Ok so I’m exaggerating. The phrase goes “measure twice, cut once”. But this weekend I felt like changing it to “piece once, unpick twenty million times!’.
It is a few short weeks until our annual Zimbabwe Patchwork and Quilting Show and things are getting a little tense. I have one small wallhanging ready, complete with display sleeve and label. Then I have two other quilts that I want to enter. I am just so busy at school at the moment, that I am using every waking moment (almost) to get things done.
So last week I went as far as to take the smaller of my two outstanding quilts to school with me to baste. I was on late duty and so had to remain at school until 6pm. I have two fold down tables that I put next to each other and then asked if I could borrow a third from the school office to give me a big enough space. The basting went very well until one of the kitchen staff arrived and asked for one of the tables back! That certainly gave me an incentive to speed up the basting. I managed to baste the lower part of the quilt and was just left with the top part. But the basting was taking a toll on my index finger which was beginning to resemble a pincushion.
I pin basted the rest, ready to start quilting in the afternoon. I was just doing straight-line quilting and so this was quite straightforward (literally) and over the next couple of afternoons I managed to quilt half of the quilt.
The quilt I am making is based on a design by Lee Heinrich at Freshly Pieced.
So on Friday afternoon I got home ready to start on the central panel. The first couple of lines went well and then I got stuck. The stitches were all tight and nasty and the thread kept breaking. So I unpicked all that I had sewn, which took some considerable time and tried again, and again and again. I must have unpicked rows for about two hours, I was getting really annoyed. Added to which the fabric wasn’t looking great.
I sent out a What’s App help message to my sewing group and they sent various nuggets of advice, “change the needle”, “put your quilting away, till tomorrow”, “go and make a cup of tea” all of it sound.
So I got out my knitting and finished another chunky coat instead.
On Saturday I woke early to get started on the central panel again. I changed the needle, and at last the tension seemed to be ok. But things just weren’t going right with the design.
Now bear in mind that I try and photograph everything I make just in case I want to use it on my blog. So I had taken a couple of photographs of this panel. Firstly when I laid out the blocks.
Then when I had pieced the panel.
So I must have looked at the photos quite a few times. Yet on none of these occasions had I noticed that I had inserted two blocks incorrectly. I only noticed after half the quilting had been done! Then who would have guessed it, but the two blocks were going to be, slap bang in the middle of the quilt.
I wanted to cry😥
It was like deja vu, as a very similar thing happened last year with my I Love Colour quilt, when I ended taking the centre of the heart out, to tidy and straighten it up. There was nothing left for it but to un-baste, and unpin the un-quilted half of the quilt and hope that I would be able to make the changes necessary without unpicking the entire thing.
It took the best part of Saturday morning to sort the quilt out. then of course I had to re pin and baste but it worked.
Compare it to the other pictures, can you see where I made the mistake?
Now I just need to bind it, so more next week.