So this was a way to kill two birds with one stone (Two Ravens with one stone???). First I needed to get some practice time on the Handi Quilter, and second, hubby asked me to make him a quilt using the luscious Nevermore fabric Collection by Micheal Miller over at Fabric.com. Being a huge Edgar Allen Poe fan, this fabric spoke to him on several levels.
I was lusting after some quilts by famous quilters when I chose the quilting patterns for this quilt. The border is overly complicated and completely lost on the busy background. I was warned that this fabric wouldn’t be good for quilting, but did I listen? Nope! In the middle I chose to do a “quill” pantograph, which I just kind of made up, drew on a piece of construction paper, and then referred to periodically as I went. In the corner blocks I decided to do cute little pumpkins, which you can barely see:
Above is hubby holding the quilt (sideways) before throwing it in the wash. Here are the problems with this quilt:
- The fabric design is too busy for anything other than a simple pantograph or stippling.
- The backing and the top were identical dimensions, which leads to the “phone book effect” when the quilt is rolled up on the take up pole. I compensated for this by trimming the top several inches off the bottom edge, making the top border and bottom border uneven. Really this should count as two problems! The backing should be 3 inches larger in all directions.
- The tension was off the WHOLE TIME I was quilting and I didn’t realize it because I wasn’t checking. The eyelashes on the back are TERRIBLE. I’m ashamed to look at the back. Frequently check your bobbin thread to confirm stitches look the same on the top and bottom. Use scraps on the sides to test stitches after changing bobbins.
- There are wrinkles in the backing. Apparently I didn’t load it well, or something. Take care in loading, always check for wrinkles, and learn from my mistakes!
- Don’t jump into complex quilting designs just because the experts on youtube make it look so darn easy. They practice for hours, sometimes daily (apparently they don’t work full-time outside of the house!).
- Practice! Practice! Practice! Especially loading and unloading. Because it was MONTHS since I’d done the Pinwheel quilt, I’d forgotten the process. I reviewed the HandiQuilter channel on Youtube for the basics for the next quilt. I wish I had done it with this one.
SO, in retrospect, this was meant to be a learning quilt and to that end, it was a rousing success. I learned A LOT. Mostly “what NOT to do,” but hey, that’s the story of my life (and title of my soon-to-be-written autobiography). Hopefully you learn from me airing my dirty laundry here!
On to the next disaster…err I mean Project!!!