Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Quilting the new quilt

I spent a large part of the very wet Easter weekend quilting the optical illusion quilt. This is the result.

I don't like the quilting part of making a quilt. Every time I feel that I am ruining a beautiful top, and this time was no exception. I had hopes of entering this quilt in a show when I finished the top, but my quilting just isn't good enough. I took a leap and free motion quilted all of it. I think the pattern turned out quite well, but the feathers (yes, they are supposed to be feathers) in the borders did not. And the stitch length is very uneven... Oh well, I suppose this is the way to learn it - practice, practice, practice. Here's a view of the back:

Now I only have to add the binding and the sleeve, but that will have to wait 'till next week. Tomorrow I am flying to Cairns, where I will join the team from the Regional Tuberculosis Control Unit on their monthly trip to the Torres Strait Islands. I will be able to observe their clinics on some of the outer islands, where they treat patients from Papua New Guinea who can access health care on the Australian islands as part of the 1985 Treaty between Australia and PNG. There is a lot of TB in PNG and also a lot of MDR-TB (multidrug resistant). As you may or may not know, I was a public health physician in TB control in the Netherlands and I am currently working as a datamanager/researcher at the Queensland TB Control Centre here in Brisbane. I hope to do a PhD in public health/TB control someday. I have also been thinking of making a TB quilt for some time - it is an ancient disease that is still a major problem in the world today. I have some ideas but they have to ripen some more...

Anyway, I am looking forward to this trip very much. On my way back, I have half a day to spend in Cairns and I will meet some ScQuilters there who will show me around. I'm sure I will post some pics here when I get back (and some more on our Dutch family blog) so watch this space! ;-)


Stephanie Newman said...

Linda, love your quilt's optical illusion! It makes my head spin, in a good way, lol!
Your trip sounds interesting and I hope it is every bit as rewarding as you anticipate.
Stephanie in Tas.

Margeeth said...

This problem you have with the quilting sounds really familiar to me. I still do a lot of handquilting because I am afraid to ruin a good top. You are right, a lot of practising is the solution, I can do small quilts now but big ones still are a problem for me.
Good luck on the islands. And also good luck to your DH, who stays at home with the three boys?

Lynn Cohen said...

I think your quilt is very successfully finished. I look at it as an art quilt, not a traditional one so the "feathers" around the outside border flow nicely in their imperfect path!
I got a kick out of my "seeing" being tricked looking at the back and only seeing circles, and then the front and seeing no circles but only the scalloped squares!
Nice if you could hang this with both sides showing. And the optical illusion is exceptionally well done!

Bravo to you and your good work for TB patients! I wish you success in your career in this area as well.

Enjoy your trip.

Linda Stokes said...

Your quilt looks great to me Linda!
Hope your trip is successful too.

Dianne said...

This is amazing Linda. Quilting always seems to hand us a challenge, but I think you did well.

Helen said...

Hi Linda

This is a great quilt. I know what you mean about the quilting. Personally I quite like the quilting part but, because I don't finish lots of stuff, I don't get enough practice and when it comes time to do an 'important' quilt I usually stuff it up and have to rip out heaps of stitching. There's a reason those commercial quilters are so good. they get lots of practice!

Bed Linen said...

Lovely quilt.