Friday, March 28, 2008

Quilting for Others (also known as self inflicted agony)

I finally finished quilting Winnie the Pooh for my friend last night and I'm going to bind it and get it out of the house this weekend. It turned out nice but it was such a pain to piece that I'll be glad to see it go. I'll post a picture of it once it's bound.

The pictures are of a charity quilt I started over two months ago. The guild I joined this year has a group called Helping Hands that makes quilts for a local women's shellter, so I volunteered to quilt one of the tops because a) I have a HQ16 quilting machine so it wouldn't take long (yeah, right...) b) I need the practice and c) since my kids are all in high school now, I haven't been doing any volunteer work for the school (I used to do a lot when they were in elementary school, so I have more spare time now).

Well, that'll teach me. First, the borders on the top are really wavy, so when I tried to quilt it using a panto, it puckered like crazy. Plus, the batting they gave me was a high loft poly that made it way too 'pouffy' (with more puckers) and finally, the fabric for the back had some time type of coating on it that my quilting machine just hated.. it screwed up the tension royally. I kept fiddling with the tension and nothing helped. So, after getting 3/4 of the way through the quilt I decided there was NO WAY I was handing back a quilt that looked THAT BAD.

So..... I ripped it all out... It took me over 6 hours (sigh).... (DH was laughing his fool head off the whole time, of course) and I started all over with my own backing and my own batting. It looks much better. To make up for the wavy borders (I should have taken them off and redid them but I couldn't even LOOK at my seam ripper anymore) I am doing McTavishing in the sashing and border (the heavier I quilt it, the less waviness). Not finished yet: I ran out of thread! ARRGHH! And of course I had ordered it over the internet so I had to wait almost two weeks for more thread! I am putting the quilt back on the frame this weekend and am finally going to finish it.

The point to this long winded whine is that things never seem to go well when I do quilts for other people. Probably because I'm too picky when it's not for me. I think I need to take a break and stick to stuff that's for me for a while. (We'll see how long that lasts, I'm NOT very good at saying No).

On a lighter note, my son and I are going fabric shopping this weekend because he wants a quilt for his bed (wait a minute, I just said... oh, he doesn't count as 'other people' ha ha) and he's been asking for one for two years now. We just couldn't agree on a pattern or fabric.
Son: " I want a quilt, it has to be blue only, NO flowers and just plain squares ..."
Mom: "these are tiny flowers, you won't even notice ..."
Son: 'NO flowers"
Mom: "these stars would like nice done in blue"
Son: "ONLY squares"
Mom: "Good luck with that..."

Took us two years but we compromised: a quilt based on the combination of the Canadian flag and the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team (he's a boy...what can I say).


Moneik said...

I'm sure quilting for others is challenging. I'm sure they appreciate you doing the charity quilt though. Have fun picking out fabric with your son.

Kristie said...

Just stopping by for the first time and I LOVE your blog! Your quilts are wonderful! Have fun shopping with your son!

Hazel said...

I'm sure they are grateful for the charity quilts you do .Its a nice feeling to help others .Enjoy shopping with your son .