However, in October I got serious about finishing off some unquilted tops. I moved my sewing machine downstairs to the dining room table, where I have enough space to support the weight of a quilt as it moves through the machine, unlike in my cosy little sewing corner, and I set myself to work.
Oh dear. I love piecing, but when it comes to quilting, I have my moments of doubt and hair-tearing.
When I have to quilt in straight lines, I become even more tense and edgy.
If I do not ease the foot pressure on my sewing machine’s walking foot, the layers feed through at different speeds, which results in a horrid, wrinkly mess on the back.
If I do ease up the foot pressure, the foot has little grip on the fabric and I have less control on the stitch length as the weight of the quilt pulls it through the machine.
I managed to roll and shove and wrestle and pull the thing under the throat of my machine. As I sewed the rows of horizontal stitching, the stitches were uneven, but the lines were mostly straight. I could live with mostly straight. When it came time to sew across in the other direction, things started to look less promising. I started to sweat about puckers and distortions where the lines of stitching crossed. I contemplated unpicking the lot and starting again. I tried to keep the swearing to a low mutter, but I was so cross that I thought about renaming the quilt the ‘Divorce Quilt’ to reflect my frustration and because I can see that cutting up her husband’s shirts could be something that an angry wife would be tempted to do. (Note that my husband willingly gave me his old shirts to cut up!)
For a while, the only positive I could see in the quilting was that the tension was perfect, allowing me to sew with white thread in the top and pale blue in the bobbin.
My husband talked me into carrying on, and I am so glad he pushed me to continue. Now, I really cannot see the problems that had me fretting and worrying when I was at that midway crisis point. I am really happy with it. Really happy.
I am glad I persevered with the straight lines. They look as I had hoped. Especially if you do not look too closely.
I like how the joins in the backing fabric are invisible as I painstakingly matched the pattern.
I also love the feel and drape of the Quilters Dream wool batting. It is light and snuggly. I hope it washes well. If it does, I can see myself using it often again.
If you are looking closely at the photos and wondering about all the purple stuff on our front lawn, I will explain. Many of the streets in my suburb are lined on both sides with jacaranda trees. I find myself endlessly humming Prince’s ‘Purple Rain’ every year in November. We even have an annual jacaranda festival, on this weekend. I always take my dog; she loves meeting the piglets and lambs at the petting zoo. She also loves the sausage sizzle.
Have you ever started to hate a project only to fall in love with it all over again?