It has been over a week since my last post. There are a couple of reasons for this long gap. First, the return to the work world is taking a bit more of my attention than I expected. My little job teaching English at the local branch requires more prep time, mostly of the reading variety. With 3 sections of 2 different classes, I've got a total of 4 textbooks to read and study. So that is one reason my quilting and blogging is lagging behind.
Another reason is that I severely sprained my right wrist a couple of weeks ago. Being a lefty, this has not interferred terribly much, but hand quilting does require my second hand under the quilt. The wrist is mostly healed now, with only minor irritations these days, so I am getting back to work on the baby quilt and the applique row of my UFO, Row-A-Month quilt.
I am terribly out of my comfort zone when it comes to hand applique. I love the beauty of these quilts, and I think I can learn to become adept at this, but right now I am very clumsy and all thumbs. This, in turn, makes for slow going and that over time becomes discouraging. I have committed to the completion of it, though, so I know that this practice will lead to improvement eventually. The most recent additions to the panel are a bird which is to perch on the vase, and a butterfly floating above the vines and flowers.
Here are some of the very basic "rules" I am following: I have used thread that matches the object being applied. I have traced the design lightly onto the background. I have attempted to use the freezer paper method, but I don't know if I am doing it in the accepted way. I worry a little bit about the tiny little berries that are coming. I have seen demonstrations of small bits like this done with saturating starch on the object, so I will probably go that route. See that bird? Notice that it has no beak? Well, after stitching the body down, I realized that the beak should have gone in first, layered under the body fabric. So, I am learning as I go, slowly, stitching my way through the panel.