This happens on occasion, a quilt or project becomes more than just a quilt. It begins to take up a good chunk of your brain and energy. You think about it when you should be on Brain Down Time. It creates strong emotions and becomes such a part of your life that it becomes a relationship. This can be good, it can be difficult. Or both.
TFH (Trapunto From Hell) is both. I admire its beauty when I walk into my studio and the sun is skimming across her beautiful trapuntoed curves. That ice blue silk is divine. I love a whole cloth quilt. I am pleased with my design. It’s light as a feather with its down batting. But it has been a difficult journey.
I thought long and hard before I started. There was lots of sketching…
and playing with different motifs as fill.
But, I have been in a 2-week period where every step forward is followed by at least one step back. I keep on thinking I need to walk away, but I can’t! I know myself well enough to know that I should not walk away. Every time I’ve done that in the past, I lost my mojo and the project became a chore. I have taken mini breaks of a day or two and have gotten dangerously close to that point.
I don’t usually rip out my work, but on this quilt, I am doing that almost daily. Sometimes it is stupid stuff like forgetting to reset the tension between 100 wt hair-thin poly and big ole fat King Tut 40/3. At least that is an easy rip since the tension is so off. In one case I failed to note the scale of previous stitching and there was a noticeable and unacceptable difference in scale. In another case I was totally off on the chosen motif. I had quilted a lot of that motif before I recognized the problem. It absolutely had to come out. That one took days.
I am burying zillions of threads on this quilt and sometimes the knot will just not cooperate and go into the batting. I will need to rip some of the line of stitching out to start again and bury. It goes on.
I have massive puff issues and the biggest culprit is that I had to use safety pins. On non-trapunto quilts I Misty Fuse baste my quilts.
We are in a full-tilt relationship, TFH and I. It is tempestuous. And I still am not convinced that this quilt/relationship will be successful.
There are many hurdles yet to come, like the dramatic scalloped edge. I worked for 3 weeks trying to figure out scale, quilting motif, how to get it to lie flat, etc. And edge treatment – how will I finish that edge? I tried a hand buttonhole stitch. I had to wait a week for the proper silk thread to come. If that had worked, it would have been expensive but oh-so-worth it. In the end, it was meh. For that amount of time and money, meh was not acceptable. I tried machine buttonhole stitch and a zigzag stitch – nooooo! I thought about trying to finish quilting most of the quilt and then somehow quilt and finish the edge as one. No.
I finally decided I would face it and then finish the edge of the facing and hand stitch that edge to the back of my quilt. On my sample, the scallops laid well, but will they on the finished quilt? Turning that corner with a 3 – 4″ facing could be tricky.
And then there’s an issue with the design of the quilting between the center and the edge. I tried to follow a similar plan as was used in the inspiration quilt. It did. Not. Work.
My new Plan B seems to work well, but now I don’t see much demarcation between the quilt’s center and the “ring” of stitching around it. I have to somehow make that line more pronounced. The current thought du jour is to fmq some motifs that will enhance the theme of the quilt. I have yet to figure that one out.
Oh, and there was a big detour when I saw an antique quilt that had adorable, tiny, dimensional bugs (bees and lady bugs) scattered upon its surface. I worked weeks on that one, figured out how to make the cutest dog gone bugs and then realized they would be intrusive on this quilt.
And lest I forget…I wanted to see what one of the samples would look like if all the markings and water-soluble thread were gone. I wet it and hung it to dry briefly in the sun. A mere two hours(!) in the sun resulted in massive fading.
The good news:
I have a great view!
Before I even started on this quilt, I worked for weeks on a design for a metallic linen whole cloth. That one will eventually happen, but there were many barriers, so I moved on to this one. HAH! Like this one was any easier….
Just to remind you, this is my inspiration:
You can see why I was inspired! I saw this in person at the Int’l Quilt Study Center in Lincoln, NE and it took my breath away. I am not trying to recreate it but use it as inspiration.
I feel like Moses in the wilderness, wandering. I’m in a desert. I hope to find an oasis very soon! Eventually this will have a lovely, proper name and “Trapunto From Hell” will become a distant memory. Maybe I need to change my FaceBook status to “In a relationship with a quilt”?
I’ll be linking up with Nina-Marie’s Off the Wall Friday.