Tag Archives: batting

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.

not1

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.

not5

8.  Consider crying.

9.  Investigate paying someone else to do this part.

10.  Consider scrapping the whole thing.

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Quilts in my past, part IV [and an update to part I]

Henry’s baby quilt (toes not included).

Hank's babyquilt1

No, this is not another picture of Yasmina’s quilt, but many of the fabrics are the same, though with hers, the “blocks” were smaller.  This one came a few years before that one, and was my first “crib quilt.”  I remember getting the roll of pre-cut cotton batting and upon opening it, had a WTF moment when I saw how big it was… I was thinking cribs were small and babies were small, and the whole thing would be small and quick, but it was about four times the size I thought it would be.  And aren’t babies not supposed to sleep with blankets anyway?  But regardless, it was still smaller than a twin, so I got some more fabric and soldiered on.  Much of this is from my original stash of reproduction feedsack, and my personal favorites are the blue border with the geese and the yellow pinwheely things.

And an update of Henry’s twin-size quilt with current pictures after a few years of use.

Hank's twin2

Hank's twin1

See, I thought that binding sucked – it was too wide and folded over… ah well, as I mentioned before I hate that part of the quiltmaking process.  Actually, I sorta like hand-sewing the back part on when done in a different way [insert proper term here] but this was an act of speed and I sewed both sides through like a sandwich [insert another appropriate term here].  If you haven’t noticed already, I’m a self-taught quilter, and I am a bad teacher who hasn’t assigned much book learnin’ except for looking at pictures.  Lots and lots of pretty pictures of quilts from way back when…  I hesitate to delve deeper into the actual mechanics of the thing because I tend to either loose interest or become completely obsessed when faced with loads of new knowledge.  Knitting took over my life after I forcibly removed myself from only the garter stitch, and hence a monster was born.  I want to keep quilting a bit more in check I suppose, but I do need some more skills in the binding department – mitered corners perhaps?  But I also do have limitations on what my vintage sewing machines can do – none of that long-arm freestylin,’ freewheeling, happy-go-lucky, devil-may-care quilting for me, though I’d like to….

Thanks to my sister-in-law for sending the pics and Charlie for modeling!

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