Don't let the difficulties of the present moments overshadow the reality of God's promises. God's promises still stand. And God's promises are stronger than our failures.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Second Worst Quilt I Ever Made

I remember well the first quilt I ever made and, at the time, I thought it was great.  I'd seen my mother and grandmothers make quilts and it seemed easy.  After all, I'd taken home ec and I'd made my own clothes for years so a quilt should be a breeze.  I bought some polyester fabrics, cut out some squares, and tried to make some sort of pattern.  I think it might have been a four patch alternated with solid colored squares but it's been years since I've seen it so I'm not sure.  That was 1995.  I bought a high loft batting and a sheet for the back and I hand quilted it.  Yes.  I.  Did.  I'd made it for a friend and since we don't live in the same town I've not seen it since.  She probably uses it for a dog bed.  I hope she does.  I think I probably used a 5/8" seam, isn't that what you were supposed to do?

Even though the quilt was double awful, as I learned later, I loved the process so I continued to teach myself by reading a few books and experimenting.  I'm still not a great piecer though I enjoy doing it.  Quarter inch straight seams elude me.  I'm very good at embroidery, and fair-to-middlin' on applique so I'm happy with that.  I rarely enter a quilt in a show though because I see every single flaw.  Every stray stitch.  Every bobble of the seam.  Every point that doesn't match.  I got better over time and I'm much more comfortable with my stitching now, primarily because I learned to ignore the quilt police who have absolutely no authority, only loud voices.

My latest quilt, though, is one of those where everything that could go wrong, did.  I fell in love with Moda's 12 Days of Christmas while I was on a mission trip last summer and bought a couple charm packs.  At the same time I saw a new-to-me way to make Pinwheels.  So I gave it a shot.  You put two squares together, sew all around the four outside edges, cut and end up with half square triangles, which you put together to make Pinwheels.  That's all well and good but here's my question.  Why do they pink the edges of the charm pack?  I couldn't decide if I should measure from the inside or the outside of the pinked edge.  Apparently I did one thing on some and another thing on others.  Or  maybe I changed midstream on one pinwheel.  Every single one of them ended up being a different size.  And then there's the ironing issue.  When I was a little girl growing up and learning to iron my mother used lots of steam and lots of pressure to get every wrinkle out.  I know better than do that when quilting but if I am in a hurry or if I'm watching television or if I'm listening to a book on tape.....well, I sort of forget.  And I iron the darn things to death, resulting in slightly crooked pinwheels, or majorly crooked ones.  Points didn't meet, points got cut off, points float, blocks weren't the same size, and the borders waved.  I gave up and quilted the darn thing.  I can't seem to make myself slow down so stitches are different lengths and there are points where there should be curves.  But when I washed and dried it I have to say it's the most beautiful quilt, even if it IS the second worst one I ever made.
It's a perfect quilt to cover up a napping child, or one that's throwing up.  It's a perfect quilt to throw over the coffee table to make a tent and a perfect one for a  long summer afternoon reading session.  Don't you just love it when you make a perfect quilt?

24 comments:

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I love the aqua/red mix - great for a fun, usuable quilt. I don't understand the pinking of charms or layers - it's suppose to prevent raveling, but I think you lose the integrity of the edge. And I lose track of which 'edge' I am sewing on.

A delightful post read.

Sandy said...

I think it looks great, Marlene! Anybody that uses it will love it.

Madame Samm said...

this is the worst one...I have to tell you I like it...I would cuddle under that....great for a summer quilt...whatyoutalkingabout lol

Michelle said...

You are way too hard on yourself. I think we are all critical of our quilts, and I l love yours!

FabricFascination said...

What a great attitude. I am often disappointed about imperfections in my work But then I think about how only God's work is perfect and I ease up on myself.

P. S. -I like that color combination.

Sincerely Mama said...

Honestly? I've never made a quilt. Yours is beautiful! Love the colors and pieces. Nice writing, too!

Lindah said...

