I can’t tell you how good it feels to be done with this quilt. This quilt was started over 10 years ago, possibly 20. And it is FINALLY DONE. But seriously, the problems I had with this quilt. At every step, it just didn’t want to be finished.
The pattern is from an old black and white Joann’s flyer. I thought I still had it, but maybe it was thrown away in frustration. They used to have them free around the store before quilt patterns were available all over the internet. This one went with the fabric it’s made of and I loved that fabric and loved the quilt. It was so bohemian looking. It was even supposed to be accented with some gold embroidery around some of the diamonds, but that got ditched as I eventually just wanted it to be done.
So I cut the fabric, made the quilt top. So far so good. At this point, I think I was moving from undergrad to grad school so it got stashed somewhere. Then it made it to grad school with me. I wanted to make it for my bed at grad school so I ended up adding a very wide border to it since my bed was raised and I wanted it to cover some of the garbage I stored beneath.
Fast forward about 5 years (finished with grad school) and I’m getting back to it. Only now I don’t have a twin bed any more, so I need to expand it further to a queen size. So I add a blue border and an additional purple border.
At this point, the quilt is huge (by my standards) so I don’t want to try to do it on my home machine. I had gotten certified at one of the quilt stores near me to use their longarm. I had already quilted 4 smallish quilts very successfully on it (here’s one) so I was feeling pretty solid about my skills. I took this one in, bought some thread from the store (this place made you buy all the thread you used even though it was going to take forever to use a whole cone), loaded it up and got started.
And the thread broke. And it broke again. And again. And again. I called the person from downstairs to help me at least twice, but of course when she came up and tested it on the side it was fine because it normally wouldn’t break until 5 minutes in. After she had left. After about an hour of torture with this I gave up, pulled it off and decided I would try it again at some point when I had more time and distance.
At this point, I was super unhappy with the quilting. The quilting I did get done had terrible tension. I realize now that it was a tension issue with the machine but I wasn’t skilled or experienced enough at the time to troubleshoot it myself and unfortunately the woman helping me apparently wasn’t either.
So I started the arduous task of removing the quilting. This took many months. I watched many shows. It was something to do. I didn’t take time to do it except when we were watching TV anyways, but that’s why it took so long.
Meanwhile, the first place I had gotten certified stopped offering longarm rental so I got certified at a new place. This place is fantastic. They have 3 machines (not just one) and everyone knows how to use them and fix them. And they are all super nice people! I want to get a longarm at some point, but in many ways I don’t because I wouldn’t have as much of an excuse to go here. And like I said, they’re wonderful peeps.
So I quilted a number of quilts there. Every other longarm one of you’ve seen on this blog has been there. Really was feeling good about my skills. It was time to bring this one in for the test.
But first I needed a backing. The backing (and batting actually) from the previous quilting attempt had gotten thrashed. So I was going to have to add some more to it. I thought, oh, I’ll make my life easier and order some wideback! I measured the top, ordered the backing and laid it out to check and wouldn’t you know it, it’s too short on the sides. 🙁 Sigh. So I cut the backing down the middle and added in a strip. Now I had plenty of clearance.
I took it to the quilt store to quilt and made sure it was on a day off when I had plenty of time. I loaded it on. I was told my loading was too loose, so I reloaded it even though I felt good about it the first time, but this second time a wrinkle formed in the backing. I cringed upon seeing it when I looked under the machine to check on tension. But ah, well, that’s the least of the issues with this quilt. I figured I’ll just keep going.
Finally finished quilting after several hours and I’m right at the end and . . . there’s not enough batting. You’ve got to be kidding me, right? Well, nothing to be done. I resolve to cut off the top and bottom since there’s a wrinkle at the top anyways. I really just want this quilt done.
I take it home but I’m so annoyed with it, I leave it in the bag and stick it under the desk. A number of other projects show up naturally. And a year or 2 pass.
Finally we get to this week. I’m working out of my sewing room during the quarantine so need to clean this business up. It’s time to get this done so I can see the floor again. I pull it out, trim off the top and use the extra to make binding. Usually I will tie off all my threads and then bury the ends, but I really can’t be bothered with this quilt as I’m expecting something else to go wrong at this point so I just trim them. We’ll see how the quilt fares but I had apparently decided to switch colors a lot and I really didn’t want to bury all those. Of course, I have some tension issues while sewing on the binding, but fortunately those were easily fixed with a new needle. Phew.
And now, after
10 15 20 years, IT IS DONE.
All that being said, I actually really like how it turned out. The quilting on it is actually quite pretty (I had forgotten because it’s been while) and I think it really brightens up the room it’s going in!
There’s probably enough fabric leftover to make an entire second quilt, but there’s also some cut offs from when I had to remove the top and bottom and those will probably become throw pillows. But that’s a topic for another post . . .