I was all set to put this strippy on the frame this afternoon and discovered I had... no backing. Rummaging around in the stash earlier in the week, I realized I have a disproportionate number of pieces of fabric that are a half yard or less and tons of fat quarters. This is not particularly helpful for quilts like these strippies, borders, or backings.
It was this fact that brought me to Marden's where I bought, oops! not 18, but 22 yards of fabric, a little more than I realized. I did cut out 6 strippies that are all ready to assemble for a total used this week of 15 yards.
But back to the backing, I finally managed to locate two pieces of muslin I can seam for the backing, but it would really be stretching it to find enough for 5 more strippies. So I made the monumental decision to buy a bolt of muslin from Hancock's. I already got tired of worrying about where the next piece of batting was going to come from and piecing together batting scraps, so I bought a whole roll of Warm and Natural at a 50% off sale at JoAnn Fabrics about a month ago. A bolt of muslin should keep me in backings for a while. I don't know whether to count that as a stash addition or not, so I guess I'll worry about that later.
Here's the Stash Manager's Report:
Fabric used this week: 15 yards
Fabric used year to date: 97-3/8 yards
Fabric added this week: 22 yards
Fabric added year to date: 162-5/8 yards
Net year to date: - 65-1/4 yards
Still headed in the wrong direction, but that's nothing new, is it?
This afternoon I went to the Maine Machine Quilters chapter meeting, their last for the summer. There were about a dozen ladies in attendance, most longarm owners with five or less years of experience, and just a couple midarm owners, like me. It was primarily a business meeting, with not much discussion about machine quilting particularly.
At some earlier time the machine quilters worked on a small challenge project, each quilter working on her own; and the finished quilts were presented for the first time to the group today. Each participant used the identical pattern and fabrics for her quilt, so the only thing that was different from one quilt to the next was how each person quilted it. Upon close inspection, there were wobbles in the quilting, lines that weren't perfectly parallel, lines of quilting that crossed over where they weren't supposed to--and it was all just beautiful. I am a perfectionist by nature, but looking at those quilts today made me realize that this is *hand guided* machine quilting. The very nature of it means there will be imperfections, so I shouldn't be so hard on myself when I wobble off that pantograph line or when I zigged instead of zagged. That was probably the most valuable lesson I learned today. There can only be so many Linda Taylors or Diane Gaudynskis in the world, and I won't be one of them; but if I can make my work resemble these ladies' work today, I'll consider my venture into the world of machine quilting a success.