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Thread: Pep-Talk, please ...

  1. #1
    Junior Member GiddyUpGo's Avatar
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    Ok so I just started quilting quilt number two, actually my first attempt at any kind of actual quilting (first was just tied). I decided to stitch in the ditch, even though some very smart people advised me against it ... I just didn't trust my ability to do long, straight lines and the idea of not having to mark anything was appealing, plus I have that handy low-speed setting so I thought I could manage. Well I quickly got tired of going slow :-( and eventually paid the price for that. Some of my quilting actually looks pretty good ... I managed to stay in the ditch or very close to it. Other parts look ... Excuse me ... Craptacular. Like seriously wonky. Can I rip those parts out and do them over or would that really mess up my quilt top and end up looking even worse? When you take a couple of steps back you can't see the wonkiness but up close it looks really bad in places. How many of you as beginners can remember feeling similar horror when quilting for the first time??

  2. #2
    Super Member cmagee84's Avatar
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    Practice makes progress!!!

    We all have to start somewhere. It sounds like you may be too critical of your own work. Most of us are!

    The best judge is using the "3 foot rule". Stand back 3 ft and if it looks good, it IS good! There is also the rule about a man on a galloping horseback, if he can't see the mistake, it is not there! :)

    Seriously, be proud of what you have accomplished! Know that each piece will show some progress and move on. Be happy you have completed your project!!!

    Post a pic so we can tell you what a good job you did!!

  3. #3
    Super Member Jennifer22206's Avatar
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    Do the galloping horse method - if you couldn't see it whole riding on a horse, it's all good! :)

    Besides - practice makes perfect!

  4. #4
    Super Member CoriAmD's Avatar
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    I think it probably looks worse to you than it would to anyone else. I know I see the flaws in my quilts but others say they look beaufitul. Try to not be so hard on yourself. Besides... not supposed to make a perfect quilt anyway... ha ha ha

  5. #5
    Junior Member cheriami's Avatar
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    Don't be so hard on yourself! I'm sure it looks fine! I think you should not rip any out and finish it and wash it. Washing wrinkle really hide a lot :-)

    I am always surprised at the things that I think are bad no one else even notices.

  6. #6
    Senior Member ncsewer's Avatar
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    I agree, it's probably fine and once it's finished and washed it will be even better.

  7. #7
    Junior Member GiddyUpGo's Avatar
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    Oh I don't know ... Now I'm kind of tempted to post a few pictures and see if you all still think it looks fine! Seriously it looks like I had one hand on my quilt and the other on a glass of whiskey! LOL!

  8. #8
    Super Member orangeroom's Avatar
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    I did have a 'problem quilt' years ago. I rented a long arm and for whatever reason the last 3-4" of the darn thing would not quilt right. I removed the thread twice! No dice. I thought poo, poo, poo! Finally I just said forget it. Clearly that area was not meant to be quilted. Although it still bothers me, that strip is still not quilted.

    If your materials are of good quality, it should be alright to remove the stitching. Just get comfy and have a new, sharp ripper.

  9. #9
    Super Member orangeroom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiddyUpGo
    Oh I don't know ... Now I'm kind of tempted to post a few pictures and see if you all still think it looks fine! Seriously it looks like I had one hand on my quilt and the other on a glass of whiskey! LOL!
    Too funny! Thanks for the laugh!

  10. #10
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    Whiskey sounds good to me. With ice please. If there are places that you think are really bad, you can take the stitching out. It's a pain but it can be done. I would wait a day or two and see how you feel about it.

  11. #11
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    You can remove a section of STD quilting quite easily. Give yourself "tails" at the end of both sections and knot and bury the thread tails. Start stitching in the same hole that you buried the thread ends and STD up to the start of the next section. You do have to be careful when you are getting close to rejoin the stitching to make sure the top or bottom haven't walked or you might get a pucker where you rejoin. So a chance of a pucker or a "kiss" as some call them or wonky STD. It's up to you.

  12. #12
    Power Poster blueangel's Avatar
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    Don't be too hard on yourself. Practice makes perfect.

  13. #13
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    As above, if it really bothers you take it out, but, if you plan on washing it after it is done, I'm guessing that will take care of anything obvious to you.

  14. #14
    QM
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    Power Poster QM's Avatar
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    IMHO SiTD is NOT the easiest kind of quilting. When I started, I was really upset with my ditching, tried free motion and found it much easier. As a teacher, I did a great deal of writing on boards, so I just extended that skill to the quilt. Many of my earlier quilts were full of various words, such as Bible quotes.

