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Moan, groan, why did I ever say I'd do this?

Moan, groan, why did I ever say I'd do this?

Old 09-02-2014, 01:52 PM
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Default Moan, groan, why did I ever say I'd do this?

My guild asked me to quilt a raffle quilt. I had huge misgivings, didn't really want to do it, but grudgingly said ok.

It's 80 X 96 - biggest quilt I've ever done on my quilting set up.

Things I have learned from this quilt:

1) If your gut says 'don't do it", don't do it.

2) Never use dark thread on a light backing or light thread on a light backing if you make mistakes. I make mistakes.

3) Do NOT try a new pattern on a large quilt. If it has problems, you have problems. It has problems, so I have problems.

4) The first three rows were a nightmare, and had to be ripped out. Did I mention that the quilt is 80 inches wide and the row is 8 inches long? At a rip-out speed of about 4 hours per row, that's 12 hours! See number 3.

I finally figured out that at least part of the problem was the new bobbin case I was using. I had used it before on another quilt with NO problems.

I put the first three rows back in. They looked great from the top, and I was checking the bottom as I went. I thought I was finally rolling on this quilt! However, row two was partially wrecked when the take up pole let loose one ratchet. That made the quilting wonky/off by about .5 inches in one spot. I have tried to line the quilting back up and do over that section with absolutely no luck. See number 2.

I have three choices: Live with it, rip it out or take it to guild to see if they want to either hand quilt that little bit or rip the entire row out themselves. The mistakes really show.

Row three has a similar problem. Same choices.

5) The last row - I've taken it out once already (4 hours!!!), and it should probably be taken out again. The machine appears to be sewing on a downward slant. I consulted with DH about it and he said the quilt had to be slightly 'cocked' because everything else looked good. And it did. Not a lot that I can do about the quilt being 'cocked' at the last row. And why didn't it show up before?

Well, on the last stitches of the second iteration of the last row, I figured out why the quilt LOOKED 'cocked'. The quilt rolled around the take up roller was much puffier (looser) at the start of the row than at the end of the row. So from where I placed the needle, the start of the row was literally higher than the end of the row, thus causing the look of downward quilting.

6) I hate this quilt. I hate the quilting pattern. I hate the thread (top and bottom). I still like the guild, but that could change.

7) I will never do this again. It's too much like work.
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Old 09-02-2014, 02:02 PM
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Oh wow, I'm so sorry you're going through this ordeal! How I feel your pain, although for a different project. But when things go badly on something you didn't want to do in the first place, it really stinks. I don't have any advice, just (((hugs))). Hope things start to look up. Gina
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Old 09-02-2014, 02:09 PM
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That really did not go well.

Almost bad enoigh to make a preacher swear.
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Old 09-02-2014, 02:12 PM
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So sorry for your frustrations! Would a couple of drinks help???
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Old 09-02-2014, 02:13 PM
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Oh, I feel your pain! I spent the day quilting a Community Quilt. What problems I had! The back is too short the batting is too short, the binding fabric isn't enough. But after a day, I got it done. It only reminds me of an expression I have heard all my life, "No good deed goes unpunished. But do it anyway."
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Old 09-02-2014, 02:23 PM
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Oh Cathy, I feel your pain. It has never happened to me with a quilt )YET!) but definitely with a cake -- and more than once. Ya know how you an just feel it in your bones when you give the "yes." Then things begin to happen. It's almost like Murphy's Law. I've made wedding cakes for children of friends when l half-way offered and half-way agreed to do it at no-cost labor!! Things never seemed to go right. Many mishaps along the way. Was so afraid to deliver for fear of DROPPING IT. So yes, I feel your pain. I have since learned -- no freebies.
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Old 09-02-2014, 02:31 PM
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​If anything can go wrong on a quilt, it will go wrong on one for someone else. Sorry you are trapped in a quilting nightmare!
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Old 09-02-2014, 02:44 PM
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Oh, I am so sorry for you!!! (And thanks for the reminder to follow my gut on this type of thing.)
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Old 09-02-2014, 04:22 PM
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So sorry! The only positive thing is that your guild thinks highly enough of your work to ask you do quilt the raffle quilt. Perhaps it isn't as bad as you think it is?
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Old 09-03-2014, 10:41 AM
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With the space of a night to get over all my horrible mistakes, the back really didn't look bad except for the two glaring mistakes.

Handed the quilt off to the guild today. They were far less critical of the quilting than I am. One of the ladies, who I know does terrific work, said, "I'd just leave it like it is." I couldn't believe my own ears.

One of the other ladies really saw my distress and said, "We can fix that and it'll look fine." Poor thing didn't understand that she was 'we' and she had volunteered! So I handed her the thread that I brought with me and she started picking the bad stuff out - not entire rows which is what I thought it needed.

So I still like my guild. And hate the quilt.

Thank you all for your sympathy. It helped.
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