Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The quilt

If you had been a fly on our wall last Sunday afternoon, you would have witnessed me near tears, swearing and throwing small, soft objects from my sewing table onto the sofa. And if you had been that same fly (which may not be possible, since I don't think flies live very long) and had followed me outside today you would have witnessed me with a quilt around my shoulders, running back and forth in the grass.


Why all this bizarre, dramatic behavior? Oh, it's all because of this quilt, my pretties. I am so happy it's finished, I can't even express my relief.


This was an excellent learning project. Piecing the front and back took a great deal of time but wasn't especially challenging. And I enjoyed making the quilt sandwich (thanks for helping me, Mom!). It was the quilting that nearly killed me.



Apparently neither of my sewing machines like 100% cotton quilting thread. The tension seized up erratically on both machines, making it impossible to work the walking foot on the old Singer, and causing the thread in the on the Pfaff to choke up or break at random intervals. In the end I used the darning/free-motion foot on the Pfaff, but I was forced to rip out large sections and re-sew many areas. It took forever and caused much distress. Thus the Sunday afternoon rampage.

I'm reasonably happy with the end results. Washing and drying the quilt helped the end result, since it gave the quilt that rumpled appearance I like so much and helped to mask some of the slight rippling caused by trying to quilt with the regular presser foot (not a good idea, I discovered).

I'm happy with the fabrics I used. I like the mostly solid fabrics with a few prints thrown in periodically. The prints add some variety and interest to the overall patchwork pattern, I think.


In the end, I really do like the appearance of hand quilting much better than machine quilting, but for time's sake the machine quilting certainly appeals. Did I save time by machine quilting? Yes. Even with the ripping and restitching, it took less time than hand stitching. Did I enjoy it? Not exactly. I would prefer to hand stitch, but realistically I don't think I have the time for it. What's a girl to do? If I look into my crystal ball (since it's Halloween, after all), I think I can glimpse a Bernina somewhere off in the mist. Or maybe it's a Janome? I don't see myself hand-stitching a queen-sized quilt. Nope. That image is definitely not anywhere in the crystal ball.


Oh, and why was I running around with the quilt over my shoulders? No, the quilt isn't part of my Halloween costume. ("Trick or treat!" "Oh, look! It's Super Quilter!") I was taking photos of the quilt, which involved alternately setting the timer on the tripod and running in front of the camera to hold up the quilt for the photo. I certainly attracted some odd looks from passers-by while playing quilt holder AND photographer, but I swear that I wasn't wearing a mask or a giant Q on my chest at the time.

31 comments:

  1. I love your quilt. I already have new material very similar to yours with the addition of brown to the blue and green. I have never machine quilted a quilt that size before. I'm glad to know that it can been done.
    Congrats!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Jillian5:03 PM

    How beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  3. It's beautiful! Well done!

    I am getting ready to hand-quilt a full-size quilt. It has taken me months to work up the energy for it. The poor top has been patiently waiting.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Your quilt rules! I LOVE the colors.

    My machine hates cotton thread too. Some brands do OK, but most don't. Whether it breaks or not though it's always a big adventure trying to adjust the tension.

    ReplyDelete
  5. oh goodness your quilt is GORGEOUS!

    {you need a remote for your camera!}

    and i love the idea of super quilter! heh heh

    ReplyDelete
  6. oh, but those (lovely) pictures are 1000x more wonderful to me if I can imagine that you're there, behind the quilt, sporting a giant Q.

    it's beautiful! congratulations on finishing!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Absolutely lovely... the blues and greens are amazing. Is this really your first quilt? If so, there's hope for us all.

    beanandnoodle

    ReplyDelete
  8. Yay you!!! The quilt is beautiful! Boy, do I hear you on the pain of breaking thread. Been there.

    And if you want sewing machine opinions - look at a husqvarna (I think they are called vikings in the USA). The models that they have been producing for the past 5 yrs or so are superb.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I've had quilts bring me to tears too. Yours looks absolutely beautiful! Cute pics, too--fun feet sticking out from underneath. :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. beautifully done. and i like imagining you running back and forth to take the photographs, the pride of the finished work demands the effort.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Absolutely beautiful! And as long as no soft things were actually hurt while being thrown... well it's a success all around!

    ReplyDelete
  12. So pretty! I just had a fight with the machine over quilting too... a Bernina is looking very tempting.

    ReplyDelete
  13. That quilt is JUSt beautiful!! Lovely work!!

    And I'm sorry to hear about the thread. My Bernina isn't a fan of cotton thread either, and it just about makes me batty.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I like your quilt a lot: the colors, the fabric, the asymmetric look. Too bad about all the problems with the sewing machines, but it really turned out nicely. :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. That is one gorgeous quilt!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Anonymous11:24 PM

    It's beautiful! How long did it take you to complete the quilt? I'm thinking of trying to make one for the first time and I don't know if it would be possible to do by Christmas.

    ReplyDelete
  17. It looks really beautiful - eminently worth all the throwing of soft things! ;) My husquvarna isn't thrilled about cotton thread, either, so I feel your pain.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Your quilt is gorgeous. I love your choice of fabrics and how you have pieced them.

    I haven't tried machine quilting (the reason I have a ufo at present) but empathise with machines giving out at the worst moments.

    ReplyDelete
  19. is that a denyse schmidt pattern? If so, I think it's the same one I'm planning on making- now I'm even more excited!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Mary Ellen9:05 AM

    Absolutely fantastic. I just finished my first quilt as well. A bunch of log cabin squares put together with off white. The quilting was the worst part. I have to admit, I left some puffing in the quilting, but I said in time I will get better. I have done wonderful small quilting projects, but on the larger scale it is something different.

    I think you did a wonderful job and I, too, see a Berina in my future. Better start saving. :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. Sandy9:56 AM

    Lovely quilt and calming colors. After machine piecing three quilt tops, I recently started machine quilting on my little Janome and love it. I was scared when I put the walking foot on but the results were rewarding. Happy Quilting!

    ReplyDelete
  22. You quilt is gorgeous! I have so much difficulty machine quilting quilts that size - they're so hard to move. I definately feel your pain with the thread breaking, my machine hates metallic thread.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Anonymous10:40 PM

    The colors on that blue and green one are great, and I love the slightly crooked strips!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Wonderful, Liesl! I really think it's terrific!

    ReplyDelete
  25. wonderful quilt it looks amazing! i would be as happy as you at such an accomplishment. the fabric choice works so well together. it reminds me a lot of the Gees Bend quilts. congratulations, quite an inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
  26. well done! it looks fantastic!! although I do like the idea of you running around with a Q and a mask...

    ReplyDelete
  27. it's always the quilting part that makes everything difficult. grrr.

    really wonderful results though-- so happy you stuck it through.

    ReplyDelete
  28. what a fantastic quilt! gorgeous.

    Have you tried a 'walkin foot'? because it's got 'teeth' on top too it pulls the sandwich evenly, so no rippling effect and no tension problems.

    And I recommend a Bernina. No reservation. I LOVE mine.

    ReplyDelete
  29. well played. love the colors ~

    ReplyDelete
  30. love it! great work.

    ReplyDelete