At long last, I finished the 4-year-old quilt top I blogged about on 25 January (following the rhapsody on Jerry's cooking). Jer saw an infinity sign in it, so I decided to orient it horizontally and call it "Infinite Africa." I used some metallics, and quilted it pretty heavily throughout. It's roughly 2 x 3 feet in dimension. Above is the whole quilt; the other pic is a detail.
I ran out of binding fabric but pieced in some similar-feeling ethnic material, which looks okay and actually adds, I think, to the energy of the piece. Then I remembered that, when I picked up this project to complete it several weeks ago, I'd cut and pressed more than enough of the original binding fabric and set it aside in a Zip-Loc. Damn. Sometimes I'm too efficient for my own good.
Incidentally, I realized that I'd never photographed, for the record, a small (maybe 18 inches square) Hawaiian applique and hand-quilted piece that was my constant companion for many months'-worth of Monday Quilting (my small group in California) meetings. Nothing says "I'll always have something to work on while I'm schmoozing" like needle-turned applique and contour quilting. The background is my own hand-dye; the applique is commercial batik.
Anyway, as soon as I finished "Africa," I went back to "Occasional Sunbreaks," the paean to Portland winters that I described in my 12 December post. I finally figured out how to deal with loopy stitches on the back by tightening the top tension much, much more than I'd ever dared before. I also got to the point of grokking what that slick, silky-finish thread (some Mettler, some Sulky, some Superior), and even some metallics, really want, needle-, tension- and sewing-speed-wise, to be happy. Here's a shot of the entire piece, which measures about 25" wide by 27" high, plus details of the four main blocks. There are some pins around the edges because the binding isn't yet sewn down in back. Also quite a bit of cat hair that I'll brush off when it's really, truly finished and ready to hang -- at which point it'll collect ambient cat hair from the atmosphere, like everything else in this house.