt! It is great to see all of that fabric go to such a great quilt for such a great cause! It is so bright and cheery that I know that a child is going to love it!

    Sure hope your shoulder gets better. Aches and pains are no fun.

  2. I'm sorry to hear you are struggling with your shoulder! At least your quilting looks great. That wavy cross hatch is my favorite.

  3. Even at 20 minutes a pop, you're managing to accomplish quite a lot, shoulder be damned! Both quilts are lovely and will be so appreciated. Hang in there! XO

  4. I'm amazed you are able to get so much done with the pain and 20 minute increments. Good for you and lucky recipients. Hope the shoulder gets better soon.

  5. Lovely! Balance is a great finish. It's sure to bring G lots of comfort! And I love your ocean portals. Hope your shoulder improves soon!


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