Monday, January 15, 2007

How NOT to Quilt a Quilt...

Or the saga of the 'Train-wreck Quilt'...

Started out with a 'good idea' or at least I THOUGHT it was a 'good idea'...

The Apple Quilt - the mystery quilt from last year's Arizona Quilting Retreat - was unfinished. They are doing a 'reveal' of the quilts from last year at this year's retreat in a couple of weeks. So..I thought I would 'finish it up' so I could show a finished quilt at the retreat since I was one of only a couple of us that actually finished sewing the top during last year's retreat. ..They already all saw it as a top!

When I came home from the retreat, my DM thought it looked kinda like a tablecloth..which I agreed with, once she said it. So I thought I would use a really thin batting so it 'could' be used as a tablecloth, should I so desire to do so sometime in the future. Also, a thin batting would make a nice couch quilt since we usually don't get really cold here (Unfortunately, the present weather system belies that though...it was 27 Saturday morning when I got up and with wind chill since its breezy, that translated to 20 degrees!!! This is So Cal, fergoodnessske!)

I settled on using the heavyweight flannel that WalMart sells for diapers. It has a nice hand, washes well, is definately thinner than Warm and White and is fair-to-middlin' cheap to boot. Hunted some down (first Wally World did not have any).

Washed, dried, cut the chunk in half and stitched it back together to make a piece large enough for the batting. Pieced the backing for the quilt out of the leftover apple fabric. And here is where I started to go wrong. I decided to 'birth' the quilt-mostly because I could not find any red fabric that matched the red in the quilt to bind it with and the other fabrics were just not right or I didn't have enough of them.

Sigh...'birthing' a quilt this big is disastrous! This is THE biggest quilt I have tackled so far. I did a couple of rows of top stitching after turning the quilt. That part went ok. Starting the interior quilting was nothing but an exercise in frustration. The backing and the flannel stayed in place since they were mostly un-pieced...but the top...it stretched, it buckled, it twisted...it went every which way but the right way. Next mistake was thinking it would 'quilt out' ...HAH...that made things worse. (and never make decisions like this when you are tired and its late and its dark out...) By light of morning I got out the seam ripper and tried to repair the damage.

Thinking that a little steam and some spray sizing would help, I hoisted the thing onto the ironing board and pinned it every couple of inches after steaming it within an inch of its very existence...by the time I was done with the pins (almost every pin I own, mind you)...it looked - well - ok, not splendid but ok. This thing has a mind of its own though. Started stitching..still buckling - even with the walking foot...so...I did the only thing you can do at this point and tried to get the buckles at the intersections...and went back over them the other direction to firmly plaster them into place. Not the prettiest solution...but..it is DONE...

I washed and dried it..and though its a 'train-wreak'...if I didn't tell you..you might not notice. I will see if anyone ever does! I love how a quilt gets to looking 'quilty' after its first washing!

And its pretty cozy after all...I have it on my lap to clip the miscellaneous thread ends...

I realize now that what I SHOULD have done is stitch the top to the flannel starting in the middle like you are supposed to, then done the birthing and left the back loose or maybe a few extra stitching lines...

Live, learn and do better on the next one...
Here are the Quilt Inspectors giving the quilt a good going over. The tan one is Dustie (she's shy...I could not get her to face the camera), the grey one is Misty and the tiger colored one is Tiger!

----------On another subject--------------
The wind is blowing quite heavily here (30mph) - and its chilly still. I put the trash can out for trash pickup this morning...got back home and no trash can...either someone stole it or more likely it was last seen rolling away for parts unknown. We will have to call the trash company in the morning for a new one...they have numbers on them and someday it will turn up - the last time it took a couple of weeks for them to find the absconded-with trash can, but find it they did.

6 comments:

Jules said...

I never knew about stitching the batting to the top before birthing. Thanks for that advice. Sorry your quilt didn't turn out the way you wanted it to. It looks fine in the pictures.

Diana said...

Hi, I think it looks great (at least from your pictures) and it is DONE--the best word in the world. Your cats seem to approve!

Lori (A.K.A. Elkhoundmom) said...

I agree, the quilt looks fine in the picture. I guess we all need learning experiences every now and then!

Jane Ann said...

It looks good from here, Suze, but I feel your pain. It's a shame to do such lovely piecing and have it self-destruct. (Sigh) I do get weary of everything being a "learning experience." When do I get to put all this wisdom in motion???

Debra Spincic said...

Some quilts are just PITA and those are the ones that we end up using and loving the most!

Once it is on the table with dishes on it, it will look fine--most of the goofs are on the back, right?

Fruit Jar Nicky said...

I really like the apple border print. Wonderful!