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.