Friday, May 27, 2011

The Quilt Catastrophe

I lived through my own nightmare last night, and I was none too happy about it.  I nearly ruined my quilt.  And I was too mad to swear or cry or even throw a tantrum or anything.  It was all my own fault, too.  Argh.

I have spent more than a hundred hours on my quilt at this point, the vast majority of it hand-quilting around the stars.  I have put more effort into this quilt than any other, and probably all the rest combined.  The cutting was perfect.  The piecing (by machine) was excellent.  The whole top came together with very few errors, less than 1/8" in any case.  I know pride is a sin, but I am so proud of the quality.  I learned a ton.

On Wednesday night, I finished the hand-quilting part.  With a blister on one finger and another turned into a pincushion, I was so happy to have completed that stage.  Thursday night saw me setting out to finish the machine quilting "in the ditch" part.  I figure if the stitches are mostly for structure and not for show, it doesn't matter if they're hand-stitched or not.  My little sewing machine may not do much, but it can handle a straight line.  Or so I thought.  The walking foot I purchased doesn't fit my machine--even though I was promised it would.  I was so excited to start machine stitching that I didn't bother with more pins.  I just ran the quilt through the machine, chugging along, all the while realizing that the machine kept binding up on something.

When I layed my quilt out, I immediately realized the problem: the bottom fabric got fed much faster through the machine than the top.  Not pinning meant that I had deep Vs of pulled fabric running the length of my quilt.  The kicker?  Because the machine kept getting hung up, the stitches it made were impossibly small to rip out with a seam ripper.  So my beautiful father-made, custom-fit seam ripper had to be set aside in favor of a straight razor.

Yes, folks, that's right: I took a razor blade to my quilt last night.  From the inside.

It was heartbreaking.  All told, I only put three very tiny holes in the back muslin.  They can easily be stitched closed and hidden within a seam.  I was able to roll and pin my quilt correctly, and worked patiently with my sewing machine until I restitched all two yards again.  While I only got half as much done as I wanted last night, I was able to do the first half the right way.  Aside from the little tiny patches, no one will ever know what catastrophe I endured.

When The Man got home from work and saw me slicing into my quilt with a razor, a blank look on my face, and dinner no where near being started, he hugged me tight and asked where I wanted to eat out.  He's a smart man. :)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Know your agony! But a lesson learned, right?

By the way, the Joanna fabric shops inSalem are being combined and moved to Lancaster Mall. Right now you can by the bolts for 75% off. I bought 2 bolts worth $80 and got both for $20!! These are patriotic designs I use for the veteran's hosptial laprobes so was pleased with the bargain. So if you are in town, check them out for other bargains.