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I am close to finishing General Jac! I know its momentous news! Well it is for me!

At the last update on my progress on the quilt I showed you the design I was going to use, Pebbles and Swirls. It was very effective but although I thought it grew quickly it took a surprisingly long time to finish the four blocks.

I like to use very fine threads for quilting and my most used is Superior Thread’s Bottom Line. It isn’t my favourite though, my favourite is Superior Thread’s Kimono Silk but quilting a whole quilt with silk is rather extravagant. Having said that it is the most beautiful thread to use. I never have any birds nests or skipped stitches when I use it.

Bottom line is sometimes a little problematical but once you sort out the tension, needle and speed it is a treat to quilt with. Interestingly I have to reset tensions and try different needles with each quilt to get the right settings. I can’t explain why but when I teach I always show how to change tension, how to recognise what the right tension looks like and how different needles make a difference when the thread is breaking so they too can make changes when they quilt to get the best results they can.

This time I didn’t have a Bottom Line thread that matched the backing of the quilt so I experimented with Wonderfil in the bobbin and Bottom Line on the top. Well I think I’ve found the perfect match.

Bottom Line is a fine thread and depending on who is describing it and by what scale you are using it is said to be either a 60 weight thread or a 100 weight thread (the higher the number the finer the thread). Wonderfil is even finer and winding a bobbin of Wonderfil will take quite a bit of time and quite a bit of thread! It will also last for almost an entire day of me quilting. I had no problems with the difference in weight and the Wonderfil seemed to disappear into the backing. I am thrilled with the result.

Quilting the blocks took until the weekend. I like to listen to music or a talking book when I quilt. I listen to all manner of music from Coldplay to Mozart and everything in between. As far as books are concerned recently I have had a passion for Anthony Trollope as read by Timothy West and have listened to the Barchester series and then went on to the Parliamentary series – some 150 hours plus of Victorian novels.

Sunday afternoon I had a friend over and she hand pieced while I machine quilted and she was there when I finally finished quilting the blocks. My iPod must have realised that it was a momentous moment as I was doing the last Pebbles and Swirls the finale of the 1812 overture came on. It was on shuffle so it was completely by coincidence but I finished the quilting to church bells, cannon fire and the London Philharmonic playing at FFF! We both giggled at the coincidence!

Blocks and Sashing completed - web

Since the weekend I have quilted all the sashing using a Sharon Schamber design called Sand Dollars which complement the blocks nicely.

Sashing design - web

I have marked out and started the borders with a rather complicated design and started quilting. The design I chose was to outline the appliqué and then echo it at a quarter inch. I then make the vine into a triple cable with feathers and then to finish it with one inch piano keys. Its lying beautifully flat and the design is very pleasing.

Border Design - web

So far I have only managed to do half of one border but with luck I should be binding it by the weekend. I have already selected the fabrics to bind it with!

Its been a long haul but the results are worth it.

Stand by for a follow up entry to show the finished quilt!