Thursday, September 8, 2011

Tension Troubles

My mother-in-law came through surgery OK, and now they just have to figure out what to do next. Thanks to all of you for your prayers and positive thoughts. It certainly made ME feel better!

But still, I've been tense this week. I've been chewing up the inside of my mouth. My shoulders are sore from being held so stiffly. I'm not getting enough sleep, and not sleeping very well when I do.

I really want to get this quilt done so I can send it up to her. So after karate and dinner last night, I went down to the sewing room to see what I could do about quilting it. First, I started with some straight lines - BORING! I couldn't make myself do more than 2 lines, which I will be taking out. Time to put on my big girl pants (borrowing from Em) and try Free Motion Quilting. A meander can't be that hard, right? I thought I'd practice on one of my hot pads that I had made this spring, the one I messed up on and left the space between the O and the T, the one I am definitely keeping for myself anyway:

OK, not too bad, I can do this. Of course, the hot pad is only about 8" square...

I got started on the Chicken Soup Quilt and the thread kept breaking. I rethreaded 3 times before I pulled the quilt out and looked at the back. Not only was the thread breaking, but the back had ridiculous loops. Obviously my tension was wrong. Maybe I should read my notes from when I tried free motion quilting once before. Why don't I ever read the instructions FIRST?? I had in my notes what tension works for me, what stitch length, etc. I made the adjustments and switched to new thread (why not? maybe it was the wrong thread and THAT is why it kept breaking), and started again in another place.

It isn't perfect.

The shapes are funny looking and in some places, much more angular than smooth, sometimes crossing over other lines of stitching even though I was trying hard to avoid that.

I am finding it very difficult to maintain the same speed throughout so that I can have the same stitch length throughout.

But I'm doing it!

Unfortunately, I have a bunch of stitching to pull out from the first thread...UGH!

You know, I'm also tense because of the book I'm reading. Someone from work read my blog and offered me her copy of THE HELP so I wouldn't have to wait for the library copies to come available. I'm really enjoying the story, but it is also making me tense. I just KNOW something terrible is going to happen. Despite my knowledge of segregation and discrimination in the US, reading about it still exasperates and angers me. But it is a good story, so I keep reading.

You know what DIDN'T stress me out? On Monday evening, I watched the 1985 version of Anne of Green Gables, all 3.25 hours worth. No wonder it was on TV as a miniseries when I was a kid - it is LONG! But so good! I never even considered not watching the whole thing from start to finish. (I spent the whole time wondering, though, who cast Megan Follows as Anne? She's perfect for the role in temperment, but in the book, Anne is supposedly not pretty, and in my eyes, Megan Follows is gorgeous!) And while watching, I was transported to that magical place (in my mind), Prince Edward Island, and felt myself relaxing. I finished my June Birdie BOM (leaving me just August and September left to do at this point, which I will take on my first work trip this weekend):

and I made some more progress hand quilting my Pick and Choose Quilt. Will I EVER finish that quilt? I am starting to wonder...