This time last year I went to a Girls Night Out at my favorite quilt shop, The Fabric Dock and bought a jelly roll. With a little encouragement from the owner I completed my first quilt top. I left with another jelly roll that very night. I may or may not have stayed up that night making another quilt top. The next week I was back in the shop with a one yard bundle I’d been hoarding, begging Natalie for a pattern that a beginner could handle, and I’d obviously been bitten by the quilting bug.
Although I was turning out tops pretty quickly, I didn’t actually finish an entire quilt until springtime when I made the Sweet Charlotte Quilt from the 2nd edition of One Thimbe ezine. I’m still much quicker at finishing tops and moving on to the next top before I complete a quilt. (Basting and sandwiching the quilt is my least favorite part and boy it’s expensive to buy backing fabric, right??) I still managed to finish ten quilts last year and hope to make even more this year.
I thought I’d had pretty good luck with this quilting thing. I have pretty much stuck to simple patterns but that is more my style anyway. I even had pretty good luck with my first free motion quilting project, which was this lovely quilt!
I thought I was off to a great start. On New Year’s Eve I basted and sandwiched a quilt top I’d finished sometime in the fall. I was so happy that I was on my way to working on my quilting goals for 2015! I’d had such good luck free motion quilting the quilt above I decided to give it another try.
I used some thread someone gave me. I know nothing about it. I didn’t even think about it, really. My thread kept breaking and I was constantly having to re-thread my machine. I quilted approximately a 15 x 20 inch area when I had to replace my bobbin and noticed the sad news.
I checked underneath the quilt when I first began quilting. I was really trying to get a lot done because I knew I’d be going back to work in a few days. I suppose I was distracted and forgot to keep checking under the quilt. I ended up with about three spots like this.
It was pretty heartbreaking to look at so I decided to do nothing at the time. I folded it up, went to bed and decided to save the mess for another day. Last weekend, I pulled it back out and in front of the last season of The Voice, on Hulu, I did some serious seam ripping.
It went surprisingly fast. I suppose the tension was so off that it made it easy to rip out. I finished and decided to give free motion quilting another shot.
It did not go well. My thread kept tangling like the pictures above. I played with tension. I re-threaded my machine. I pulled my machine apart and cleaned it out really well. I finally decided it must be the thread! (Why didn’t I think about this before??) In frustration I went on a search for more thread. (I had a ton that someone gave me but now I’m a little scared of it!)
I finally found some and went to re-thread the machine with the new spool. I was a bit frustrated when I was moving my quilt out from the machine and moved it too
violently carelessly and it caught on my darning foot which partially broke and went flying across the room. Yes, the plastic piece had split in half.
So, for the rest of the weekend I ripped out the decently quilted part so that I can just straight line quilt this baby. I thought about putting it away. I thought about waiting to get a new darning foot. I also thought of my goal to finish 12 quilts this year and here is one with backing fabric, already sandwiched together (my least favorite part, remember?) I’m too close to finishing it to put it away into the UFO pile.
So there is my sad story. I know it’s bound to happen. Every quilter is going to have stories like this (okay, maybe not angrily ripping a quilt from their machine like an idiot but something I’m sure!) I’ve decided, however, not to let it stop me. I still have a bit of seam ripping to do. I’ve spent hours working on it this weekend. The tiny little needle holes are breaking my heart even though I know they should look okay after a washing. I plan to have this quilt finished in January. I’ve also pretty much caught up on The Voice.
It’s all good. I will conquer this quilt!