Six blocks were left from a king-sized quilt, so I decided [in November of 2012] to create a wall-hanging to compliment the quilt.
Our niece, Susan, whose hand quilting is exquisite, brought me a vintage oval hoop on a stand and shared some hints on hand quilting.
I thought I would be able to do it rather nicely.
I became discouraged with my uneven stitches and relegated the piece, still in the hoop to various corners where the cats pulled at the batting.
I felt reproached by my lack of competence.
The 'work not in progress' was moved to the stone house in September.
It looked rather nice in a corner of my 'study'--almost as if I intended to take up my needle and hone my skills.
When we began showing the stone house we decided that we needed to de-clutter.
My stash of quilting fabric, my sewing 'tools' and the quilting stand were moved to the farmhouse.
I discovered that much of my time there was waiting time: being there to make a meal for Jim; being available to go along to the home building supply store, to hold the end of a measuring tape or a length of PEX waterline.
There were hours when I was restless, so I determined to finish the wall hanging.
At first I sat near a temporary work lamp, hitching my chair about, trying to keep my work
out of the shadows.
I was wearing a pair of drug-store reading glasses, waiting for new prescription lenses after cataract surgery.
Eventually I had my new spectacles, the electric lights were up and running in the kitchen and dining area of the farmhouse.
I found it quite soothing to pull my chair close to the warmth of the wood stove and poke my needle into the fabric.
I vowed that no matter how crooked my stitches, I wouldn't pick them out.
That was a promise I couldn't keep!
While there are obviously many crooked or uneven stitches, I did back up and redo many.
I don't feel that my skills improved.
Sometimes I could go along making neat, fairly small stitches. Too often my stitches were discouragingly large and untidy.
Lighting seemed to be an issue, as did the flexibility of my fingers--when I had been holding a paint brush or working outdoors, my fingers balked at finer use.
Still, the wall-hanging is finished!
It has been embellished with cat hair--by Nellie who wanted to be part of the photos when I spread the piece on my work table.
I am impatient with all learning curves.
I am not satisfied with my amateurish results.
I fear that anyone looking at this may conclude I was experimenting with
More than an hour of stitching is conducive to a 'kink' in the neck!
At the end of the day, I have to say I enjoyed finishing this piece.
I suspect I will attempt another.
I may learn not to apologize for a less than perfect finished project!