Tag Archives: basting

How not to finish a quilt in 10 easy steps

1.  Ignore the fact that your diet is consisting of more and more mutant produce and get to work.

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2.  Plan a queen-sized quilt when you don’t have a queen-sized area in which to work.  Alternately, plan a queen-sized quilt when you bought a house with a big studio, but the sale wasn’t final.  Alternately, continue with said queen-sized quilt when you could have easily scaled back.

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3.  [Sidestep] While struggling with the space issue, contemplate the boxes and boxes of books hidden beneath Indian bedspreads (that once adorned dorm walls), pictures without walls, and the weak light from the single window in your sh*tty apartment living room.

4.  Focus your attention back to the quilt top.  Realize that though you usually have a fairly high tolerance for wonkiness, one square looks too sloppy, so carefully rip it out to fix it without thinking about the possibility of how your “fix” might not make it better, only worse.  Feel sad that it could have just been a little extra wonky instead of a lot extra wonky now since there’s no way you’re going back in there to fix/mess it up even more.

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5.  When ironing the top (hopefully for the last time) discover that one of the fabrics can actually shrink and warp once it’s already been ironed many many times.  No time for flailing about and shrieking WTFs, just rip the bitches, replace them, and re-iron the whole thing c-a-r-e-f-u-l-l-y.

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6.  [Sidestep]  In anticipation of quilting, play with a few samples of top+batting+backing.  Discover that your machine is entirely rejecting this action and refuses to obey proper tension.  Feel immediately panicked, then feel immediately in denial and move on.

7.  Discover that it will be impossible to lay and smooth out the layers flat.  Even if you hop from chair to sofa, you will never be able to perform the long jump necessary from end to end and will fall several times trying.

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8.  Consider crying.

9.  Investigate paying someone else to do this part.

10.  Consider scrapping the whole thing.

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Filed under home decor, quilts, sewing

Back to the woods…

We were in the Adirondacks last weekend for a couple of days of soggy hiking and down time away from our frustrating and increasingly desperate home (and my job) search.

ADK-Phelps

I know that I said earlier that I needed another bout of cabin time to finish designing that shawl but I have to focus on other projects at the moment now.  I took all of the letters I need to cut out and baste for my newest quilt (I think there are 26 total) but I only managed to finish a whopping four.  Pretty lousy progress.  And I’m not entirely sure I’m doing them right or how to handle some of the narrow slices that I really can’t fold down.

ADK-letters

So I easily got distracted since basting is tiresome to me and doesn’t seem to amount to much since I still have to sew the damn things on.  In my current overwhelmed and distracted state I forgot to pack socks for the weekend. It was a good excuse to buy a new woolen pair, though I could only justify the one and had to wash them after every hike and hoped they’d dry enough for the next time.  Our cabin was infested with carpenter ants and chasing after one to photograph it was a perfect basting procrastination activity.  Do you realize how hard it is to get a clear shot of a very busy (and harassed) little ant?

ADK-ant

Bugs were definitely showing off their strengths over the weekend.   Inexplicably, black flies were suddenly crazy about my eyebrows  and one little f*cker bit me so successfully that blood was shed on my favorite wool t-shirt.

ADK-bite

But the weekend also held one of those magical and rare summer afternoons when all that mattered was swimming in a mountain pond and feeling the sun.

ADK-pond

(Thanks to N’s family for their hospitality and the afternoon at their awesome lakeside cottage on Sunday!)

And since we were away, I had a late start in the Tour de Fleece, and promptly suffered a wipe out when I sliced open my thumb on a yogurt container of all things.

TdF-Wipeout

I need my thumb to spin dammit!  I should probably lower my yardage expectations now but I’m willing myself to heal quickly.

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Filed under hiking, knitting, quilts, sewing, spinning, travel, unemployment