To start, I decided to make this quilt entirely out of equilateral triangles, for which I bought a ruler (you totally do not need one but I like my gadgets) and cut the largest size. I snipped off each point of each triangle (because I feel I read somewhere that you should do that), then I convinced myself that had to be wrong so I read the pamphlet that came with the ruler. Following the instructions, I snipped off only one point of the triangles (which, yes, involved each triangle having to be retrimmed (and therefore shrunk), and then spent an evening crawling around on the floor laying them all out.
Then I proceeded to sew together the triangles. I had two rows done (almost forty triangles) before I realized that only chopping off one point would lead to all points being munched when all rows were sewn together. So from that point forward I had to chop the other two points off of each triangle as I sewed (which, yes, shrunk it just a little bit more). My mother took pity on me and volunteered to rip stitches for me while I sewed on, an offer I readily accepted. The points then came out perfectly.
Finally all rows were sewn and the edges trimmed. I had originally thought this would be a throw, but had way too many triangles, so I upped to a twin. Which came out small due to my mishaps, so I had to use some leftover bits from when I cut the triangles to bring this up to twin size as it was entirely too big for a throw. OK, so finally the thing was up to size, albeit a bit hodge-podgey. Time to quilt.
I proceeded to quilt by stitching on each side of each seam. The horizontal seams were fine. I had used a million pins so the back was nice and smooth, for a change. But when I got to the diagonal seams my machine balked and fussed and threw a tantrum. I put it through its paces to make sure nothing was wrong with it, and the only thing I can chalk it up to is the sheer weight of this thing. It is really quite heavy for a twin quilt. I had a lot of skipped stitches and aggravating bits happening. There was a lot of stitch ripping, a LOT of cursing, and a lot of restarts. The only thing that helped is when I put on my standard foot instead of the even feed, and the stitches came out beautifully after that. Go figure. I'm not pleased with the tension on the back, and I imagine myself having recurring nightmares over this thing just falling apart out of nowhere, which is the level of irrationality you attain when you're determined to force a project into existence.
From the beginning I was determined to do a scrappy binding. I had bought some matching solids which didn't get used in the body of the quilt, so I chopped those up into all different sizes and stitched them together with the seams facing differing directions to mimic the bases of the triangles. I couldn't have planned this part better, but somehow the last color and the first color in the pattern came together at the end, so the color pattern flows throughout. I chose to use one of those multi-colored threads in yellow and orange for the binding, as well as my asterisk stitch (again). I have a snowflake stitch that would have matched perfectly but the other stitch takes long enough. I didn't want to hit retirement age before the binding was finished. I ran out of thread about halfway around, and had to go out during a snow shower to get more (as waiting for the storm to pass was not an option at this point), but it was finished in due order.
Next I wanted to make a pillow sham, as I had cut all the little gnome shapes I could out of the fat quarters, but couldn't find a good spot for them. The original plan of a double-sided throw was out the window as this was now a bed quilt. I was going to just applique them to the quilt top, but I didn't want them to blend in too much. So I made a matching sham. I used Heat 'n Bond to fuse them, then stitched them to the fabric. I was going to cross-hatch quilt all around the gnomes, which I did. But then the gnomes in the center were all loosey-goosey. So I decided, even though I have never been successful on practice swatches, to free-motion quilt the gnomes. I did everything but their faces with some atrocious swirly stitches, but as long as you don't get too close they look OK. I forgot to lower the feed dogs, and found out you can FMQ with them raised. But now I'll live in fear that I killed my sewing machine by doing that.
I put on the exact same binding and used the rest of the multi-colored thread to bind the pillow, and now that it's all done I do like it. But it has mentally exhausted me. I need to put it away for a while so that when I see it again it will truly delight me, as I know it will.
After all that, one thing after another, no step going as planned, this thing came out pretty much as I envisioned (plus a scrappy border). The oopsies are things only I know about, and the overall effect has the color and cheer and vibrancy that my soul hoped would happen when I hunted down this line over a year ago. There is certainly a lesson in this quilt somewhere (beyond the geometry missteps I made at the cutting stage). Something about perseverance. I'm just too tired to figure it out right now.
Even my photo shoot had a kink. I had a volunteer who decided this was made specifically for him to practice his yoga moves on.
Usually the dog plops himself on everything I make, but this time it was the babycakes (he had slept over the night before).
He even decided when the photo shoot was over. My Plan A was to do this out in the snow, but the sun was out and the reflection off all the white was just too dazzling, so I had to haul it inside. Babies are better accessories than snowy footprints, anyway.
OH! And one last bit. The backing is a gray sheet from Target. I couldn't find backing I liked, so I shop bedding when that happens. I couldn't find any individual sheets--only sets. Tucked in amongst the bed skirts was this gray, full-sized flat sheet. The only one in the whole store that I could find. On sale. Even the batting was on sale. You can seen how a person would start out hopeful that a project was meant to be, right?
Have you ever had projects that you felt would send you to an early grave? Did you toss it in or keep going?
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