Monday, December 3, 2007

Quilter's Depression, Part II: The Grandma Quilt

And they just keep getting worse.

Here's the original plan for the Grandma Quilt (for Charles's Grandma, who likes all things Asian, has a soon-to-be mint-green-themed room, and needs a warm blanket):

Flannel back with brown background, tiny flowers, and mint-green leaves. Wool batting. Both to preserve the requirement of warm.
Front made of Asian-themed cotton fabrics that can easily be washed and not fall apart. I found these fabrics at the Quilt Expo a few weeks ago, and they made me giddy. They still do.

So, this weekend I sat down to the task of designing the quilt top. I laid all the fabrics out and auditioned them against each other. What would be the best way to arrange them? Which fabrics should go next to each other? Which fabrics should NOT go next to each other? How could I make the most use of the fabrics and let their lushness speak for themselves? I came up with a relatively simple design, and couldn't wait until I was able to finish it.

I started piecing the top, and all looked promising.

Until I ran out of fabric. Somehow I made a miscalculation, I cut perpendicular to the selvage when I should have cut the other way. Looking back on it, though, I wonder if even that would have helped to have cut in a different direction. I just seriously miscalculated the amount of fabric I had.

So, I tried to get on the Internet and find the fabric I was needing, and have it sent to me. But, no matter how long I searched, how hard I toiled, the fabric was not to be found on the Internet. Just like the wedding dress I tried on at House of Brides in Schaumburg, it appears that the fabric I have in my possession doesn't exist. Just like I did when I found the dress, I went to the designer's website and tried to find it. No dice.

If it weren't for the fact that I actually have the fabric in my hot little hands, I would think I had merely dreamt it into being. What is this talent I have for finding and falling in love with non-existent designs?

Quilter's Depression

Things are not going well.

A couple of weekends ago, I set out to quilt together the layers of the Jacquelyn Quilt. I staked out the largest piece of floor space I could in our condo, which was in the kitchen. I spread out the bottom layer of fabric for the quilt. It didn't fit. I did my best to tape it into submission, figuring the rest of the quilt would fit in the space, it was just the extra inches of backing that were being unruly.

So, I centered and smoothed out the batting and the quilt top. In the process, I was just dorky enough to take a picture of the wrong side of the quilt top.

Look at all the pretty seams!

So, the quilt was laid out and prepped for the pinning. Take a moment to let the ridiculousness of what you're seeing sink in.

That's right. This is the largest stretch of open floor in our home,and a full-size quilt does not fit in it!

I spent two plus hours crawling around on the floor, inserting about 150-200 safety pins in the quilt to hold it together. My knees hurt for days. Not just to the touch, but when I put pressure on my legs, a shooting pain would slice through my shins/knees. After all of this, I turned over the quilt to see how I had done. There they were. Big honking wrinkles in the very center of the quilt.

I put the quilt in the corner for a day or so, hoping the wrinkles would go away. They didn't. I cried. Then I took the quilt apart.

The new plan is to set aside a day where we move our couch, our chofa, my sewing table, and the barstool table to create a full floor space for pin-basting the quilt. I'm currently putting this off until the Grandma quilt is ready for the same happy task. Then I can spend one day moving furniture and pin-basting both quilts.

Now all I need are knee pads!