I have a very simple motto-“just go forward”. It means that instead of fixing less-than-perfect work, I’ll “go forward” and fix that on the next piece. I don’t think I learn a lot from ripping out work.
My Poppies quilt really challenged that motto. I was up against a seemingly impossible deadline. At several points I had to decide whether to even try to make the deadline. At one point the entire quilt came into question. I did “just go forward” and it worked out well. I know that is not always the case so I was happy to take my free pass.
I’m going to take you chronologically through the last week before the deadline entry date for last year’s Pacific International Quilt Festival. Look at this quilt-this is how far I was a week before deadline-a week! It was a rumpled, incomplete mess. I did have a firm design plan so that gave me a bit of confidence. I know my photos are not the best.
So, should I go for it? It truly seemed impossible to make the deadline. But at this point I had nothing to lose so I went for it.
Five days before deadline and this is what I have. I have put in most of my flowers and the bones of the foliage. But it looks awful at this point because I haven’t connected the flowers and the foliage. The flowers are just floating around up there. Is this even going to work?
I needed to add a few more flowers and buds but I wasn’t sure where. This is my high-tech way of auditioning placement. The construction paper I used is antique, left over from when my boys were young!
The amount of thread I went through was ridiculous. This quilt is all thread; no paint, no fabric except the background.
Finally, I’ve completed the quilting! I always wash my quilts, and then block them before binding. I know many of you wonder why anyone would block two (or three or four!) times. THIS is why.
My quilt is hopelessly misshapen. The edges have 2 inches of excess fabric on the sides compared to the middle-2 inches! If I had bound it at this point, I would have bound in my problem. I had to pin it inch-by-inch to try to control that ripple.
I really did not think I could block out this much ripple. Do you see why the problem happened? I heavily quilted some areas and lightly quilted others. I knew better. That is a recipe for the disaster you see here. The heavily quilted areas acted as gathering stitches.
I may have controlled the edges but you can see there is still a lot of wonky in the center-all that excess flutter had to land somewhere. So I steamed those areas and patted them down. Then I put a big square ruler over them to try to control that excess fabric.
I blocked it again and it’s better, but you can see that there are still some issues to be resolved. It is one day before submittal is due! I don’t even know how I blocked again, faced and photographed this quilt in time for entry.
I chose to face this quilt rather than bind it. I thought it would better control the flutter and I also preferred the aesthetics of a clean edge to a binding.
Somehow I got the quilt faced, sleeved and photographed in time for the deadline. It was ultimately juried in to the show and hung last Oct at PIQF.
This was a real challenge at every turn. It is rare that I have a quilt that I design and construct without some major issue. Did you think you were the only one that went through stuff like this?
I’ll be linking up with Nina-Marie’s Off-the-Wall Friday.