Progress & A Little Good News

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Christmas is breathing down our necks, and I feel it stalking me with an intensity – so much to do in the next two weeks, holy smokes! Last night, I decided to get Mom’s quilt’s panels tied where they needed tying, and then perhaps start on the binding. While tying went quickly,  it doesn’t flow like quilting, and was kind of disjointed and non-meditative. Still, if I need something quilted in a hurry? I’m totally tying it – so much faster than actual stitching.

The only needles I had that would fit pearl cotton were tapestry needles, which are not sharp enough to pierce the fabric – I had to brute force my way through the layers. Although, it should be noted while the needles don’t have a sharp end, pushed with sufficient force they do have the ability to poke through one’s epidermis. Ask me how I know.

Moms quilt, tied.
Mom’s quilt, tied.

The two red panels so close together kind of bug me, but that’s just going to have to remain as it is. Once I got everything tied up, I decided I’d get the binding started, at least. This would require trimming the extra inches of backing and batting off the sides – a daunting prospect unto itself. How does one make sure it’s straight? Meh, screw it – it’s an imperfect quilt in every way. Hack, hack hack.

Hack!
Hack!

The trimming went pretty smoothly, and after pinning most of one side of the binding tape, I machine-sewed it down (stabbing myself in the stomach with pins along the way) and very quickly realized I am a dumbass.

BAH!
BAH!

Not sure if you can easily tell from the photo what’s going on there, but basically, it’s upside-down and backwards. Rip, rip, rip. The bitch about pre-purchased bias tape? It doesn’t forgive needle punches. Those there holes will remain in perpetuity. Boo, hiss.

As the ripping progressed, I had to think of Megan because there were a few inches of sub-atomic-level stitching that really didn’t want to come out. Grr. Rip, rip, curse, rip. It dawned on me I’d never watched the video Rochelle linked. I pulled that up, watched it and discovered pinning the binding tape isn’t strictly necessary. \o/

Still, given I was working with double-folded, pre-purchased tape and that I didn’t want any machine stitches showing on the top, that method wouldn’t work for me here – another time! Undeterred, I started over and spent a good 10 minutes talking out loud, lining things up, folding, unfolding, testing and generally making sure everything was the right way around. Things looked pretty good.

Off we go!

Everything went swimmingly until I had to try to figure out how to join two pieces of bias tape together. I remembered seeing something online about needing to sew it at an angle.

Shit.
Shit.

There were several variations on this failed theme before I gave up trying to figure it out on my own and turned back to the computer. Aha. One needs to have the two pieces perpendicular, then sew on an angle. The things I learn every stinkin day.

Right then, off we go!

Chug, chug, chug, chug – ok, how do we join the final ends together? I didn’t even take pictures of this part… it was getting late, I was sleepy and pissed off. Finally, back to the computer, swearing and steaming. Checking email first reflexively, I got a bit of good news – I’d won a runner-up prize at Bobbin’s Nest Studio! Yay! I chose the Amy Butler Barcelona skirt pattern as my prize. Erin at Bobbin’s Nest assures me it’s great for beginners. We’ll see how I manage to dork that one up. 😉

At the end of the night, I got the machine-stitched half of the binding done. Tonight, I’ll do the hand-stitched back half, gently wash and dry it and be OMFG DONE. YAY!!! I think the finished product is actually going to look pretty nice:

Getting close!
Getting close!

My initial estimate of this quilt taking about 100 hours, start to finish, was pretty darn close. It’s probably been less than that, but close to it. I don’t begrudge a minute of it, but will be sad to give it away. And I hope it doesn’t dissolve in the washer.

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4 responses to Progress & A Little Good News


  1. Boy that really looks great, Erin!! I love it! I agree with the charm of uneven hand-stitching. It really fits well with the country feel of the fabrics and all of that. I hope your mom loves it!!

  2. Your post was very entertaining. I believe I have felt everyone of those emotions while quilting.
    The quilt turned out lovely, your mother will love it I am sure.

  3. Peg

    Oh bless you your writing had me with tears down my face with laughter. Thank you for being so honest and showing that we don’t all have a perfectly sewn quilt. The things which happened to you happen to me ALL the time but hey what the heck if people want perfect buy ready made factory quilts.
    I shall certainly be back for another read.

    Hugs Peg xx

  4. Erin

    lisa, katie and peg – thanks for the comments! i surely do manage to bumble into pretty much every stinking pitfall there possibly could be. this is supposed to be relaxing, right? oyyyy….

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