Wednesday, June 12, 2013

How to turn yourself into a neurotic quilter

A friend requested a modern throw that would match his decor (red, black, and white) and I suggested quite a few patterns and he chose one by Modern Quilt Relish called Taffy Twists. Though I could have figured it out on my own, I feel guilty for not giving designers their due, so I ordered the pattern and got to work.

Hmmm. Maybe I should straighten
up between projects.
I am horrible at triangles unless they can be strip pieced (like pinwheels) and didn't take into account my weakness when cutting. But, I've always said that mistakes in quilting are fine, as long as you make the same mistake everywhere - and I usually do. With the top finished, I stepped back and panicked. This is where my apparently new-found neuroses fits in - there is soooo much negative space!

In the long distant past - like last year or something - this wouldn't have been an issue. I wouldn't have over thought this at all. But, Craftsy has ruined me and makes me over think everything.

With all of that negative space, I decided to take the easy route to use up the bulk of it. I used a store bought template to run feathers up the quilt on both sides of the twists. That posed two Craftsy inspired problems. Do feathers belong on a modern quilt and is it now too cliche to use prepackaged templates? Stupid questions; that made me sit and stare at the top for about an hour before I was able to start marking.

Then I thought I might add a little shadow to the feathers (thanks again, Craftsy) by using a light grey thread for the feathers. I did a test sample and decided the grey showed up too much and that I should just use white, letting the pieces have prominence and making the quilting all but disappear.

So, I settled in, started a movie on Netflix, and let my mind get into the "I'm going to be FMQ for the next few hours" trance. About 40" into the feathers, I realized I'd forgotten to take the grey off the machine. I use a black Frixion pen for marking, so it looked light against the ink as I was sewing. I finished the feathers with the grey (because it will be a cold day in you-know-where before I try to pull out that much FMQ), watching through tear filled eyes as the grey thread drew all over my white fabric. Ok, I didn't really cry, but I was really upset.

I finished for the night and went to bed. I dreamt that I had accidentally marked my top with a Sharpie. I would rather dream every night of being chased by wild dogs and demons than ever have that Sharpie dream again. I woke up an emotional wreck, just knowing I'd ruined the whole thing and needed to start over. After moping through breakfast and a shower, I trudged up to my workroom and pushed the door open. There, on my work-table, was a perfectly fine, unmarred quilt. It's not great. I wish I'd made the feathers go in the other direction and that I'd stretched them to make them mimic the twists of the pattern, but other than that, I spent an entire night in agony over absolutely nothing. I figure "in for a penny, in for a pound" and I spent last night running grey feathers up the other side of the twists too.

I blame Craftsy. I'm so glad that the things I learn on there are expanding my skills -  but, I really need to start pacing my class viewing - and I have thrown away all the Sharpies in my house.


  1. now that's just hilarious. I have had those nights, where you brain justs torments you over something inane. I'm having a good time reading your prose. You just don't sound Boston...
    LeeAnna Paylor

    1. Thanks! I'm glad you liked it. That was a miserable night :-) I've lived in Boston on and off for ages, but I'm originally from South Louisiana. My accent has settled into a sort of Mid-Atlantic mess, but I used to sound like Scarlett O'Hara if she'd just crawled out of the swamps. The cadence of my old speech still shows up in my writing.