Friday, March 16, 2012

Healing & Progress

Well, the bandages and the tenderness of the thumb wound were down enough this past weekend to attempt to go back to the quilting tasks.  First up, I decided to try my hand at hand quilting "Pink Ginger Lemonade", the second of the two minis I had made back in January.

I had figured the hurt finger was actually an opportunity to try to perfect a technique. When I had decided I wanted to learn to hand quilt, I had heard all the stories about the need to develop a callous for your under side hand to protect against the needle pricks. Then sometime in 2008 or 2009 I saw the video of Jean Brown showing Shar Jorgensen (of Quilting In the Heartland) her hand quilting technique using the "Aunt Becky" finger protector and a thimble with a recessed tip. It made perfect sense to me (and you can see the video and the tools I talk about here). But when I took a hand quilting course in the Fall of 2010 at Quilt University, I found it difficult to just use my middle finger with a thimble to drive the needle and the thumb just to balance it. Instead I used my middle finger and thumb to drive and a leather thimble on my pointer finger to push the needle through.  This time I figured that my bandaged thumb might actually prove to be a better fulcrum now so tried the technique again.  Here it is in the hoop:

I used a cotton batting so my stitches are still pretty huge but I did get a better feel for the way Jean does the stitching.  Although another review of the video tells me that I've still got some adjusting to do:  I have been using the traditional rocking motion with my needle but if you watch the video, with the Aunt Becky tool you don't need to do that.  Well the good news (for another post) is that I already have another project where I'll soon be able to try it again.

In any case "Ginger" got finished and now hangs with its buddies.

By mid week, the gauze bandages and finger tip splint were reduced to just a couple of band aids so after I finished "Ginger", I decided it was time to go back to the DWR I was piecing when I got injured. I was wrong in my last post: not being able to pin is not what makes working on a DWR slow going, it's all those durn curved seams and intersections!  I can see that this one will take some time to get the top completed but every piece added makes me more excited about seeing it done.  So a couple more melons were added with many more to go:

Remember, this Saturday is the annual "National Quilting Day".  On "Quilty Pleasures", Quiltmaker magazine's blog, they made some great suggestions for how to spend the day.  But you can also just head to your sewing space and do what you like best!  Happy Quilting to all and to all a good night!

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