Monday, April 02, 2012

Never Again

Never again. I mean it this time. I have been good on my last couple of quilts about choosing a mottled or sort of busy print for the backing, but I got stupid this time. Never again. This quilt has a tan batik backing, despite my knowing that I was planning to use some colored threads. I always love seeing other people's quilts that have colored stitching showing. Why on earth did I think that I needed to be that crazy?

You see, it all started so well. I spent nearly 10 hours ditch quilting this with monolon. The tension was near perfect. My stitching was as good as I could have asked for. Then I switched to a cream colored Glide, and began the larger motifs -- the feather sprays and the cross-hatching at the quilt's center.
Seriously, in 12 hours of quilting, I only had one area that I knew I planned to rip out and "fix". It was going as well as could be expected, considering it is an 80" square quilt.

Then things started to unravel. Last night, I decided to do some of the ivory dense background filler. There was no change of thread or bobbin, or anything that should make the tension go whacky. I stitched 4-5 sections of the ivory background, then had a look to find that the last one really needed an adjustment. It didn't look good on the back. Sadly, looking really good on the front left me just feeling frustrated. This is about the densest filler I have ever stitched. It will likely take 3 hours to remove that 6" triangle, it is THAT dense.

I was upset last night, but trying to formulate a plan of attack for today. Clearly my plan of attack consisted of more foolishness and time-wasting efforts. Right off, at 6am I started on the squares on poing along that dark plum border. This is stitched with a cranberry thread. I rechecked the tension and went at it. As you can see, it really looks pretty good. On the front, anyways. Once again, my bubble was burst with a sledgehammer. The backside to my surprise, had a ton of little ticks showing. UGGGHHH! The straight line work looked really good, but the filler is where it all fell apart. For some reason, the Glide thread needs the bobbin tension to be freakishly loose. As much as I hate it, I will probably rip it all out and restitch it, and not in the cranberry thread as I want. I will choose a thread that will blend with the quilt's backing, should the tension wobble again.

Then there was the call from my son at 1:30. He (cough, cough) thought he was not feeling well, and needed to be picked up. Well, he's just fine, and I needed that extra hour to get myself unwound and productive again. I am frazzled right now. I have nearly 2 weeks this month that I won't get much quilting at all done, and this quilt is supposed to be done, blocked and bound for a show mid-July. The thoughts of pulling it out are seriously crossing my mind. I don't want it to come to that.


After we got back home, I resolved that I have the ability to use shades of thread from white to cream to light gold, none of which need a highly contrasting bobbin. The back will still show the quilting, it just won't show the stitching in color. Downside: I cannot match colors to the front unless they fall into those shades. So, I quilted the gray background of one of these large star corners, using a Khaki (really looks like shiny gold) thread. I think it looks pretty good, though I now have to outline the blocks with this khaki thread to clean up where all the "bananas" meet the edges.


Another look...

I hate spending 125 hours hand appliqueing a quilt top only to have to make sacrifices on the quilting that were not in my initial plan. It just makes me neurotic!@

7 comments:

Vicki W said...

I know it's frustrating but the quilt is looking good with the adjustments you are making. You will get it, I know because you are that good! Deep breath.

LynCC said...

How frustrating :( It's such a gorgeous work in progress, though.

Rhonda said...

Oh dear. Your quilting is awesome from what I can see but I know of your frustration when things don't go as you've planned. My fingers are crossed that the quilting will go better for you.
Take care.

Cathy H said...

Looking forward to see the quilt finished......the snippets that you showed in this post look great.....the quilting is beautiful.....

Michelle said...

that sounds so very frustrating Margaret. I feel for you and your 'frogging' efforts.

Furball Farm Quilting said...

I spend just as much time unpicking my work, as I do to the quilting. It's worth it in the end, I couldn't bear the thought of seeing my work, with all those pokies showing through. It's amazing how much time we spend on tension issues isn't it? The quilting is looking amazing, it'll be worth all the frustration when it's finished.

Pat said...

But your quilting is gorgeous!