know when to fold them

This is what I’ve got for red for Saturday’s colorweek entry – a quilting project gone awry.

gah, even the photos are bad. (more here and here) I had plans to write the big long saga of this quilt but I’ve decided to cut my losses with the entire thing and I think that includes blogging time. How about the whole story in one big long run-on sentence? Make sure that when you think you’re clever and can get all Gee’s Bend with the ubiquitous red shirt section of the thrift store that one, you buy enough shirts because otherwise you’ll run out and end up with half the front pieced with red gingham sheet you’d picked up for the backing and two, you have a single big enough piece of batting so you’re not basting overlapping bits and pieces of batting so they don’t slide right out of your pillowcase binding and three, you don’t try to combat the ‘I wanted to make something beautiful out of thrift and all I did was make something that looks like it should be discarded at the thriftstore’ effect by attempting a very cool skinny stripe machine quilting because if you have a sloshy, ill made pillowcased quilt it will pucker and gather and end up a discarded ball of effort on your craft room floor. I am not discouraged though. Next time I’m at the thrift shop I’m going to hit the green shirt section and give it another shot!

21 thoughts on “know when to fold them

  1. Sarah says:

    It’s a really great idea for a quilt though! I think the Gee’s Bend ladies are masters at disguising their quilts as simple pieces when really, they’re some of the most complex quilts I’ve ever seen.

  2. harmony says:

    next time you begin quilting it’s always good to start your quilting at the center of a quilt and go from the center to the edges. This way you can smooth the quilt out as you go and eliminate as much of the bunching as possible. Just a helpful hint if you didn’t already know and I fill my quilts full of pins or safety pins before hand so that I know for sure it won’t be sliding around on me. I must say though that it is a beautiful quilt regardless and the gingham doesn’t take anything away from the quilt (using what you have is great)!

  3. Mimulus says:

    THis is wierd synchronicity Hillary, I just finished posting about reusing fabric for quilts in sustainable sunday ..and I also had bad puckering juju when I machine quilted. I think handbasting/pinning would have helped alot, I also had an old sewing machine sans quilting foot at the time. Don’t give up..I think this is a beautiful blanket and there are lots of gret reasons for reusing old clothes this way.

  4. manda says:

    I hear ya Hillary, I hear ya!
    Although, quilting from the centre outwards (as Harmony says) was the best thing I learnt when I started quilting, it made a massive difference.

  5. Heidi says:

    Bummer that it didn’t work out the way you had envisioned; that’s always disappointing and maddening! Oh well, I guess it can be chalked up to one of those ‘learning experiences’ right? 😉 Can’t wait to see the new-and-improved green version!

  6. lisa says:

    oh, the trials of machine quilting. my first machine quilt that i made for amanda’s adelaide didn’t look too different than that. but i gave it to her anyway. ha!

  7. Pink Rocket says:

    I have a quilt for my niece that I started that looks very simular…there’s so much puckering that I stashed it away under my craft table; it’s that bad. I tried everything, all the tricks, and it still looks like that!

  8. molly says:

    whenever I make something that has some “issues” like your quilt seems to have, my’ husband always says ‘at least we know its not made by a machine’…so, i say keep going with it. i’d still be proud to own it…and I think those Gee’s Bend ladies would still find some use for it…
    and i think the fact that you’re going to give it another go with the green is a good sign that this was a mistake worth making!!

  9. pattm says:

    A walking/even feed foot would probably help, as would quilting from the center to the edges. I’ve made that error plenty of times. I love the gigham and solid red! So happy!

  10. Tami says:

    I think the colors and pattern are great! For the quilting, lots of other ladies have already mentioned the three things that would make a big difference: pinning, quilting from center out, and the walking foot. The walking foot is by far the absolute best sewing machine attachment .. it’s also great for matching plaids and stripes. I wouldn’t trash this, just keep it in the closet until you want to get back to it and see what you can do with it then. Looking forward to the green shirt quilt. Cheers!

  11. Dawn says:

    I can relate to the frustration with projects that just.don’t.make.it…..I have several in my mind that sort of haunt me..because I hate wasting my money and hate it when the idea in my head doesn’t work out. But one learns from those projects….

  12. Daphne says:

    Ah, thanks for posting this! Having seen your gorgeous quilts so far, this is really instructional. First, that you can be really really good at this, and still make something puckery and weird and have to start over/start something new. Second, all the helpful advice in the comments is surely more helpful to me as a novice than to you. 🙂

  13. sharonb says:

    if you ever have to join batting – but the edges together and use herringbone stitch to hold them – pinning, quilting from middle out, and the walking foot are all good tips –

  14. Becky says:

    Just a suggestion, but can you artfully trim the puckered edge off and start over with the quilting using the suggestions in the other comments? The quilt would end up smaller but that might be ok for a smaller bed, an afghan, a child quilt, or whatever.

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