Wow. What a week. My timing couldn't be worse, then again, maybe it could. We're getting to the final month before the quilt show, and I'm going to run off to Asilomar. I signed up last June, long before I had a clue that I'd be the new Chairman of Best of the Valley. That happened in late September. Talk about running around like a chicken with my head cut off! At least my head is still attached (or it was, the last time I looked!) and I can see progress. I'm moving forward, rather than running around in circles.
I've been very hesitant to take on any for-hire work. I don't have the time for it. I need to spend my extra time on the quilt show. But a few people have begged me. I've said, "You can't be in a hurry," and they've said they're not, I could have months. That sounded good a few months ago, but now that the months are evaporating...I have one quilt that needs to be quilted before April, and a second that needs to be quilted before May. I'd hoped to have the April one done before Asilomar. At least I've gotten started.
But it's not fun.
My clients/customers provide their own batting, and usually they ask me which batting to buy. I always tell them that I prefer Quilter's Dream Cotton, "select." That's the second lowest loft. If they have an overly large quilt, I suggest "request." That's the lowest loft.
Cotton batting is a pleasure to machine quilt. When you are basting the quilt, it grabs both the back and the top, eliminating a lot of shifting. Pinning is a breeze.
I hate machine quilting with polyester. Basting is a nightmare. It's like trying to layer greased pigs. Polyester batting has a mind of its own, and it has no desire to cling to your back or your top...but it does love to beard through your fabric, once the quilt is finished.
grump, grump, grump.
Why the grump fest? You've probably guessed. This quilt's owner brought a slab of polyester batting for her quilt. She brought so much, it barely fit in my car. Okay, so maybe I'm exaggerating. But look at how much is left over - the quilt is already basted and being quilted.
The other thing about this batting, besides the difficulty in basting, is the difficulty in quilting. It's not so tough along the border, but when I get to the middle of this quilt? It's queen-sized. Imagine trying to maneuver a giant sponge under the arm of your little sewing machine, and you've got an idea of what I'm facing.
Now you know why I've been procrastinating on this one, don't you?
The other quilt-for-hire that is waiting for me is WONDERFUL. It has my favorite batting, the colors are awesome, and the pattern is full of flying geese. I absolutely love it, and it will be a pleasure to quilt.
But I wasn't quilting yesterday. Yesterday was jury day for the quilt show. The quilts have been juried, and the letters have been prepared. Not bad for a day's work, eh?
Today I take them to the post office, and you should begin receiving them tomorrow or Monday.
If you're anywhere near Tulare County in April, this is going to be one awesome show. I encourage you to come and see the best of the valley!!!