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Thread: Help me decide..I'm thinking "into the rubbish bin"

  1. #1
    Senior Member ruby2shoes's Avatar
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    Help me decide..I'm thinking "into the rubbish bin"

    For the first time ever I am considering throwing out a quilt. My intentions with my 78" x 78" Jacobs Ladder quilt was to quilt it in a diagonal grid all over. I am only about 1/3 of the way doing my first direction diagonals and I am having serious thoughts about continuing. I am getting quite a lot of "pull and poof" in the fabric between my stitching lines and frankly, it's looking ghastly and there is no way I can even contemplate pulling out all my stitching, re-basting and starting all over. I initially tried doing vertical columns but they too ended up with "sagging".
    I was so careful with my pin basting....over 600 safety pins and 2 split fingers says I'm a little hero in that department! I have my quilt well supported with tables behind and to the left of my machine which is sunken flush into the table and I am mindful not to sew too fast with the walking foot.
    (1)Is this worth persisting with or should I just write it off and move on?
    (2) Once I do the diagonal stitching in the opposite direction is this likely to straighten out my sags?
    (3) Would I be better off to not do diagonal griding but instead just continue with this one direction of stitching and then matchstick the columns?
    (4) Do I make the trip to the rubbish bin with it? Apart from a heck of a lot of time invested this quilt was not a particularly expensive investment.....blacks were all made with scraps from my stash ad therein lies the problem perhaps...a lot of different, and possibly inferior quality fabrics have gone into the blocks....? distortion/bias problems.

    I'm really looking for some guidance on this one..never had this sort of problem before and don't want to persevere for another week or so if I'm only heading for disappointment. I don't mind a bit of "sag" here and there in my quilts but this is pretty much all over my columns even though the photos don't show it.
    Attached Images Attached Images

    Last edited by ruby2shoes; 04-27-2018 at 10:29 PM.

  2. #2
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    No quilt deserves to be trashed! At the very least, store it with your UFOs in the back of the closet for a while. I'm sure you will get some wonderful suggestions on how to fix it here. It's 2:30 AM here right now, but in a few hours, folks will wake up and there will be tons of help going your way. For now, take a deep breath and have a cup of coffee. BTW, it really is a beautiful quilt.

  3. #3
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    To my very inexperienced eyes you quilting looks fine!

    I think you should finish the quilt and if you are still not happy with it - give to someone who will love it.

  4. #4
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    Have you considered trying glue basting? There will be no movement in your fabric while quilting. Yes, you would need to rip what you’ve quilted thus far, but I think you’ll be happy with the end result.

  5. #5
    Super Member mermaid's Avatar
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    Jacob's Ladder is my very favorite pattern. It would break my heart if you tossed it in trash can. I sleep under a J.L. every night--even with AC. Surely it will please you after being washed! Laundering can change the quilting look.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mermaid View Post
    Jacob's Ladder is my very favorite pattern. It would break my heart if you tossed it in trash can. I sleep under a J.L. every night--even with AC. Surely it will please you after being washed! Laundering can change the quilting look.
    Agree wirh this. I made 2 quilts from JL. I love the look of this pattern. I bet it looks a lot better once it's finished and washed and dried. If you are still displeased, give it to a charity. I know the final decision is yours but I would suggest you finish it.
    Always be kind.

  7. #7
    Senior Member ruby2shoes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marjben View Post
    Have you considered trying glue basting? There will be no movement in your fabric while quilting. Yes, you would need to rip what you’ve quilted thus far, but I think you’ll be happy with the end result.
    Yes, I have tried glue basting on other quilts (including 505) numerous times but find that it doesn't stick very well with the wool/poly batting I use. And no, ripping out stitching is not an option. What I am trying to work out is whether I can minimise my problem by choosing either to matchstick, or to grid the quilt. If neither option will help then I may bin it as I'm losing interest in investing much more time on it.

  8. #8
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    It looks like a lovely quilt so I would definitely not be taking it to the garbage bin.
    Is it possible that what you are seeing is some stretch along the diagonal from handling the fabric? If so you might try laying it out flat and giving it a bit of a steam press. I have noticed that diagonally stretch fabric sort of shrinks back to shape when it gets steamed.

