Was this you on Monday morning?
[Warning: some spoilers ahead if you haven't watched all of season 3 yet.]
As I mentioned a few weeks ago, while perusing the Internet for “Downton Abbey” images to share via my blog posts I encountered spoilers regarding Sybil and Matthew, as well as a photo of Mary and Matthew cradling their newborn, so the end of Sunday night’s episode was not a surprise. Disappointing, yes, but it didn’t shock me or make me sad except for the idea that now both Crawley grandkids are without one of their parents. I was mostly disappointed by how it was handled. I understand that Julian Fellowes’ hand was forced by actors in lead roles not wanting to sign contracts for a fourth season, but the way it played out seemed a bit, oh I don’t know — melodramatic. On the other hand, these things unfortunately do happen in real life, that everything falls apart just when, for one brief moment, life seems finally to be perfect.
But as Michael Kors famously said to an overly earnest “Project Runway” contestant, “Lighten up! It’s just fashion.” “Downton Abbey” is just an escapist TV show — the shots of the gorgeous Scottish countryside alone were worth the price of admission for me. And now we have season 4 to look forward to, which I’m sure will be full of hijinks from Cousin Rose (or Cousin Oliver as some bloggers have renamed her) and storylines about Mary dealing with being a single mom in the Roaring ’20s. Here’s hoping there are no more cheeky housemaids putting the moves on Tom Branson — I know a year had elapsed in the story, but I certainly wasn’t ready to move on so soon!
[End of Spoilers -- Quilt Talk Ahead]
I actually did do a little work on my quilt while watching this final episode. Well, not on the quilt itself, but on my test quilt sample. I continued to trace some motifs on a leftover 12″ strip of my white tone-on-tone fabric with a quilting pencil. As you can see, I didn’t trace them completely, partly because I wasn’t working on a light table and partly because I doubt I’ll quilt the entire motif. I’m pretty certain I want to use the Celtic cross and that it will work just fine as a quilting motif. There’s another motif based on the Book of Kells I traced with pencil that I’m looking forward to seeing after it’s quilted.
On Monday I was searching through some back issues of QN and came across an article written by Peg Spradlin, one of our most talented and reliable homesewers, in which she gave a rundown of her experience with tools for marking quilt tops. She ranked the blue water-soluble pen the highest. So that night on my way home from work, I finally bought a water-soluble blue pen. Oh, what a difference it makes. I marked this using our coffee table and a flashlight as a light table and I wasn’t trying to watch TV at the same time, so the marking process went faster overall. But I’ll be able to see those quilting lines even if the lighting is a little dim, and I can count on the testimonials of many expert hand quilters that these pens are safe to use and really do wash out of fabric.
I’m glad I decided not to jump directly into marking my quilt top and to work on a sample first. It’s been quite a few years since I last marked a quilt top, and two years since I completed my last large hand-quilted project, so I’m a little rusty. And with season 1 of “Downton Abbey” on Netflix streaming, not to mention season 2 of “Sherlock” and a few seasons of “Mad Men” I haven’t seen yet, I think I might maintain my Sunday night sew-ins for the time being. After all, March is just around the corner and it’s National Quilting Month. On that subject, here’s a spoiler you’ll want to know — we’ve got fun plans for our blog to celebrate National Quilting Month, full of inspiration, giveaways and a few special guests. You’ll definitely want to join us all month long by following us on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter to stay up-to-date.
And if you find yourself needing a DA fix before next year, the show has inspired creativity of all sorts, from a wide variety of Internet memes to original handmade art like the items below I found on Etsy. Maybe between now and season 4 there will be some DA-inspired quilt designs? Until then, remember to Keep Calm and Ring Carson to Bring Tea.
Click here to read about the beginning of the DASI.
Click here for the week 1 update.
Click here for the weeks 2 & 3 update.
Click here for the week 4 update.
Click here for the week 5 update.
Click here for the week 6 update.