Saturday, June 15, 2013

the not-quilt goes camping

i didn't finish the not-quilt all in one day like i hoped, but i was able to complete it in two. that's a happy consolation.
i probably could have found a better binding that incorporated supporting colors from both sides of the quilt if i had shopped and looked hard, but i chose to quickly shop my stash instead. i selected a heather bailey freshcut print (top) which had many of the same colors as the amy butler daisy chain, including that purply-pink background color in both prints. once on, it took on a very pink and white appearance, which contrasted nicely with the vintage-looking print on the back and blended with the daisy chain on the front. i would have preferred it to stand out from the daisy chain print more, but it's good enough.

friday morning we were heading out the door with my now 11 yr old daughter and 6 of her friends for an overnight campout to celebrate her birthday. i knew the wilderness was going to entertain the girls plenty, i was mostly there to chaperone. this meant lots of free time for me. therefore, i hustled myself to get the binding prepared before we left so i could work on it during the campout.

everything went well until i tried to connect the binding ends. this is a process i still don't have memorized. i always refer to nettie (a quilt is nice) 's "machine binding tutorial" for connecting my binding ends. i've used it for every quilt except the first one and it never fails me. i don't machine bind my quilts, but this part of the tutorial has always helped me. there were times i couldn't understand the photos exactly but just followed the words in the instructions, with great results.

i have finally wrapped my brain around how to make a binding (i used to always stitch the wrong direction at least once or twice) and with those synapses now connected, i could visualize how the ends were supposed to be connected and why as i was reading the tutorial. but somehow i managed to completely botch it up. it was a mess, quite mangled. i think part of the problem was i had the tails too close to a corner. i probably should have been further away than just a few inches. my husband was running around like a crazy person preparing to go and i finally gave up, intending to just bind the rest of it on the trip and fix the ends when i got home. however, one guest was late and i got just enough time to fix it while we waited for her to arrive. whew!

off we went.

i did some stitching in the car, but patched up a pillow pet for one of the girls first. mr. wiggles had a gaping hole in his tushy. once he was closed up, i started binding. then the roads got too curvy and i had to give up.

i used the same method and measurements i always use for my biding, but somehow, this time it was not even on both sides - thin on the front, thicker on the back. i guess i need to make adjustments for the new machine. i'm okay with it, though.

 when we got to the campground, the girls headed right down to the creek to play in the water. i sat and watched them, kicking myself for not bringing the blanket along to bind while i lounged around chaperoning.

i took photos instead. it's my first hobby love, anyway. can't complain. and while there i stumbled over a photo tip to share. the setting was gorgeous, but i was having trouble capturing the true lush greens of the place. even with adjusting my aperture and lens speed settings, it kept looking like this:

finally i decided to mess with something i don't normally touch: the white balance. i switched it off "auto" to "shade"; presto!, i got this:
 much prettier, warmer, and more accurate. and that, friends, is why you should learn to play with your white balance settings.

here are a few other color/texture shots i took:

 and a selfie to prove it was me, that i was there.

when the splashing was over,  i started the stashing/sewing part. i sat on my comfy camping cot and bound that not-quilt up surrounded with the fresh forest breezes blowing and the smell of sun-baked pine needles.

i'd brought along my little on-the-go sewing tin, but i still don't have a proper project bag. i just grabbed a knapsack my son brought back from soccer camp and stuffed everything in there. these can't be hard to make. i vow once my 4 major quilt projects are over that i will make myself a project travel bag!

 i kept stitching right up til dark. our camping neighbors stopped in to say hello. we discovered we live two miles away from each other at home and are both mormons. funny. also, katherine, the wife, was crocheting to pass the camping time. that made me feel a bit more normal.

i didn't try to stitch by the campfire light even though it sounded like the old-fashioned thing to do. but i may or may not have used the not-quilt a wee bit to keep my legs warm from the night chill. it was sitting on my legs while i was working on it, i just didn't remove it when i stopped. so now it will be a "gently used" gift.

in the morning, i completed the binding while the girls made forts out of sticks and pine needles. i thought those mossy (or is that lichen?) rocks by the creek would make a lovely setting for shooting my finish.

 with such a beautiful setting, i was wishing i had a "real" quilt to shoot. i love the idea of the not-quilt, but i was rather craving some patchwork or a few seams for variety at least. another time. simplicity, is good. it is.

this bit of dried wildflower landed perfectly on the not-quilt while i was photographing it. lovely, isn't it? mother nature styled well for me.

now all the not-quilt needs is a run through the wash to bring out that crinkly texture, which i hope helps hide my sporadic stitch size, and wash away the yummy campfire smell it acquired in the wilderness.

that's my second baby gift completed in the week! aside from the time the fmq took, the not-quilt was just as easy as the 4sq. i'm glad to have added it to my quick-gift repertoire. thanks for the idea, liz!

linking in with "let's get acquainted! monday" by plum and june, hosted this week at lucy's "charm about you"


  1. That is one pretty looking not-quilt! It looks like you all had fun :-)

  2. I just adore this quilt!
    Great photos and it sounds like a wonderful birthday weekend :)

  3. This quilt is really beautiful on both sides - I'd call it a reversible - and the binding is perfect. Your camping trip sounds idyllic too :)


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