Garden eek! and quilty goodness

Mom was working in the garden while I was fighting with working on my Neapolitan quilt. She called me up to see the “enormous” caterpillar that she found when she stood up. It was right between where her feet had been, and based on the info I found about it online, it probably dropped out of the tree. It’s called a Polyphemus Moth (or Silkmoth) Caterpillar, and the thing is literally the size of my index finger. We stuck it in a safe spot under the tree, and if we’re lucky it will spin itself a cocoon and next spring it will turn into a beautiful moth with up to a 5″ wingspan. It will live as a moth for just a few days, then die. It doesn’t even eat when it’s a moth!

Mom with caterpillar
Polyphemus Caterpillar 2

I’m alternately fascinated and repulsed by it, because I have a problem with crawlies. Mom was holding the trowel as I took the photos. I’d move to get a better angle, she’d move the trowel toward me, I’d jump back and tell her not to move – it was comical. My problem with crawlies is probably due to my encounter with tent caterpillars when I was about seven. We had a small apple orchard and there was a tent in one of the trees. For those of you unfamiliar with tent caterpillars, they spin a white tent at the intersection of branches in trees, and then eat the leaf buds. The tent is full of caterpillars. Anyway, I was quite the little tree climber, and my dad sent me up into the tree with a stick and instructions to knock it down. I hit it with my first good swing, and hundreds of caterpillars rained down on my head. I freaked out. I don’t like caterpillars to this day.

As for the quilty goodness, I finished quilting the Neapolitan quilt! Woohoo! Once I got started, it went very quickly. I’m still a little shaky on my leaf quilting, and it probably would have been better if I’d slowed down, but I just wanted to get the thing done. The thread was exactly what I’d hoped for, and I have a new favorite quilting thread. The price is sure right – it’s 6000 yards for $10.50! The manufacturer is American & Efird, and they make Signature brand quilting thread. The thread I used wasn’t labeled “Signature” and I think it is their PermaCore line, made for denim. Whatever it is, it worked like a charm! My thread broke only once during the entire quilt, which is pretty good.

So here’s the quilting:

Neapolitan quilting

I pieced the back, and I really like how it turned out. I’ll probably do this more often because it’s pretty in its own right.

Neapolitan back

And – ta da! – here’s the Neapolitan quilt. My own pattern! All that’s left is the binding and finishing the instructions. Then I’ll pop it over to the quilt shop and they’ll start selling the kits and patterns. It may be one of the quilts they’ll have on display at their booth at the Quilt Expo (Madison, WI) in September! If anyone is going to the show, be sure to check out the Loose Threads booth and look for my quilt! (I know, I’m goofy, but it’s exciting!)

Neapolitan

I’ll take better photos for the pattern when the binding is on – I just wanted a quick picture to post rightnow!

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