Friday, November 11, 2016

Failed finish

Hi everyone!  Is it getting colder where you are?  It certainly was chilly here this week.  I shouldn't be surprised, though, because it's November, right?  Winter is coming, whether we want it to or not.  I'm actually looking forward to some cold and some other things about winter, but I know there will be white stuff falling from the sky soon, and I'm not looking forward to that.  I have seen how badly they clear the roads here, and it's just not pretty.

Also not pretty?  The little quilt that I wanted to be my finish for this week:

This little quilt is cute, but it counts as a fail for me, at least for now. I finished this a long time ago and chose the backing and everything. It's time for it to be completely finished! I tried two new things on this quilt and messed up both of them.  I should stick to just one new thing at a time.

It all started with this:

Yikes!  What can that possibly be?  That, my friends, is all the quilting work I've been putting off for at least the last year.  Okay, maybe a little longer.  Some of these were tops from before we moved that I never got around to, so I just folded them up and packed them away, but most are from the last year at the condo, when I had no space to actually quilt them up.  Now that there's room, I have both of my machines set up *plus* a table just to quilt on, so I thought I would spend much of the next few weeks quilting these up.  I thought I would start with the smallest ones and work my way up from there.  Great plan, right?

Here's where I went wrong--I almost always thread baste the old fashioned way.  I only use pins on tiny things where it doesn't matter that much, like mug rugs or very small wall hangings. Thread basting goes so much faster for me and works really, really well. It holds everything together nice and secure and I haven't had wrinkles in the back. But I thought I'd use pins here and just try it.  Yeah, here's what happened:

A big wrinkle!  Stitched in! There are a couple of smaller ones too. Before you ask, yes, I used a walking foot,  I smoothed everything, I checked the back all the time, and I used lots of pins.  I should not have wrinkles! What to do now?  Ripping it out seems to be the only solution, but the very thought makes me tired.

Here's my other mistake-- the spiral quilting.  It turn out looking pretty nice here, but I think I made it too close together.  It took forever and the top is very stiff. How far apart would you make your spirals?  These are about a half-inch apart, which seemed to be right for a small quilt. I was wrong about that. Again, ripping seems to be the only solution.

So, I was going to admit defeat and start on another one, doing something completely different (and more fun), but then this happened:

Siiiggghhh.  How does this even happen?  It's just completely unspooling. Time to pack it in for now.

So, that was my big fail for the week!  I did mean what I said earlier, though--I have to work my way through those tops.  Seems like a good project for the holiday period, doesn't it? We'll see how it goes!  I'm going to spend the weekend piecing together some batting and cutting some backings.  Hope you have something fun lined up!  If you have any good suggestions for my failed little quilt, let me know!

Sharing at Finished or Not Friday.


  1. It is NOT a fail - it is a learning experience and an opportunity. If you indeed decide to un-do and re-do it, you will then have the same quilt, quilted two different ways = a great comparison tool! Or, if you just decide to "fix" the big wrinkle and leave the rest of it as is, then gift it to a toddler (who will probably drag it along everywhere and cherish it, wrinkles and all). Use the time gained to do something else....

  2. Oh for heaven's sake! Life is too damn short to be stuck doing stuff that gives you no joy. The wrinkle? LEAVE IT ALONE. Move on. The quilt is cute as hell. Finish it and be done with it. And don't let those unquilted quilts make you feel guilty. YOU don't have to quilt them if you don't want to.

    I make quilts because I like doing it. It's why I don't make quilts to order - because that would be too much like WORK, and I WORK all day at a regular job. Do something that gives you pleasure. But don't put all that unpleasant work in front of the things that make you happy.


  3. I don't think I would rip, it doesn't look that big of a wrinkle to me and it is the back! It's a pretty quilt.

  4. I don't think I would call this a fail, but boy to I understand your frustrations. My husband (the perfectionist) is straight line quilting a large quilt for his sister and discovered he did the same thing on the back of his. I told him to walk away for a few days. It stinks, but ultimately, not sure it is worth ripping out. The front will be way more loved than that wrinkle is noticed. I'm wondering if the top will soften up some once it's been washed? Give yourself a small break, laugh it off and move forward...and remember those words for when I need it :) I have 22 tops that need quilted :|

  5. Leave it alone and washing will soften it!!!! It is not a fail.

    Hugs we all have that kind of days

  6. I agree with the wise quilters who have already commented. I don't think it is a fail at all. I am curious about your thread basting. Do you baste by hand or machine? Take care, Mary.

  7. Oh Mari, that stuff can just make you crazy. I am not sure the wrinkle is worth all of that ripping. If you were having it judged or something, maybe so. But as a lap quilt and one with a cute front on it. Is it necessary?

    I have only ever spiral quihlted one project and it was a mini. I did it like yours, about 1/2" apart. For a larger quilt, I might go a bit wider. However, here you are, with a large portion quilted. Again, I would just leave it. Looking at that picture at the top of the post, I think it looks nice. I don't think you need to spend tons of time unpicking all of those stitches.

    Give yourself a break and don't beat yourself up about it. Easy for me to say, right? I am always picking my work apart! Sorry for your frustration.

    You have a load of quilt tops Missie.... There are sone that look familar and others I don't remember. It will be fun to see these all finished up.

  8. It's what I call organic! I think it is perfect the way it is...just keep on with it like the others have said!

  9. It's done! You learned from it and now move on. I do appreciate your sharing on your blog so thought I's share a bit with you. The qulting is my least favorite part of quilting. I've tried hand and machine, free motion, etc. and took many classes. The best thing that helpful was taking a class with Jacquie Gering. It was quilting with your walking foot. I also bought the Craftsy class. After taking it, I quilted a huge quilt with straight line quilting and won a 3rd place ribbon. I've tried using painter's tape and sewing next to it, etc. and also using that rod that sticks through the hole near the needle. I think I do it backwards as I use the guide on the line I've sewn and sew to the right. Keep quilting - a dear friend used to tell us, "it's not a quilt until it's quilted,". I use lots of pins and try to smooth as I go. I, too, love hand basting and find it therapeutic.

  10. Yep, leave it and enjoy the finish. I did my spirals about 1- 1.5". It will soften with washing...

    It's a hobby and should be enjoyable not stressful

  11. If you still have spirals to quilt, why not gradually increase the spacing? It will look intentional and like pond ripples. Don't take any out.

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  13. I shall have a glass of wine for you and it will be all better *Poof*

    I really do like that quilting though - it looks amazing on that quilt!

  14. Oh, Mari, I've been there and it's not fun. It was on a first quilt for one of my grandsons. I ended up picking out a little and the hand stitching down the wrinkle that was kind of like a flap. But your wrinkle doesn't look that big and I bet washing will hide it well, and more washing over time will soften it up.And the front is so pretty, it will be the focal point.

  15. Oh dear, don't be too hard on yourself! Washing it would probably help with the stiffness, and the wrinkle isn't that bad. Finished is better than perfect! Thanks for linking up to Finished or Not Friday!

  16. well, I sure wouldn't rip it out. Nope, live and learn and move on. Next!
    I happen to like the effect your quilting gives, and if it's washed the line on the back being the only clue as to a ripple, won't matter. How would it be used? Wall? then you want it a bit stiff. Washing would soften it a little. I know my grandmother's quilts were hand quilted very closely and never stiff. Must be our batting as she used raw cotton. LeeAnna


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