Thursday, July 10, 2014

Knowing When To Quit

Sometimes the project you envision in your head is not the project you and your equipment end up being capable of doing at that point in time. Sadly, my current project is one of those. I finally had to admit it to myself today.

I was making this quilt with the intentions of using it as my audition for Family Ever After's Sew-Vivor contest. I'm also making it for myself, to brighten up my lounge-room and keep my legs warm while I'm relaxing. I love it to bits. I was so happy I achieved perfect points within my blocks, the back was an example of late night problem-solving, and the colours are all my favourites.

But when I started quilting it, I immediately ran into problems.
As you can see in the picture above, my excess fabric likes to creep over towards my jog-dial and it changes the stitch on me mid-quilting if I'm not paying attention to it. This happened on the first line I quilted. I should probably have taken that as a sign. :D

I stitch in the ditch with every quilt I make, no matter what type of other quilting I plan to do, but I do it with my free-motion foot as my walking foot doesn't work very reliably, so my ditching tends to get a little wobbly here and there.

Having not quilted anything else for a month or so, it took me a while to get back into the groove of free-motion ditching so the results were less than perfect, but I was still happy enough with it (but sad it had ruined my perfect points :P) and continued to quilt the rest of the quilt.
I used painters tape to mark myself straight lines because my quilting plan was to extend the lines of the block out to the edges of the quilt. I was merrily quilting my way along and had done about a third of the quilting when I turned over the quilt to bury the threads after running out of bobbin thread and was confronted with something I'd never experienced before: giant puckers and folds everywhere. And I mean giant.
This one I could live with...

...but this?!
I can't find the charger for my camera so all of these are taken with my phone. I think the bad quality is fitting for the subject. :P

I'm familiar with the little ones that can occur when you cross stitching lines and had managed to mostly escape that with my ditching in the four blocks that formed the centre of the quilt, so these giant foldy puckers out in the negative space stunned me, especially as I'd basted closer than usual because for once I had enough pins!

So this all happened two days ago but it's taken me until now to admit, that yes it is time to put this beauty away for now, until I'm capable of completing it in a way that doesn't ruin it and tear my heart out.

But it's okay because, as I mentioned earlier this week, I've put a deposit on a new machine so I'll only have to shelve this guy for a couple of weeks. The new machine is not only larger, it comes with a walking foot which will help me feed all layers of the quilt through evenly in my straight lines, and keep it looking pretty. So onto this pile with my larger quilttops that are waiting on the new machine it will go.

It's still hard to let go, but knowing when to give in and put it away for another day is something I need to learn, instead of just stubbornly pressing on and not admitting to myself that it's beyond me and my skills at the moment.


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