A few weeks ago I got a new bed. I am so happy about this bed. It's everything that I wanted--it's aqua, it's metal, and it looks like it could be in a country farmhouse. I became very enthusiastic about making a quilt for it because our current bedding is awful. My husband doesn't like duvet covers because they get all bunched up, so we were using a "naked" duvet. Not to mention, we have a random assortment of other blankets because we still have kids who like to crawl into the bed with us in the middle of the night and steal all the covers.
So finally, I was going to make my bed look pretty. I wasn't too worried about making a queen size because I recently just made two twin sized quilts, and they turned out okay, but I really had no idea what I was getting myself into. I made 56 - 12" blocks from Camille Roskelley's "Retro" pattern from her book. Piecing it was easy, but I was so excited to see a finished project that it felt like it was never going to end. Eventually, though, the top was together and all I had to do was baste and quilt it.
I'm not a great baster, but I moved all the furniture out of the living room, and after a couple of hours it was done and I thought I did okay--it looked flat!!! That was last Saturday.
I started quilting it immediately, and decided to do a large stipple design. I didn't want it too heavily quilted since we would be sleeping under it, and I wanted something I could finish fast. Big mistake. I got about 1/4 of the way done, and didn't like my stippling AT ALL! Maybe I was going a little crazy, but I started seeing too many strange designs in the shapes (like when you look at clouds)--dinosaurs, dragons, turtles and ducks. I started to get mad at myself for choosing to do a stipple, but there was no way that I was ripping out quilting on a queen size that was 1/4 of the way finished.
By Tuesday it was 1/2 finished and was starting to really lose it. There's only about 6 inches of throat space on my sewing machine, and even rolled up the quilt was way too big to be trying free-motion. It wasn't as flat as I hoped, the backing was bunching up in some places, and I started to see even more crazy images in the design. At that point I decided I WAS going to rip out all the quilting and do something completely different. So, like mad-woman, I just started doing swirls, didn't like it, and then I started making dogwoods -- which I loved the most--and decided to finish it in dogwoods. Later, I would rip out all the other stitching I didn't like. I went to bed after a couple of rows and was feeling half-way content.
But I woke up on Wednesday morning, realized what I'd done, and started crying. I cried most of the day at work (when no one was looking) and by the time I started to get over it, I got home and took one look at it, and the tears started again. There was no way I was going to be able to take out all the stippling, and I loved the dogwoods, and I was just so angry that I hadn't thought about that first. Blinded my own tears, I started stippling again...I had no plan, but I just wanted to finish it and get it out of my life. Maybe someone could cut it up into rags and use it to wash their car or something. And just as I was being the most negative, I started quilting over a bulky seam, so I shoved the quilt to get it over the seam. Then, my index finger went under the needle, and the needle went straight through my nail and came out the other side of my finger!!!! My husband was in the shower and the only person around was my 4-year old, and I didn't want to freak him out so I just gritted my teeth and turned the knob-thing that raises the needle, until my finger was free again. I knew I had to stop sewing and get it together.
I put a band-aid over my finger, sat down at the computer and googled "quilting disasters". I came across Leah Day's story of her "Duchess Quilt". The poor girl had scorched and stained her award winning quilt that she had spent 300 hours making, and watched as it eventually disintegrated on her walls. Although it was the most awful story, it made me realize that I really didn't have it that bad. It could've been way worse, and the quilt was just going to go on my bed--not in a museum.
So the next day, I finished the stippling, left the dogwoods, and even added a few more dogwoods randomly on the quilt. After I put on the binding, I can say I'm mostly happy...it's not perfect but I think I'm okay with it now.
So the moral of the story is--take your time, know your limits, keep your fingers away from the needle of the sewing machine, and stay calm because it could be way worse.
Sorry about the long post, so thank you for reading. The the rest of the weekend I'll be making some new pillowcases, and I hope you are getting time to make something too:)