  9. #9
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    Part of the problem might be you are going all in one direction. Try alternating the direction one row in one direction, next row in opposite direction so you create a grid instead of just rows.
    It truely looks ok - don’t toss it.
    Once it is all quilted and laundered you probably won’t be able to tell there was an issue, everything will look great.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  10. #10
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    I think if you do the diagonal stitching to complete the grid it will be fine. I machine quilt a lot ( both long arm and domestic machine) and it sounds like you've chosen wool/polyester batting. Laundering may not make that much of a difference depending upon how much polyester is in your batting. I know exactly what you mean about not being able to even contemplate pulling out stitches: I've got one UFO to prove it!! Good luck and let us know how it works out.

  11. #11
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    I have found that channel quilting does that. By alternating directions of quilting helps plus if you really don't like it cross hatch it and go the other way. I have only channeled two quilts. It seems to take forever. Quilts don't have to be quilted to death to work. I bet it will look fine once it is done. You don't mention sewing down folds so I believe it is working. It just doesn't look like it right now. Take a break, finish it and you may be surprised.

  12. #12
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    I'm looking really hard and don't see much 'pull & poof'. If you want to quilt a cross hatch pattern, you will probably get the best results by quilting each section in alternating directions. So you would quilt a row from the NW (north west) to the SE then the next row would be from the SW to the NE. I would also start with the center most row, then the next rows out, each time alternating sides.
    I also agree with the posters that once it's washed it will look better. If nothing else, it looks like a beautiful top, finish it & donate it if you still don't like it.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaperPrincess View Post
    I'm looking really hard and don't see much 'pull & poof'. If you want to quilt a cross hatch pattern, you will probably get the best results by quilting each section in alternating directions. So you would quilt a row from the NW (north west) to the SE then the next row would be from the SW to the NE. I would also start with the center most row, then the next rows out, each time alternating sides.
    I also agree with the posters that once it's washed it will look better. If nothing else, it looks like a beautiful top, finish it & donate it if you still don't like it.
    I agree, I can't see a very big problem. As we have stated on her many times, we are our own worst critics. Take a break, finish it and donate it. Someone will love it because it is lovely.

  14. #14
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    Please, please, please don't throw it out. It looks like a beautiful quilt and the quilting looks good. I don't quilt my own quilts but I am sure your quilt be fine with just the diagonal lines. Maybe if you just take a deep breath put the quilt away for some time and work on another project then pull your JL out and start again it will look a little better in your eyes. Even if you finish it and don't like it, I am sure there is a charity or someone you can give it to and the quilt will be loved and treasured. Good luck on your decision.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Chester the bunny's Avatar
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    You didn't mention if you were using a walking foot but that might help a little, along with a longer stitch.
    The quilt is beautiful and a few puckers never interfered with the warmth of a quilt )
    Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little.
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    By no means should you trash it nor rip out stitching. Chalk it up to experience and learning. Finish it, wash and dry it and several years down the road it will bring a smile to your face. The process of quilting is a journey of learning and growing and these so called mistakes serve as reminders of where we have been and where we are going. We live in an age of complete "perfection" and it is a trap. The history of "blanket" making was never intended to be a journey of "perfection" it was a necessity to use up and wear out. Only modern times has changed this perspective of "blanket" making into a chore that requires "perfection". MHO and I will will step off the bandbox now, lol.

  17. #17
    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    I do a lot of cross hatch quilting and the little poof you are seeing is fine. After the first washing it will relax. For the flat as paper look, the top needs to be backed with fusible so the fabric will not stretch at all. I learn this from several show quilt makers.
    I have thrown out quilts that didn't work out before, never thought to feel bad about it.
    I believe giving what I can will never cause me to be in need.
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  18. #18
    Super Member IrishNY's Avatar
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    I think it looks terrific. Even if you finish and donate it, someone will love sleeping under it. Once you're finished, it may be you! Don't give up.
    I'd rather be at the lake

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  19. #19
    DJ
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    So sorry you are disappointed in the quilting. It actually looks great to me. You don't say that you're getting puckers. If it's pulling in one direction, as mentioned before, you may need to quilt different directions.

