A year ago when I was anxiously awaiting the arrival of our new grand child, I started sewing a quilt. I wasn’t sure if the baby would be a boy or girl but I started a quilt anyway. I had a boy in mind for this quilt if the baby ended up being a girl so it wasn’t a loss.
I was inspired by this book.
…and this particular quilt.
I had a blast making it.
The baby ended up being a girl so that quilt went to the front and center and this quilt ended up going in the closet.
The other day I was cleaning in the closet and ended up finding this and ended up upset with myself. This was going to be Scottie’s quilt. AH!!
For those of you who don’t know, Scottie is our grandchild. We didn’t meet him until Buck and Lora got together. He was Lora’s first and now he’s all of ours. He’s a sweetheart and we all love him. Carver and him get along great. Because of his late arrival to our family, he didn’t get a baby quilt when he was tiny, so this bigger quilt I thought would be perfect for him.
I had thought I would quilt this on my domestic machine so I could do some close line quilting….I ran into trouble though. The quilt waves. Yep. I made a wavy quilt. It’s bunchy and not quite right.
People have commented that they like the blog because “I’m real”….well this is as real as it gets. I’m not a perfect quilter. I make mistakes. I goof up. This quilt is proof. It looks lovely to the eye colorwise but not structurally.
I thought I should set the quilt aside and make a new one but then I decided: Nope. I’m not putting it back in the closet. I am quilting it. If it turns out, it will be Scottie’s quilt. If not, it will go on to charity.
First up thread selection….
You can see how the quilt hangs off the frame that I’ll likely be in trouble as I go along. You can see in the photo that the quilt won’t lay nicely. See?
I decided to go with the boxes motif. It works good when trying to hide excess fabric. I’ve had to do it before with a few charity quilts and have been happy with the results. I thought I’d try it again.
As I moved towards the center, the problems increased. You can see that it’s not laying flat at all. I managed to make it through without puckers.
From there I moved forward…UGH. You can see that there is excess fabric in the bottom center. I knew it would be a challenge.
As hard as tried I did end up with a pucker. I debated about ripping it out and trying again, but I didn’t think it would make much difference.
This picture really shows the excess fabric in the center. It was impossible to keep the squares on the motif square on the quilt. I started second guessing my choice of square as the motif. Well, it was WAY too late now to do anything different.
Do you know why it’s wavy? I do.
This quilt is mostly adding borders and adding borders and adding borders. Well, when I added them, I didn’t measure the base, then measure the piece I was adding on. I simply sewed the next border on without measuring first. This is a newbie mistake and I should have know WAY better but I didn’t apply the technique to this quilt. UGH.
I like my backing…that’s one thing I did right. I did like the color selection too.
I was up early in the morning to work on this quilt. My hope was to finish it before childcare started but alas…I left it at this point.
…and this is the point I am cutting off this blog post. You’ll have to tune in tomorrow to see the results. I promise a finished quilt…and just like I did, you’ll have to wait for the results. So will the quilt be passed on to charity, or will it shape up after washing and be okay to gift to Scottie?
So frustrating. I took a class from Shelley at https://www.wheatridgestudios.com/ on how to make a quilt Square and Straight when it really isn’t. It was an amazing class and I use that information all the time. I would still gift the quilt to Scottie – he will only notice the quilty hug!
I would still give it to Scotty too… if it’s not good enough for your own, why does it go to charity? Don’t they deserve something worthy like family? I’m sorry if that came out rough, but I really want to know. It’s been on my mind for a few years now. I see many, many quilts go to charity (via the internet) and I see many, many people say “if it doesn’t work out, I’ll just give it to charity” or “This isn’t quality fabric, but it’s good enough for charity”. I would think that those in need, need good quality quilts, not ones that will fall apart thru lack of quality materials. Or recieving them just because of a few puckers or such. I really am just curious, I’m not trying to be negative or say you don’t do good, because I know you do wonderful work for charity and you give lots.
I would have made this into a “quilt as you go”. It wouldn’t have the fancy robot looking stitches you gave it, but I could have lived with it. I made all of my kids a big log cabin, quilt as you go, from a book called “quilts in a weekend” or something like that. It was probably 25 years ago, but they all have them and use them. It’s been a life saver for me, as I don’t have a long arm machine…..and I like making them :)
You’re right – the backing fabric is awesome! Perfect for a boy quilt.
I’m glad you fessed up about the “problem.” The whole time you were showing the wavy quilt I kept thinking “She didn’t measure and cut those rounds!” I think you have provided a great lesson for new quilters. Perhaps you could do a post on how to measure and add borders so they make the quilt square.
Keep being Real, Jo, we love you even more for it.
I had trouble like that with a pieced border on a Giant Dahlia quilt. Inserting a layer of high loft batting helped me get the wavy stuff under control. Frustrating when that happens!
I have a very crooked , ugliest material ever made, tied variagated pink yarn. I wouldn’t give it up for anything. I love it. I learned my great grandmother made it for me when I was born. I thought it was a doll bed quilt. Turns out I was the baby doll. Made with love, imperfections aren’t noticed by the receiver. All they see is the love absorbed and transformed into the quilt. Scotty’s quilt will be treasured by Scotty because you made it just for him.
Dorian, thank you for saying this. I firmly believe everyone deserves the best you can do. Not perfection, but the best you can do. Do you ONLY donate worn clothes? Don’t they deserve new, clean socks and underware? And Scotty will love that it was made for him by Grandma.
The quilt is awesome. You have a wonderful talent. Thank you for mentioning the wave because I have had that happen and didn’t know why. Now it makes sense. As far as the comment about if it isn’t “good enough” for family, I sincerely believe that the reason you offered the quilt to charity wasn’t because it wasn’t worthy of family, it most likely was the thought process of being disappointed and not wanting to see it again. No matter your decision on whom receives the beautiful quilt, it will be loved and cherished for a long long time
Dorian, you said that you were curious. When I make quilts, and most go to charity, they are made with fabric that I can afford. I do the best that I can do at the time, and some times are better than others. The charity has the option of forwarding on the quilts or not. I do not make heirloom quilts, but ones that are meant to be used and loved for as long as they last.
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I love it and Scotty will love it! Carol
So glad to see this one again! You did such a wonderful job with color selection and design. I tend to forget about all those useful ‘rules’ for borders until, well, I’m reminded a bit like you have been. Your reminder is timely for me, thanks.
I have been longarming for clients for many years and there isn’t much I haven’t encountered including bagging and sagging. I have 2 possible suggestions for next time you encounter this. Starch and steam: as you advance the quilt, lightly spray the area with starch or fabric sizing then use your iron set on steam to hover over the area. I hover and don’t actually touch the quilt top. This will usually shrink up the top. My other suggestion is when you have a quilt that isn’t quite square, don’t float the quilt. Instead, attach the quilt top at both ends of the frame. I don’t know why this works, just trust me, it helps straighten it out. The quilt is lovely and I’m certain Scotty will be happy to have it.
Pinning too. If you pin the center and then from the ends in after measuring you will avoid that stretching.
I’ve read that spritzing a quilt on the frame with water or water/starch mixture and letting it dry might take up some fullness. I haven’t tried that, but I have used a steam iron on blocks with fullness & it does help. Sometimes it seems like every quilt presents it’s own challenge when quilting it. I’m sure Scotty will love it just the way it turns out.