Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Meagan: Don't look.

Have you seen those surveys that the big quilting websites occasionally do? The ones where they ask you what type of quilter you are, how experienced you are, what fabrics you like.

I'd like to add a couple of questions to the bottom of that, because I think we'd all like some insight into how anal we are compared to all the other quilters.

Firstly: how far off does a point have to be before you will unpick it and do it again? This question needs to be asked twice too I think, since it's different for prints and solids. Prints I'm usually cool with anything up to 3 or 4mm, but solids it's less than 2mm. I think that's reasonable. 4mm is surprisingly large.

Secondly: how many times are you willing to unpick a seam before you just set the whole damn thing on fire? And does this number start off small and get bigger (as you've put in more effort and therefore care about finishing it) of start big and rapidly shrink (as you lose patience and your head explodes)?

I ask because tonight, everything turned to shit. My maths was wrong (shame), my very first piece I cut was 5mm too small, I did the HSTs perfectly but then as soon as it came time to sew together the squares, I sewed along the wrong side, realised, unpicked them, sewed them again, pressed them, discovered the aforementioned wrongness in the maths (each small block was 3.75mm too big), unpicked it again, trimmed them all down, sewed them all back together again, pressed them, realised I really shouldn't have trimmed the medium sized blocks too, unpicked them, sewed them with a narrower seam allowance to make up a few spare milimetres, pressed them and ease sewed them to the now only 2.5mm too big large squares. At this point, the universe clearly realised that it had taken the joke a little bit too far, and let me finish the rest of the quilt in peace.

Thank god it's a) really pretty and b) what should be a really quick quilt. Had I not screwed up pretty much every single thing it was possible to screw up, I think I could have almost had it done in a bit over an hour - as it was it still took under 3, and there was a lot of unpicking to be done.

It's pretty small, about 1m by 1.1m. Baby sized.

Tomorrow I have to come up with a back for it. There's still quite a bit of the green and both blues (maybe a fat sixth?) and there's the half metre of purple I decided to not use. I might do all cool colours on the back, and I'm going with grey for binding.


  1. It looks really nice. I'm sure she'll love it. 1) My points can be pretty far off .. as a matter of fact I don't know that I have ever unstitched and started over. Don't call the quilt police, please. I think I might be a quilting imposter. 2)I think maybe after the second unpicking of a seam I would put the quilt down and leave it alone until it decides to behave itself.

  2. Sometimes quilts will just not behave.

    It really depends on how much I like the quilt as to how anal I get. If I hate it (ie every Christmas quilt I have ever made ) I don't bother unpicking anything. The actual quilting part can cover a shitload of mistakes.

    I unpicked and re-sewed a block 6 times last week because it was blatantly obvious I had done a cruddy job. 6 is therefore my limit.

    Love the baby quilt for Mizz Meagan.