Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Quiet Before the Storm

Our Midwestern landscape has taken another step toward Autumn this week. Each day the corn and soybeans become more golden. Here is a peek at the field next to us... a sea of soybeans after last nights heavy rain. In a short while this will be dancing waves of yellow leaves.

I traditionally kept my August through October teaching schedule light because I usually get my new FreeSpirit fabrics in August. Once they hit my door step, they are my only focus in preparation for Houston Quilt Market at the end of October. But this year, even though I finished the designs ahead of schedule, there were more color corrections than usual and the strike-offs traveled between the factory and here four or five times. Now the fabrics may not arrive until the end of September! Yikes!

So, I have been taking advantage of this precious time to begin quilting my Illinois Album quilt. I have finally finished all the outline quilting, which is tedious but necessary, and am on to adding the details inside each element. This part of the process is much more entertaining.

I have been hibernating in the studio and enjoying this luxury. Besides the mosquitoes make it impossible to stay outside! It has been a long time since I have worked on a quilt this big and wrestling so much fabric through the sewing machine. But it feels great to get back to some personal work.

I am using some of the decorative stitches for the quilting, too. You can see how they add interest, rhythm and texture... the last layer of icing on the cake.

Yes, thousands of threads to bury! But what a joy to have the time to enjoy the process. 

The bumblebee is developing some personality, as his real life brothers are busy, busy busy in the garden outside the door. Perhaps I should have included mosquitoes in the composition, too, for they certainly have been the theme here this summer! Consequently, there has not been much weeding done.

But in spite of it all, wearing his mosquito net hat, long sleeves and pants tucked into his socks, Greg has done a marvelous job with the flowers and the kitchen garden in ten minute spurts.

This has been a wonderful year for tomatoes. Don't these look like jewels after the rain?

Personally, I don't think you can have too many fresh tomatoes. The kitchen counter is covered with the bounty of summer and every visitor goes home with a sack of home grown goodies.

Oh well, we'll work on the weeds next year. Another good excuse to head for the studio!


Melissa P said...

The beauty of the white damask background is stunning. Particularly with that bee proboscis sticking out into it. I love that detail.

Mindy said...

Your quilting is so lovely!

Those tomatoes have me drooling. Ours played out weeks ago,

Judy Warner said...

This is a great reminder for me of how much can be accomplished using the decorative stitching on my Bernina - something you taught me in a class over a year ago! So glad I found your blog! I will be sure to mention this in my own soon!

Martha Lorshbaugh said...

Inspiring work, as always! I hope I get to see the completed piece up close and personal sometime!

Leeann said...

do you use a self threading needle to sew the ends in? I only found them last year and they make such as difference!

Diane J. Evans said...

Gorgeous stitching, Jane -- what kind of thread are you using for the decorative stitches? And you've chosen the perfect stitch to put in each place.