Sunday, 22 July 2012

 The blind leading the blind!

No I did not do this handy work, even though I wish I did. A friend of mine has made this for her Grandmother and has requested my help in getting it put together into a quilt. 
What an adventure that has been! A novice quilter helping a non-quilter figure out how to quilt.. definitely  'the blind leading the blind'!
I did have the presence of mind to do a simple nine patch pattern for my friend, I showed her how to square off and cut her fabric which ended up a little wonky (just a little :D), then I showed her how to lay out her pattern and do a quarter inch seam and how to press the seams open, you know all the basics.  While we were doing all this I realized that the measurements I had made are going to be totally off since her blocks weren't square and we had to square them up, losing length and width, turned out we were quite a few inches off on either side length wise, width wise everything was fine as far as matching up seams and so forth, I still have no clue how I managed that! 
Anyway we ended up adding a 3 block strip to each side which made things a lot more even and doable but... it turned out I ended up redoing all the seams and that strip of green you see? It's polyester. /headdesk.  
I tried to convince my friend that we could hit my stash, I had some wonderful dark jade green cotton flat sheets that I picked up at a yard sale that would work wonderfully with the colours in the patches but she was adamant that this is the colour of green that she wanted and why undo all of that work we had already done?  
Yes I ran through all the problems with the polyester type fabric and it didn't seem to phase her so, doing my best I helped her fix it.  Once we had all the top pieces together It did look lovely, I haven't had a chance to take a full top picture since it's currently sitting under my machine being quilted. 
Of course I am quilting the polyester first as it will be and is the hardest part to quilt, poly and mostly polyester blends are not fun to try and quilt on a machine as I am discovering, I had to play with tension and my speed and motions as I went since I didn't have any fabric remnants that were even remotely similar to practice on. 
The silver lining in this dark cloud is the backing.  A wonderfully crisp and heavy cotton that is a dream to use while FMQ'ing, I have got to find some of it to use for quilting, turns out it was part of a bed sheet or tablecloth ( I can't remember which). I guess it's time to hit more yard sales!

You can see the pattern I am using to quilt with, basically a loopy line mixed with flower buds and leaves similar to what I was quilting Boxcar Suzie with but more fluid and graceful. It really helped to have all that practice under my belt with the first FMQ quilt, I am so much more confident going into this one. 
Of course not all is going as smoothly as I had planned, Murphy's Law dictated that as soon as I got the hang of quilting with the polyester and had done the majority of the sashing, I was going to discover a 6 inch long pucker in the back that I missed even though I check regularly, that I could leave alone and just quilt over the part that is still noticeable and yet... there is that voice inside my head going, yes it's going to take a whole lot of time and yes you are going to have to spend at least and hour more likely 2 ripping out the stitches but are you really happy sending that off when you know it's not right?  
I quickly discovered why I got the pucker, and I laughed so hard my husband came down to see what was wrong, turned out my non quilting friend didn't pin through all 3 layers! I of course double checked my pinning, didn't think to check hers and blithely started FMQ'ing without a clue. 
It is for a Grandma so all this strife will be worth the effort in the end and I am definitely learning some quick lessons!

Passion, in Creation!

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