    Back to your problem. Ditching requires a machine with a very even stitch, as well as a steady hand to look good from really up close. After 443 quilts, not all of mine make that standard, which is why I continue to do more FMQ. However, the good news is that you are probably the only person who will ever give your quilt that kind of scrutiny. Others on this board refer to the 10' rule. If it looks OK from 10 feet, you probably are worrying too much.

    One of my quilts that I was very discouraged about and almost left home from a quilt show took "Best of Division". The quilt that took "Best in Show" at our most recent show was made by a friend who almost didn't enter it because she was so discouraged. We are ALL our own harshest critics, even those of us with a pile of blue ribbons.

  15. #15
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QM
    IMHO SiTD is NOT the easiest kind of quilting. When I started, I was really upset with my ditching, tried free motion and found it much easier.

    Ditching requires a machine with a very even stitch, as well as a steady hand to look good from really up close.
    Agreed! I can do much better with FMQ than SID any day of the week.

    Add to the list of things required for SID ... straight well matched seams! If your piecing is lacking (and mine is), SID only makes it worse.

    Leave it or rip it? Only you can make that choice. I recently finished quilting a landscape quilt that was all FMQ with some thread painting, very happy with the turn out, except ... the border screamed "SID" so I did. Not happy with the quilting on the border - I should have done meandering instead. Am I going to rip it out? Nope. I decided that it is what it is - glory in it's imperfections. Once I have the binding on it I'll post pics including close up's of where SID went well, and where it went horribly wrong.

  16. #16
    Power Poster dreamer2009's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiddyUpGo
    Oh I don't know ... Now I'm kind of tempted to post a few pictures and see if you all still think it looks fine! Seriously it looks like I had one hand on my quilt and the other on a glass of whiskey! LOL!
    WELL OK YOU SOLD ME...WANNA SEE THE PICS NOW :)

  17. #17
    Super Member Carron's Avatar
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    Relax and enjoy doing your quilts and in time you will be really good, don't judge yourself too hard.

  18. #18
    Super Member Monika's Avatar
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    I'm with everyone else....it is probably beautiful and you are to harsh with yourself, but I woul love to see it.

  19. #19
    Super Member MaryAnnMc's Avatar
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    OK, we're all sitting here waiting... show us the pics!!

    Seriously, tho, I'm sure it's fine. Show us the pics and we'll prove it. But i understand wanting it to be perfect. I was the same way the first time I tried piecing... oh, wait, that was the only time! Ha. I'm still working on it. :roll:

  20. #20
    Super Member Dina's Avatar
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    I would let it sit for a day or two and then make a decision. I know that we are our own worst critics, and you are falling right into that pattern....see, you are a true quilter already.

    I prefer SID when I quilt. Everything else seems to cover up my pattern. Sometimes I do a diagonal thing....maybe it is called a cross stitch. I stretch blue painter's tape from one corner to another and follow that line as I sew. That may be something you want to try? I bought a SID foot that really helps me with the SID. It follows the seam exactly. Might be worth looking into?

    At any rate, let it sit a bit. I think it will look better than you think.

  21. #21

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    Yes, you CAN rip it out. I just scrape my fingernail across the holes so that they merge into undisturbed fabric, again, before re-quilting.

    Truthfully, the only people that will notice any wonkiness... are other quilters.

    It is NOT EVEN ON THE RADAR of non-quilters. Seriously! They never even see it! It doesn't exist! They only see the overall impression of the quilt. It's ONE THING... A QUILT... it doesn't have PARTS (to them).

    I've been amazed by this fact. Of course, I'm a quilter, and it IS on MY radar. LOL!

    From Kathryn Kistner in Texas, who's now saying,
    "Please yourself... but nobody else cares."

  22. #22
    Super Member gzuslivz's Avatar
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    First of all, maybe your stitching is wonky because you are drinking whiskey while quilting! (hahaha). Second, I agree with those who said to finish it up and wash it. Third, stitch in the ditch is difficult. If your machine has the serpentine stitch, that is a really good one to use. It meanders back and forth in a wavy pattern. If you aren't super straight, it doesn't matter. I personally love it!

  23. #23
    Super Member caliquocat's Avatar
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    Like some others have mentioned, after it's washed, it will look totally different. Relax, enjoy your finished quilt & go on to #3. :-)

  24. #24
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    I'm sure your quilting looks great. Just be proud of yourself for having the courage to jump in and give the stitch-in-the-ditch a try. I'm still trying to get up the courage to do so.

  25. #25
    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    Don't worry about "long straight lines". I have been doing SITD for 6 years and my lines are still not straight!! It's all part of it being a handmade quilt. No one but a computer machine or a longarmer with a long straight edge can do a perfectly straight line.

    Just enjoy the process. Whoever gets the quilt will never look at it and say "My, but her lines are all over the place!" LOL As if!!!! :-)

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