I spent another 5 hours with Great Aunt Laura's double wedding ring quilt top today. I am finding out that 80+ years is not so kind to fabrics - especially those cut on the bias. There are no two blocks the same size and no two melons the same size. It makes for some interesting quilting. It will not be perfect and it might not even be very pretty when I am finished, but it will be done and I think that Aunt Laura would like that.
I can't even imagine what I am going to do to get this beauty washed once I am done quilting and binding it. It does have a bit of a stale smell and my hands are getting a bit dirty working with the fabric so I know that I will need to wash it. I am also finding some very weak spots where the top was folded for years and years. These are creases that are probably not ever going to come out. At this point in time, I think it's important to get the whole top "nailed down" to some batting and a back to prevent any further deterioration.
I am doing the center blocks in a rose motif. Great Aunt Laura and her husband Uncle Vic were very active in the Grand Rapids (Michigan) Rose Society. She had a beautiful rose garden where she lived on High Street in Lowell, Michigan. I have very fond memories of my visits there.
Back to the quilt.... I do not think that I have the skill to do all of the stitch in the ditch sewing that needs to be done on all of the arcs. I also do not have - or know if one even exists - a template or curved ruler that would help me with this part of the quilting. Once the center block rose motifs and all of the "melons" are quilted, I am going to take the quilt to my regular sewing machine and do all of the outline stitching. It will be lots harder than doing it on my HQ16 quilting machine, but at least it has a better chance of being straight and actually close to "the ditch".
Also taking the quilt to my domestic machine (a Babylock Ellisimo) will get the quilt off the frame quicker. Last night I received a phone call from one of my grandsons. He is 5 and just starting school. He explained to me that he needs a "nap quilt" for school like the ones that I made his older sisters. It needs to be "about 3 feet wide and about 8 feet tall". It also needs to be "orange, green and red". It also needs to have his name on it. This is a task I'll happily undertake (even if I don't make it 8 feet tall), but I will need to get the double wedding ring off the frame so that I can put little Alex's quilt on and quilt it.
How am I supposed to get this melon flat? I ended up scootching extra batting up under there to take up some of the fullness. :-)
My ankle has had enough standing for today. Tomorrow after my Aqua Fit class at the Y, I'll get at it again.