Oh. . . why can't things just work out?
In hindsight, Thursday's craftastrophic events were all my fault, a perfect storm of late night sewing, stupidity, forgetfulness, and cockiness. I was dead set on finishing my little quilt and I was going to do it properly, not in my, as Cindy has dubbed it, punk rock quilting way so I picked up my Quilting: the Complete Guide and went to work!
All started out well. . .
I decided to take it easy and do a simple diagonal design so, using 1/4" tape, I marke the lines that were to be sewed. I layered the front, the batting, and the back and pinned the whole lot together at 4" interval, just like the book suggested. I wrapped the overhang of the backing to protect the edges of the front and pinned those. Things looked good! Just like in the book.
Okay. . . first big mistake. . . when everything you read tells you that to do machine quilting, you should really use a walking foot, they're not just trying to sell expensive machine attachments. You can't get away with a pair of grippy gloves and your regular machine foot, no matter how much fun the grippy gloves are and no matter how much they make you sing "Magic To Do" from Pippin while pretending to be Ben Vereen.
You can almost see the cocky shooting from my be-gloved, jazz-handed fingers. . .
Second big mistake. . . if you remember hearing, several times over, that you should start your quilting at the center of the piece and that you should then work out to the edges. You should really start your quilting at the center. You shouldn't start at the edge just because it's easier. And you REALLY shouldn't then flip it to the other side once things get all bunched up in your machine, basically working from the edges in, because this is what happens:
It's hard to tell, the picture's kinda dark and all the stripes from the pinstripes make it hard to see, but there is a big 2" wide pucker right in the middle of my quilt. A wrinkle I didn't catch until AFTER I'd been sewing for 6 BLEEDING HOURS! GGGGAAAAGGGHHH! 2 in the morning and the only thing I can see is failure and a ruined quilt front.
And so I start ripping. . .
and ripping. . .
and ripping. . .
5 more hours of ripping out the quilting and then once that was finally done I realize that I cut a hole in the boarder fabric so I had to rip THAT off too! Then it was another couple hours cleaning off all the loose threads and steaming out all the little holes left from the mishap. . . by 6 pm Friday I was basically were I was at 6 pm the day before. One whole day lost. . .
And so we begin again. . . tape and pins and grippy gloves and "Magic To Do", but with a new edition! Ladies and gents meet my hero! My new walking foot!
Ain't he sweet!
And this time I started at the center. . .
And by 2:30 am I had a wonderful finished quilt!
It's far from perfect. The stitch sizes are a bit wonky because I've yet to learn how to finesse the combo of walking foot and grippy gloves. Sometimes I helped too much and the stitches were huge, sometimes not enough, and the stitches were itty-bitty. And my straight lines are questionably straight, there are lines that wobble around more than a socialite at a sobriety checkpoint. . . but that's okay because I love it for its imperfections and I'm just soooooo very happy it's done!
One more shot, close up!
Hearts and puppies,