Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Doe It Ever Get Any Easier?

I had the best of intentions of finishing this quilt last weekend, but it felt more like I took one step forward and two steps back.

I had the whole quilt top put together, then I decided I didn't like the borders, too many mistakes. So I went to JoAnn's and bought the right fabric. I ripped seams and sewed on the new borders lickety-split. I was even impressed with myself.

Then I basted all 3 layers together and quilted the top in a zig zag pattern. Bad news, it looked awful! I just had bad luck with this quilt and too many errors in the beginning that built up over the course of its completion.

Error 1 - I repurposed an old bed spread for the white squares on the quilt top. The fabric is slightly stretchy, not even a match for my walking foot. Plus it's thick and soft (why I chose it) so it was hard to quilt, causing pulling and stretching while I quilted. The stretchiness also let me get away with not squaring up the squares as much as possible, leading to the pattern not always lining up perfectly. I cannot emphasize enough that cutting the fabric correctly right away in the beginning is so important to a stress free project!!!

Example of the squares not lining up - I do love that white fabric though, look at the raised details!

And when everything doesn't line up and the mistakes start to accrue, it leads to even more wonkiness in the end

Error 2 - I picked a soft and cuddly fabric for the back. I think the feed dogs couldn't pick it up as much, causing more stretching and bulging.

post edit - here is the back after quilting from the middle first. Of course I miscalculated a row on the front and the middle rectangle isn't centered on the back! Oy a quilt of many mistakes, but I tried my best.

Error 3 - I didn't start quilting in the middle. I started on one end and worked my way to the end. Oy. I felt like an idiot when I realized what I had done. The stretching and pulling just magnified itself as I went.

So I spent the weekend pulling out stitches instead of putting the final touches on the binding and we're back to square one. I have a freshly basted quilt on my sewing table and I hope to find the time to finish it. Wish me luck!
post edit - I hunkered down and got all but the hand stitching of the border done yesterday


  1. Rah rah you can do it! I just feel the need to cheer you on. :) Really impressive that you spent the weekend ripping out stitches instead of wallowing with some ice cream, I'd say that's a good sign.

  2. Oh its looks great! I would love to curl with a blanket like that! Keep up the good work darling.

  3. The quilt looks beautiful... but more than that you learned a great deal about your craft and what works and what doesn't...I'd say this project was a success in giving you opportunities to learn, experiment and move forward! You're a very determined lady! Kudos to you...

  4. Thanks for the encouragement everyone. Start thinking good thoughts toward the binding because I've been avoiding that for 2 nights now!


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