Thursday, October 27, 2011

In which I talk about an old project because I've been way too lazy lately to make anything new

So I'm not dead, nor do I have a baby yet. I've just been exhausted--even though I work part-time, my job requires me to stand outside most of the morning chasing after preschoolers, and the standing + cold Seattle rain + being asked to tie shoes, because being 36 weeks pregnant apparently triggers the "Oh, let's ask the teacher with a belly as big as a watermelon and stinging pelvic pain to BEND DOWN and tie our shoes every five minutes!" logic in 4 year olds, has completely wiped me out this week. Usually when I stay home sick or something, I'm able to relax and use an hour or two to sew, but this week I've mostly been stuffing my face, then stuffing my face with Tums, then curling up beneath an electric blanket to "read," which tends to result in me taking several-hour naps. And the whole time, Baby Orange Kitty is happily kicking away at my ribs like she's practicing to be a jackhammer when she grows up and showing no signs of coming early. I mean, I know the longer she's in there, the better, but man, it'd be nice to finally have a baby in my arms that reassures me that all the pregnancy pains + puking + etc. weren't for nothing.

One thing I did do lately that was sewing-related was fix up a small wall hanging I'd forgotten about. Well, not really "forgotten"--it's been hanging in my bathroom, but I just kind of ignored it every time I walked in there since I wasn't happy with it. I'd made it to practice the hourglass block, and it was also the first thing I completely finished quilting and binding. So why didn't I like it?

Well, first of all, it's not terrible, considering I made this when I still barely knew anything about quilting. I liked how the design came out and considering I had no idea how to bind, the binding came out all right too.  Also, I had no walking foot--I didn't know what one was--so yes, the grid quilting was done with just a normal multipurpose foot that came with my machine, hence why it looks like I was tackling quilting after having a couple shots of bourbon. Even then, it wasn't really the wobbliness that bugged me--it was that I quilted using plain white thread and the diamonds were way too small. The quilting completely overtakes the rest of the design, in my opinion. If I had used a darker thread OR a larger grid, I would have been happier, I think. Or I could've just kicked back some more bourbon and then I REALLY wouldn't care what it looked like, but I'm thinking that's not really the best way to fix a quilting goof. A fun way, perhaps, but not the best way.

So in lieu of sewing (if someone can figure out a way to setup a sewing machine + table and supplies in bed, like a breakfast-in-bed tray but way bigger, please tell me), I decided to attempt to make this little wall hanging a little more visually attractive. I sat down with my best friend, the seam ripper, and ripped. And ripped. And thought of all the little brats at work daring to ask the pregnant lady to impossibly bend over to tie their shoes, and ripped some more.

There we go! I think if I were to redo the whole thing, I'd practice some free-motion quilting on it instead, but I think the grid quilting is large enough now that it doesn't immediately detract from the design as a whole. It's definitely not perfect but it WAS one of the first quilting projects I ever did. It's nice to compare it to more recent projects and see how I've improved over time. I'd love to see other people post about projects they completed when they first started quilting and how far they've come since then!


  1. I enjoyed the giggle! Reminded me of being in labour with my first. Theyvwanted to give me an epidural - could I please bring my knees towards my chest - um, yes by about 2" movement!,

    If the quilting lines still bug you (I like it, and now see the pinwheel, not the quilting) I confess I have been known to reach for a felt tip pen to colour in stitches that are the wrong colour!

  2. Nice fix! I think a sewing machine in bed would be excellently ridiculous.