Sunday, August 28, 2011

In which pregnancy hormones take over all sense of logic and time

Even though it's still August, I suddenly needed to make an autumn fall hanging. Like, now. I don't know if this is a result of pregnancy hormones making me "nest" since I'm now in my third trimester, or if I'm just nuts, but I stopped working on all my other projects and sat down on Friday afternoon to finish rapidly churn out my autumn quilt.

You know, I was really disappointed with how much of this came out. I love the pattern and I love the fabrics, but I'm not sure if it's because I was rushing because Oh Crap It's Going To Be Autumn In A Month And By God, My Kid Needs to Have An Autumn Quilt On The Wall Before She Is Born In November.

This was my first time using spray basting. I read that you didn't have to use a lot, but I don't think I used enough--the fabric still moved around and puckered a bit, though far less than I expected it to. It's most obvious in the upper right corner--actually, before binding, the top edge was quite warped and I almost cried since I figured the only way to fix it was to rip out all the quilting and smooth out the fabric again. Luckily, some creative trimming and the binding completely hides the warped edge.

This is really the only spot you can see where my nice straight seams curved on me during quilting. Boooooo!  At least, overall it's not TOO obvious...

Second, the quilt doesn't lie flat. I have no idea how that happened since the puckering really isn't that bad at all. This would bother me far less if it wasn't going to hang on the wall, though I think, again, with some creative use of tacks and such, it will end up being pretty flat on the wall. It's still annoying since I am assuming this all stems from the batting and quilt top not being completely flat during basting, which I actually spent a lot of time on. 

Gaps in the green binding. You can see where it just suddenly decided not to be sewn down and the batting pokes right through. Also, a certain orange kitty tried really hard to be part of this picture. 

And then there's the binding. From the front, it looks fine. The back looks HORRIBLE. I've had this problem with every quilt I've bound so far and I'm not sure how to fix it. The binding on the back likes to curve up as I sew from the front, and then I end up with whole bits of binding that completely missed being sewn, as you can see in my picture. I use both pins and clips to keep the binding down, so I'm thinking that the fabric is flipping up as I remove the pins and clips while sewing, and then of course I don't notice since I'm machine binding from the front and can't see the back binding getting all flippy. Do I need more pins? More clips? Different pins? I'll have to experiment and see. 

Now that I've spent half a post complaining, what did I LIKE about this quilt? Well, like I said before, I love the fabric and the easy pattern. I had begun quilting with white thread, but a few minutes into it, stopped and ripped out every stitch, then hopped in my car and drove to the fabric store. I initially meant to buy cream colored thread to quilt, but my eyes fell on a mid-tone brown and I wondered if that would work better, so I bought that instead. I am SO happy I went with the brown--it was my first time quilting with anything but white thread and I think it really complemented the fabric colors, rather than overtaking them, like I felt the white was doing. This was also my first time free-motion quilting something larger than a kitty block, and overall I do like how it turned out. I quilted it all in one three-hour stretch, after which I realized that it was 1am, my wrists were screaming in pain, and the faint smell of burned rubber was coming from my sewing machine, but I'm happy, overall, with my quilt--just disappointed that I didn't catch fixable problems until it was too late to fix them. Which may have been related to me dead-set on finishing the quilt immediately, even if it was 1am, because my unborn baby needs an autumn wall decoration in August, logic be damned!

The GOTTA MAKE NOW quilt sitting in the first baby gift we received this weekend...little baby girl, the pain over this autumn quilt was all for you. Also, Orange Kitty literally has to stick his butt in every picture possible. 

And anyway, I rationalize that the only way to overcome my disappointment and get better at quilting is to make more quilts. So everyone wins! (except maybe my bank account...)


  1. you are too funny! Wear that first time FMQ with pride, it looks great! and my 2cents on the binding is the hand stitch it down on the backside. It really doesn't take that long and looks so good. Enjoyed reading your rants...I'll be following them! Good Luck in your last weeks of pregnancy and enjoy your quilting time! Cheers -Kelly @BlueBirdSews

  2. I haven't tried machine quilting the whole binding, though I've seen some tutorials on how. I usually just handsew the back. (Though my handsewing isn't perfect). Love the cat bits....

  3. HI, I stopped over after seeing your comment on my blog, and your blog is great! I love the quilt! Don't give up on spray works miracles. :)

  4. I'm with Ella - I usually handsew my binding because I have the SAME problem as you.. no matter how many pins, clips, etc, it still manages to miss some parts.. grr
    It really does look great though - we're always overly critical of our own work!!