March 18, 2014
When we moved into our new house, the girls were given the opportunity to decorate their rooms however they wanted. Along with cans of paint, came the offer of a new quilt from mom. Of course, that was accepted full on and fabric was purchased right away. I have since been pondering and considering nearly every pattern that has crossed my path, but none jumped out at me. Honestly, the fabric would still be sitting in the basket if K hadn't stated how much she loved a quilt that was recently on display at Mary Jo's Cloth Store. I, of course, decided I would make it for her. This was the first mistake.
I started out as a quilter about 10 years ago, I have since made dozens of quilts, often a few each year. They are spread across the country given to loved ones near and far. As of late, the last year or so, I have set quilting aside so that I could focus on bag making, learning embroidery, and getting my business going. That would be all fine and well, if I hadn't decided to pick back up quilting, with a less than easy pattern. I am not saying I haven't made challenging quilts in the past, I have, a number of them...but for whatever reason, I was not ready for this challenge.
Last week Thursday I spent 3 hours pressing and cutting the assigned pre-class work. I headed to bed very late, exhausted, and excited for the big class. Upon arrival, we sorted our fabrics, and were assigned to cutting, again. Fast forward another 2 hours (my neck and shoulder are currently reminding me why I chose to make bags, verse cutting hours of fabric for a quilt), my cutting is done, finally.
We then began to lay out the pieces to make sure that the colors would flow how we wanted them to and make a nice cohesive design, it was then I learned I unfolded one fabric that needed to be folded when cut, so I must return to cutting...thankfully it was only 20 more pieces. We now had piles of trapezoids, parallelograms, and rectangles awaiting sewing. Yes, only quilters take perfectly good fabric, cut it up and make something better! I began matching seams, and sewing. I was using a scant 1/4 inch, as always...only to learn that this quilt required precise 1/4 inch...seam ripper!! I continued to stitch, only to find my pieces were not matching up nicely. Not.even.one. I was unhappy, in fact, I was devastated. Here I am, a long time quilter, an every day sewist, that can't even make two quilt squares go together. I cried. Yes, right in the middle of class, I cried. I felt so very defeated, and upset with myself. How on earth can I make and sell or gift my creations when I can't even successfully complete a new pattern??!!
It was then that my friend and teacher A sat down with me, and stated that the tension on my machine was off - so, it isn't my fault after all - but sadly, I felt no relief. I packed up my belongings and left. (Don't worry class was all but over.) On the way home I stopped at the sewing machine store, explained my tension issue and was quickly told that I needed to select a different pre-set for quilting. Duh. I shook my head. I hadn't really thought about that, I always am sewing with layers and interfacings, etc. I can't recall the last time I sewed two pieces of cotton together, with no additions. Of course one would need to adjust the tension for that! Geez.
As I sit here now and reflect upon it all, I can't help but be embarrassed. I sure didn't mean to be so frustrated, nor so clueless with my own machine. That is crazy. I have sewn since, but I have not yet re-visited the quilt. I guess I should sign off and get working on that...after all I have 15 blocks due before my next class on Friday!
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