Well, it's certainly sunny here in California, but the picture above is Waterloo Nebraska, and the farmhouse doesn't look anything like this picture at the moment. The trees have gone into hiding, and the grounds are still covered with snow. It's a good time to bake for friends, and hand quilt something large enough to fall over the frame and onto your lap.
Winter is comfort.
What I really wanted to discuss with you this week, tho, was nice, flat, square quilts.
You know, when you go to a quilt show or see a quilt in a magazine - they are always hanging so flat, and so square. I am here today to put the myth to bed. They do NOT start out that way. They are blocked. They are hung. They are hosed off and stretched and pinned and pulled and steamed into submission. Take your pick - everyone has a special technique...one friend of mine (AQS winner, I might add...) strings her quilts up in the back yard, puts a metal rod in the top and bottom, and sprays it with the garden hose. No kidding. No special frame - she just hangs the rods from the awning on the back of the house. Now, this, I admit, is extreme. And she is a professional, so don't try this at home. And she colorfast tests all the fabric she uses. Please. Don't take my advice and put your 1800's quilt out to hang from the gutters of the house. But don't feel bad about your quilt with its lumps and bumps and funny corners either. Talk to someone in your quilt guild. Or a featured quilter at a show. Or a teacher at a seminar. Ask them. They'll admit it. And maybe they'll share their secrets with you too! And if you want to experiment, start small. Make a sample and try different bocking techniques.
Have you heard about the newest soap on the market? It's from the knitting side of the pond. soak. Try it. It's worth the extra effort, and it's low residue. Me, well, I have been using Orvus Paste (tm) for years - on my fine washables (ahem), sometimes in my hair (if it's good enough for a horse...) and on my quilts. But. It's full of suds. Try soak. If Amy Butler can design a limited edition fragrance for the team, well, I can certainly try it. And so can you.
Until next time, happy quilting in the happy new year. We are off to Road to California Quilt Show in Ontario, California next week, so I'll try to post from the show. We're building a whole new set for the booth, so look for the Plantation Store if you visit.
Thanks for thinking of
b e y o n d t h e r e e f
be. do. create.