Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Warning: You can ruin a quilt with your quilting.

Who's done it? Come on, fess up...

Well, I have.  From  pictures, it doesn't seem so bad but when I brought it off the frame... YIKES! It was relegated to one of the dog's crates instead of to the front porch for sitting under.

I had been meaning to tell you this cautionary tell for a while now. Do you remember the pinwheel quiltalong I participated in last Spring/Summer?  I did get it quilted before we packed up everything in TN and then took photos and decided to write this while I was without my machine.

Humph... you can see what happens when I just don't take care of it right away.  How many months later is it?

Alright, so back to the point. I finally, finally, FINALLY learned to plan a quilting pattern/motif before loading the quilt onto the frame. I was even prepared with the plan on how to accomplish what I wanted correctly and carefully.

This sounds simple, right? Quilt straight, diagonal lines. Criss-crossing each other at a relatively equal distance apart.  If necessary, use a ruler to keep the lines straight.


But not Beck-proof.
Once I noticed my not so straight and should-be-ruler distance apart lines, I decided, "forget it" I'll just try several ways to get the result I want and finally, marked points equal distance along the top and bottom of the frame. It was working great. I advanced the quilt, marked again then realized the next set of mistakes.
I didn't mark the first line at the angle I was doing the others on the top.  I had a choice, unroll it and get the angle or just wing it.  Since I already messed up, I winged it.

Fast forward. I finish it and very much dislike it. I'm disappointed I ruined the blocks I actually enjoyed making and putting together. I've already decided it was for the dog's bed so grabbed an old bias strip from my mom's thrift store find (it didn't really match) and practiced putting the binding on using the zig-zag stitch, not pinning and not worrying about sewing each side seperately. This too, did not turn out so great, to include running out of the binding I knew I'd never use anywhere else.

My whining is done. Now the cautionary part of the tale. While yes, you CAN ruin a quilt with your quilting, please remember not to give up so quickly if you don't think it's going to look good.  Had I not given up and decided to make it worse with the binding, I might have liked it despite the wonky quilting.
Why? Here's what it looked like after a couple washes.  This would have been fine for the porch. (I suppose it still is if I was willing to overlook the binding.)  Not so bad, huh? 
Yep, just keep pushing at it and don't quit. It may turn out tolerable in the end.  Oh, and remember to "Beck-proof" by planning for all contingencies ahead!

Oh, and one final thing. I asked about the movie quote in the last post b/c I cannot find where it came from. I searched the web and this seems to be a tough one for everyone on the web and there is no general consensus.  If you learn of it, please drop me a line.  It may be Rocky IV that I remember it from (I have the thick accent in my head when I remember the quote) but I'm just not sure.  Thanks!
Cheers! Beck


Lori said...

We are usually our own harshest critic! I love the blocks. I think it all turned out very cute. The doggies are lucky!

Marla said...

All I can say is you are my kind of woman!! Your quilt is actually very pretty and someone who is not looking closely wouldn't even notice! We are all our own worst critics!

Shay said...

Yep agree...the quilting turned out so cute, but like you, pre-washing I would have thought stuff it and done a cruddy job on the binding too...

So thank you for sharing this cautionary tale. Too bad it's not possible to wash quilts prior to binding to see how they'll turn out!

Lisa said...

Glad to know everybody else makes mistakes too, but I love this quilt! You could always tear off the binding and redo- or just have the luckiest dogs ever! Actually, if you're into road-tripping at all- this would be perfect- pretty and if it gets ruined oh well!