  20. #20
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    Send it to me and I'll finish it.

    Seriously, I would finish it. It can be your "picnic" quilt. The quilt you use for picnics, sitting in the garden on a cool evening, taking to a concert, letting kids build a fort outdoors - you get the idea. It can be a utilitarian quilt instead of a show quilt.

    I have one. I bought the top in an online estate sale. It's mostly red, with some white and navy. It was not a perfect top. I ripped, re-sewed, and ripped again. After all the frustration and the inability to make it "perfect", I still liked it. So, I just christened it as my "picnic" quilt. It was my first attempt at quilting on my home machine. I'm happy with it. I like it. I used it a couple of days ago when DH and I were outside enjoying the evening.

    So, my suggestion is to finish it and re-purpose it.

    bkay

  21. #21
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    No way would I trash all that beautiful work. You say the quilt is well supported by tables. My husband put together several pvc stands for our group of donation quilters. The stands are a take-off on the Jenoops design, and I find that clipping to the flexible elastic straps holds the bulk slightly above the table and helps so much when I am sewing on the binding.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Three Dog Night's Avatar
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    I agree with others that I would not trash this quilt. I see nothing wrong with your quilting and as others have said finish and either use it as a car/garden/picnic quilt or donate it (it will be well loved). I am in the process of quilting a top and I began in the center and worked my way to the edges and alternated direction of stitching with each section of blocks so that may work for you. In the end I would finish the quilt and then wash and see if it a keeper or a donation.

  23. #23
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    As far as I can tell, the quilting looks fine (and I am infamous for "telling it like it is")

    There is a certain amount of pouf always caused by when the batting gets squished by the stitching.

    If you don't have pleats on the back - I think you are good to continue.

    You might consider putting it aside for a few days, though - and work on something that seems to be going better for a while.

  24. #24
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    I think it would be a shame to throw this away. On the other hand, I don't know what sense it makes to put more of your precious time and energy into something you'll ultimately be unhappy with. I think there's a chance you might feel differently when it's done, so I would say, continue with it. It does look perfectly fine in the photos. Please don't throw it away, though. If you decide not to continue with it, donate it to a guild for completion or salvage.
    Lisa

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruby2shoes View Post
    For the first time ever I am considering throwing out a quilt. My intentions with my 78" x 78" Jacobs Ladder quilt was to quilt it in a diagonal grid all over. I am only about 1/3 of the way doing my first direction diagonals and I am having serious thoughts about continuing. I am getting quite a lot of "pull and poof" in the fabric between my stitching lines and frankly, it's looking ghastly and there is no way I can even contemplate pulling out all my stitching, re-basting and starting all over. I initially tried doing vertical columns but they too ended up with "sagging".
    I was so careful with my pin basting....over 600 safety pins and 2 split fingers says I'm a little hero in that department! I have my quilt well supported with tables behind and to the left of my machine which is sunken flush into the table and I am mindful not to sew too fast with the walking foot.
    (1)Is this worth persisting with or should I just write it off and move on?
    (2) Once I do the diagonal stitching in the opposite direction is this likely to straighten out my sags?
    (3) Would I be better off to not do diagonal griding but instead just continue with this one direction of stitching and then matchstick the columns?
    (4) Do I make the trip to the rubbish bin with it? Apart from a heck of a lot of time invested this quilt was not a particularly expensive investment.....blacks were all made with scraps from my stash ad therein lies the problem perhaps...a lot of different, and possibly inferior quality fabrics have gone into the blocks....? distortion/bias problems.

    I'm really looking for some guidance on this one..never had this sort of problem before and don't want to persevere for another week or so if I'm only heading for disappointment. I don't mind a bit of "sag" here and there in my quilts but this is pretty much all over my columns even though the photos don't show it.
    I have only done one JL
    , didn't care for my quilting but finished it anyway. Didn't think it was good enough to donate so it sat at the bottom of my pile. Sis ( a quilter) saw the color and pulled it out and asked for it. She thought it was beautiful. So continue on with your quilt, to me it looks great.
    True4uca

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