Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Mayday disaster

Hey, look who's on time with this month's project! That's the good news. Now for the bad news. I felt so ambitious at the beginning of the month. I was totally going to make several baby quilts, and polish off some old projects that have been waiting around and staring at me for months.

I finished one baby quilt. One.

Maybe I could have gotten more done if this little tiny quilt hadn't fought me every step of the way. I wasted hours redoing sections and picking out stitches. I suspect that the white fabric I was using wasn't 100% cotton, because it was behaving in ways I couldn't predict.

It would have been great if all that work had produced a fabulous-looking quilt, but here's the rub: I don't think I like it. It looks kind of uneven and lumpy to me. Luckily, my husband's work friend doesn't know I'm making a quilt, so if my crippling doubt and indecision get the better of me, I can just stuff this down the memory hole (closet) and never think about it again. I can't ask my husband if he thinks it's wonky - even though a normal human can declare something to be ugly or not, he claims that his ignorance of quilting keeps him from being able to make an informed decision.

I tried something new this month, which was a free-motion quilting technique that resembles flowers, inspired by Elizabeth Hartman's "Loopy Flowers". Well, hers are beautiful. Mine are not. There's too much space between mine, and my quilt top is dotted with blue where the bobbin thread was poking up. Thread tension was a big issue while making this quilt. An all-over free-motion stippling would have been better, but I don't know if even that would have saved it.

Another new thing for this month was putting ruffles around the edges instead of a binding. I used some fabric left over from binding my very first quilt. I'm really loving the ruffles, and I'm glad I figured out how to do them. But, making the ruffled edge required a pillowcase finishing technique, which I think led to my quilting problems - the quilt top and backing must have been subtly different in size and shape. I would have loved to give this baby blanket a straight-line quilting, but there would have been too many bulges and tucks.

So this month's quilt looks wonky and painfully homemade. They can't all be winners, can they?

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