That is a pretty quilt! I've never said this out loud before, but I think people who go around inspecting each of your stitches/matching points, etc. .... are just plain nosy. So there.

Another thing. It's hard being perfect, even for a quilt. Some quilts are quite complicated by design and execution. Some quilts are beautiful in color combo. Some quilts have interesting borders, some are quilted so elegantly. The backing and binding on some are amazing, cuddly on others. Some are exciting by design, others are calming and comforting. It would be hard to be all of those. Each one is beautiful in its own way. Just like you and me, huh!

Paula said...

Loved yr post!!! and your worst quilt turned out to be wonderful!
Love when this happennings just "happen"
xoxo

rubyslipperz said...

the WORST quilt?? nope....can't beeeleaf it! This is (sincerely) a VERY pretty quilt! I love the colors....it's VERY cheery!

hugZ,
annie
rubyslipperz106.blogspot

Pat - Arkansas said...

If that's second worse, I would love to see your best one!

From the list of it's wonderful uses, I'd say you did make a perfect quilt!

karenfae said...

it looks nice and cuddly to me! Love the colors.
Karen
http://karensquilting.com/blog/

Julie Fukuda said...

Well, you are hearing it from the experts so better stop knocking it. I have made my own share of less-than-perfect quilts. I'm always a bit astonished how forgiving fabric can be. Three years ago I made a quilt for a grandaughter that measured perfectly, points perfect, but there was so much bias piecing in the border that I was ready to quit. Luckily with a bit of pushing and pulling on the hoop, it quilted out and that little girl loves it.I wouldn't be tempted to enter it in a show, however.

Grammy Staffy said...

I love your quilt. I do think it is a perfect quilt. I really think it is pretty.
I wish that you lived close to me... for many reasons.... but one is that I need a quilting teacher. I have made several quilts for my grandchildren. I always have trouble having the points come out right....and the squares are often not the same size even though I think I sew them all exactly the same???? I need your help Marlene.
Have a great week. Hugs, Lura

Arkansas Patti said...

Pat is right. With all the wonderful uses, it is the best one.
I am not quilt savvy so as far as I am concerned, had I done that, I would be proud.

Sharon said...

Your pinwheel quilt is darling! I do understand your frustrations with that method of making pinwheels...I just cannot handle bias edges on the outer edge..my blocks come out all wonky!

Grammee Linda - Behind My Red Door said...

My one and only quilting experience sounds much like your first. I think I used it for a drop cloth!!

But your blue and red quilt looks wonderful to me! I am sure it would bless someone!!

Amy said...

I don't see any imperfections from my end! Pretty pretty pretty!!!!

Cindy said...

I know what you mean about the pinked edges on the precuts. The first time I used them I didn't know where to measure either. I know we're our best critics and I see the errors in my quilts too. The recipients never see them or don't care...something I try to keep in mind now. Wish I would have kept my first attempt. It too was with polyesters....lol.

Osage Bluff Quilter said...

Ya know I thought the same thing on the pinked edges. think of all the fabic frayed away!
My first quilt was 4 inch polyster squares. It was set together in a round the trip pattern, hand quilted, and then I tailored square corners where it fit on the bed. It was a heavy sucker to sleep under. That was 30 years ago. I don't know what happened to that quilt, but it's no longer in my possession.
Happy Sewing!

Jane's Fabrics and Quilts said...

You silly girl, I love it!!! Send it this way, I would be happy to cuddle under it! and yes I never know if I should measure from the tips on the pinks, or just what to do!!

Michelle May said...

I think you did a wonderful job and it looks so snuggly!
Of course, I'm still laughing about it being perfect for a kid throwing up!!! Oh my gosh was that funny!!!
xx, shell

Jane's Fabrics and Quilts said...

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elaine @ peace for the journey said...

The colors in this are gorgeous! Perfect napping quilt.

You're so gifted, whether you recognize it or not. Your imperfections look perfect to me. Have a blessed rest beneath this one this weekend.

peace~elaine

gene said...

I avoid precision problems by paper piecing,love it,like doing a puzzle...all the points are perfect