Sunday, February 1, 2009
THE QUILT FROM HELL
This started out as a very long story and try as I might...it can't be changed. So if you are ready for a small novel, read on!
What started out as a pattern called "Not All Quilt Blocks Are Square" which at first glance appeared to be a cute simple pattern. I thought to myself, "OK...I will try that one. I desperately need to get one done for Relay For Life and this will be quick. "Oh, and how wonderful, they actually have a kit for it. I don't even have to pick out fabric! It is all there!"
I was quite excited at this point and couldn't wait to get home and start in.
It was just gorgeous flannel and I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. So many colors and I figured I would have tons of left overs by the amount it showed in the kit. Well, that was my first mistake. I opened it up only to find that they had put in pieces that were 8" x 10" not the customary 18" x 22" fat quarter. OK...I guess they know best. I will cut what there is.
So I started cutting. Oh, it wanted to move and twist if I stacked too many together. Why didn't they just give me yardage and I would have had it cut out in no time. Oh, no, that would be too easy...they wanted me to stack all the pieces on top of one another and then ever so neatly, cut them apart.
OK...got that done, most were not perfect by a long shot but I believed they must mean to square them up after sewing. WRONG! They have to come out perfectly. Oh, that only took a day to cut out! Maybe I am slow...but you had to be so careful!
Alright, by this time, I really noticed that I would be sewing on the bias, and for those of you who don't sew...this is the stretchiest angle of the fabric to sew. You sometimes sew on the bias to make it curve around something, etc. See what I mean? OK...things were not going well at all. Had to sew very slow and carefully. And for Pete's sake, you can't use steam to iron them or they will distort.
OK...another day passed, and half of another and I had the blocks all sewn.
WHAT?????? There is a piece missing? No way. It was a kit, they can't be wrong. I checked and double checked. Nope...there was a piece missing. Not only was there a piece missing...it meant that I had to have at least 2 pieces of fabric that would work with the rest and I would have to take apart 2 of the squares so I could blend in the new colors. GRRRRRRRRRRRRR.
OK...patience my dear. I searched in my fabric stash, "Thank You, God, for my Stash" a prayer that should be hung in every quilting room...I don't even care if you are atheist....you will be thankful to someone for that stash!
I FOUND THEM! Yes, for some reason in the last couple years I had picked up the same fabric along the way. WOOHOO
OK...got that cut, tore apart some squares, made it look like it was supposed to be that way. "Creative License" I believe it is called.
Ah, now the fun part! I get to sew all the squares together. I laid them all out to see what would work and apparently it really didn't matter. I figured it would go well putting all the rows together. I was burning the midnight oil and kept telling myself..."My goal is to finish this quilt top today".
WELL...that came to a grinding halt. It appears that who ever made this pattern could not have possibly sewn it together. Maybe she had her friends do it and they didn't have the heart to tell her that there would be 8 fabrics that would be meeting at one point! OK...here is where it really started to be the Quilt from Hell! Eight pieces of fabric do not lay down well when they are all going in different directions and are bunched up in one corner. I felt like taking a hammer after it to smash the fabric into one another. For some reason, the screaming didn't help. Maybe if hubby hadn't been sleeping I would have felt that it did some good. I think it has something to do with that story about "if a tree falls in the forest..."
Well, after having chocolate and coffee I was able to relax and keep working. Nope...didn't get it done in a day...what was I thinking? Have to start again tomorrow.
OK...fresh new day, fresh new start, the borders went quite well and I used a method I just read about. I will share that some other time.
OK...quilting time 2:30pm. Careful...that flannel is still stretching...don't pull too tight. Oh, wait...that is exactly what the quilting frame will do! I had to be so careful to ease in the sides and stitch slowly, pushing fabric in here and there.
Had to change the needle, kept hitting those lumpy layers of fabric but I did get them to go down at some points. Tension was off, at one point I rolled up the quilt to do the next row and there was the most humongous bird's nest on the other side. Apparently along the line the thread got out of whack. At this point I had to actually "relieve" myself I was so upset.
OK...body free of toxins, I got to work taking all those stitches out. My back still hurts from bending over it and I have a slight limp to remember it. OK...maybe I did have that limp before.
THEN...for some reason to top things off...I was on the home stretch and the thread kept breaking and I only had a little left to do! It would sew 6 inches and break. I finally changed the spool of thread and it seemed to work. Not sure if that was it or not...but it worked.
I finally finished it. The binding actually went on quite well...maybe it felt sorry for me at this point...not sure!
I started at 2:30 p.m. and completed it by midnight. Sure seemed like a long 4-5 hours because that is what I usually tell people it takes to quilt a quilt.
So the moral of this story (and yes there is one) is how I justify it all.
This quilt was made in honor of a dear friend...a cancer survivor and hopefully will be raffled off for Relay For Life.
I complain about the tough time I went through making this but it is nothing compared to what my friend and all the other cancer patients have went through and all the future cancer patients will go through. My few hours of what I call suffering is nothing. I was able to fix things, make it work and that is what we want Relay For Life to do. We want to fix our cancer patients, we want our research to work and we want our whole world to be cancer free.
If we can do that, and we free the world of cancer my work and everyone else's will be all worth it. I just feel my work is a small part of the huge picture but it is those small parts, just as in a quilt, that make up the whole picture.
Nah, I won't quit making quilts if we suddenly find a cure because someone, somewhere still needs the warmth and comfort that a quilt gives. I will continue doing what I can for Relay For Life and Quilts of Valor no matter if the Quilt From Hell suddenly appears at my sewing table. I will just have to take it and make it just Heavenly!
Please if you have access to buying a ticket please do so because I will NEVER make this quilt again!