I've been steadily progressing with my Bird Quilt but realised I hadn't taken any photos lately. So here's where I am:
I've stitched in the ditch everywhere I need to. I also attempted some free motion quilting which is so hard! All the books advise to practise first but I'm rubbish at that. I like just to get started and see where I go. Also no matter how much I practise I always seem to go back to where I was when I started when I get to the proper piece I'm working on. So I skipped the middle step.
Is it the best free motion quilting ever? Nope. But remembering that Comparison is the Thief of Joy I am proud to say it is the best free motion quilting I have ever done. You can also see I have quilted a line all around the outside border to tidy that up.
The panels themselves are progressing nicely too. I started with the metallic threads Peter got me for Mother's Day. I'm not using them on every panel and some panels have just a tiny amount but I'm liking the effect. I won't be using this quilt for a bed or daily use so I can afford to be fancier with it.
I'm also attempting to hand quilt. Again all the books and tutorials give great advice. I have watched lots of videos where someone sits with their work in a hoop, between needle and thimble all in place then they do the rocking back and forth motion to make tiny, neat stitches. I have tried and tried with this and all I get are ugly stitches that don't even go through all the layers. It saddened me.
Then I saw a lady who hand quilts without a hoop. And who doesn't do the rocking back and forth motion with the needle but who bends the fabric into the right place. It was like a lightbulb switching on for me. Why on earth try to bend a needle when you can bend fabric? Perhaps the end result isn't as neat (and certainly my end result wasn't perfect) but it's so much easier. I managed to quilt which even stitches that went through all 3 layers. Success in my eyes. I'm going to try this method for this quilt and see if I improve.
I'm not sure how well it shows up but in this panel I have quilted the nest with gold thread and round some of the leaves, the trunks and the bird with hand quilting thread. Again is it perfect? No. Is it the best I have done so far? Yes!!!