Friday, April 18, 2014

My Sad Quilt Story

It takes A LOT of time to make a quilt.  All of the time spent is FUN time, don't get me wrong.  I enjoy shopping for fabric, looking at fabric, designing with fabric, cutting fabric, sewing fabric and quilting the quilt. You don't plan for the final stitching to go wrong. But it did, TWICE!  And no one is to blame but me.  So sad.

This X & O pattern is a popular Valentine's Day pattern and was featured on many blogs this year. I should call it "The JoAnn's Special" since almost all of the fabrics were purchased by me to use to make my zipper pouches here and here.  I decided to take a 4 1/2 inch cut from my fabrics and make a colorful X & O quilt.  And so that is just what I did.  It is pretty and colorful with a good jumble of scrappy X's and O's.     

 I loaded my frame with the backing, some white batting, and the quilt top.

Here is a picture of my Nolting Fun Quilter.  I have a love/hate relationship with the tension adjustment on this machine. It will be the only long-arm quilting machine I will ever have (so says DH) so I have learned to cope and have come to quilting terms with this machine.  It does the job for me.  It is not the machine, but it is my ability to adjust tension that is the problem.  I know I am not alone here.  

I have learned that King Tut thread is the only thread I can use that achieves the tension I need without having to adjust every, single, time I start a quilt.  Oh so aggravating! Constant thread breaking.
I know I am not alone here. So King Tut it is for me.

I use pantographs most of the time.  I have purchased MANY pantographs but only a few of them work well for me.  Some are too wide and I bump my poles with my machine.  Some are narrow and you have to use multiple bobbins and make endless passes over the quilt just to get to the end.  This pattern is open and airy, covers a wide area, and generally a favorite.  I tend not to like heavily custom stitched quilts, which seems to be popular with the professional long-arm quilting for business trade. 

For some reason this time, I had trouble aligning this pattern, Simplicity by Lorien Quilting.   I have used it successfully with good results on several quilts.  

 See that?  I stitched over the pattern twice.  Argh!  I did this not once but twice!  Such Sadness.  Here is the story.

The first time I did this, I ripped out all of the stitching.  I took the quilt off the frame and ripped and ripped while watching movies on Netflix one evening and stopped at 1:00 a.m.  I am sad to say I did this for about six hours, I kid you not.  What a waste of time but not too bad because I like to watch movies! I made holes with the seam ripper in two of my blocks and three holes in the backing.  So so so sad.  I was defeated. The next morning, renewed and refreshed, I remade the two blocks in the top and replaced the section of backing that had the three holes.  I loaded every thing back on the frame.   The second time would be a charm, right?  No it was not.  I got the alignment off AGAIN.  This time I just went on and rolled with it. 

I have had to come to peace with this mistake.  I will keep the quilt or gift it to a loving family member and consider it as a learning experience.  Unless you look really close you cannot see it.  A non quilter would not even see it.  But I know it is there and so it must be accepted and I must move on to the next quilt.  I have written a note on the pantograph: "Hard to align.  Remember X & O quilt." Hopefully, I will try harder or just never use this pattern again.     

I do like the finished quilt.  There are no holes in this one.  It still looks lovely.  So colorful and full of love.

I know I am not alone here.

X's and O's
Hugs and Kisses

Thanks for reading this very sad quilt story. 
 May you have a perfect stitching day!


The X and O quilt is finished.  The story needs one more final chapter because it was even sadder when my dear daughter pointed out that the blocks are off on that bottom row.  How could that have happened? I recognized that this is the section I had to remake after I ripped out the bad stitching. That purple and aqua section was not turned to make the O.  A sad story.

Epilogue.  This quilt is so Cute!  It is scrappy.  It has lots of spring color.  It has a Charm and a Personality all its own.  It reminds me of rainbow sherbert or a cool glass of Strawberry Lemonade or the slushy menu at Sonic. What more can I say?  

  The End!

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