Sunshine Quilts

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Confession is Good!

That's what I've heard . . not sure I believe it but I suppose it depends on what you're confession and to whom. But . . this is nothing like that. Confession #1: I'm a halfway decent longarm quilter or . . I was! There's a very nice lady here in Owensboro who has given me 5 or more quilts to quilt each year since I first started longarming in 1998. She always says she's in no hurry and she doesn't care what I do on her quilts. The last one she brought me was probably in November and it had some huge open spaces kinda in the middle. I told her it would be January before I got to it and she was fine with that. I did get to it in January. I decided to do curvey, curly feathers in those wide open spaces but they just looked awful. Really terrible. When I first started doing them, I thought they looked kinda bad but figured they would grow on me. They did not and by the time I was halfway finished with this HUGE quilt, I thought there were too awful to leave on there so I ripped them out. Unless you've tried ripping out stitches put in by the longarms, you have no idea how hard it is or now long it takes or how uncomfortable to hunch over the machine and pick out stitches. Finally, after 3 or 4 weeks (or more), I got that quilt off the machine today. The lady came and got it and was thrilled but . . not as thrilled as I was to get it done. I kinda feel like a bad quilter today! Confession #2: See this quilt-----> Back in about 1995 (or maybe earlier), I don't know what I was thinking but I signed up for a two way round robin. Can't remember all the details but I sent out two center blocks with some of the fabric and coordinates, one package to the name above me and one to the name below me and they each went different directions, everyone added a border and I got back two tops. Two HUGE tops! This is one. The other one is about 102 x 102 and, by the way, was the first quilt I ever decided to quilt on my sewing machine. I think it was also the last! Anyway, this particular top, I just didn't like the outer borders at all so I took them off. That's probably a bad thing to do but I didn't it so many years ago, surely I've done enough good so that it would no longer be held against me! :) I'm just not sure what to do with it from here. I can't believe that 10 or 11 years ago, I took the time to make this center because I doubt I would make something like that again. Even the center circle is appliqued and it looks good. I can't applique!! Do I leave these borders and add more? Do I take these off and start over? Do I fold it all up and put it away for another 10 years? Of course, I have none of this fabric left! Putting it away for another 10 years is sounding like the best plan. Judy


  • Judy, it sounds like you have a good customer there - and you never know - she might have liked your 1st design. If a design question hits you again - I would call the customer and ask them to come take a look and make the decision - you just might save yourself tons of ripping. But good for you for per-servering and getting it finished!

    The 2nd quilt - I agree - the outer border (although nice) doesn't match. I would take it off and then just add a 2" border of black to finish the top off at a decent size. Then it would be DONE - not on the shelf for another 10 years! When in doubt, I use black and so far it has always been fine. There is really some nice work on that top and it deserves to be finished!



    By Blogger Evelyn aka Starfishy, at 2/15/2006 11:56:00 PM  

  • Hey Judy. You could always just finish the quilt as is and donate it to someone. (raising hand!) :D Otherwise...Hmmm....I don't know what I'd do to the borders.

    Oh, what does the other top look like?


    By Blogger Melinda, at 2/16/2006 01:15:00 AM  

  • I agree that the outer border doesn't match as it introduces a completely new design with flowers when the other parts are spiky and mariner's compass type designs.I think Evelyn has a good idea with a plain black border or I'd use a dark colour like blue to "frame" the quilt. You could always save the border for another quilt or cut it up to make sqs for a charity quilt. Otherwise the quilt looks great.

    By Blogger Jan Mac, at 2/16/2006 03:16:00 AM  

  • I say quilt it the way it is and bind it. I like the way an applique border finishes off a quilt. If you still don't like it at that point, you could donate it to Project Linus or some such charity, or if your guild has a quilt show, maybe it could go to their boutique or silent auction. I'm sure they would be thrilled to have it!

    I spent an hour and a half ripping out about 3 minutes work on the longarm yesterday. I took the quilt off the machine to do it though, so I got to watch Olympic curling while I did it. My suggestion...never try to quilt a t-shirt quilt that has shirts on both sides of the quilt and very stiff stablizer. Too many layers to fit under the hopping foot! This one will become 2 quilts!

    By Blogger Carolyn, at 2/16/2006 05:10:00 AM  

  • It is too bad that you feel like a bad LA-er today.... I wish I could make you feel better, but I am not sure how considering that I have sent several of mababies to you for expert finishing.... (Even if that was just Meander - they are DONE!)

    2nd quilt - I'd quilt it and call it done, it is a history of what group of ladies did. You know quilt historians love to look at those and a group of blocks and see how the skills varried between the ladies....

    BTW I finally got into blogger....

    By Blogger The Calico Cat, at 2/16/2006 05:17:00 AM  

  • Thank you all for your comments.

    Evelyn, the customer would not have had an opinion on the quilt but I knew it didn't "go" and I don't want anything leaving here that just doesn't fit. When I told her yesterday about the feathers, she said "oh, you should have left them. You know I don't care!"

    On the quilt, I really wanted it to be a bed size quilt.

    Melinda, the other quilt is on my bed at the other house. Not sure I have a picture of it in webshots. I'll have to check into that. I really like how it turned out.

    Jan, the applique border is really pretty. Maybe when I have more time, I can come up with another middle for it and still use it but for another project.

    Carolyn, don't you just hate ripping! It takes forever!!

    Amy, you're funny. I know . . you never know what will happen, but I surely don't see a quilt historian ever examining this quilt!


    By Blogger JudyL, at 2/16/2006 05:37:00 AM  

  • I go for quilt it the way it is. It may not match as well as you like but it represents a project.
    Maybe one of your decendants will think its just perfect and it will become a treasured heirloom : )

    By Blogger Patty, at 2/16/2006 09:34:00 AM  

  • Gosh Judy, I may be in the minority but I like this quilt. I say go ahead and finish it as it is. As you know quilting makes the quilt! So it can look totally different when you are done.

    By Blogger Laura, at 2/16/2006 09:55:00 AM  

  • I call my quilting halfway decent -I consider you a GOOD quilter. I HATE unquilting. What a pain. I rarely rip things out of my own quilts - I considered them learning opportunities but I will rip a lot more quickly when I do quilts for family members so I know what you mean about wanting it right.

    The second quilt - if it's going to be a bedsized quilt and the floral border is on the *drop* I'd leave it. I don't think it would detract. Have you put it on the bed and looked at what's on the *top* of the bed?

    By Blogger Mary, at 2/16/2006 01:41:00 PM  

  • Poor you! I feel the pain of unquilting on a longarm. When I tell my family I'm unquilting, they leave me alone for as long as it takes and ask when it's safe to come out again.

    Good for you for being done. Take a bubble bath and relax for a few!

    By Blogger debby, at 2/16/2006 08:10:00 PM  

  • Judy
    I say finish it as is...why spend more time on something it sounds like you aren't in love with anyway...preserve the history of the quilt...

    By Blogger Laurie, at 2/17/2006 05:22:00 AM  

  • Oh Judy - I know just how you feel. Last fall I spent more than 6 weeks frogging 18-stitch-to-the-inch microstippling on a customer quilt. By the time that quilt was done I had no desire to quilt another for a LONG time.

    As far as the round robin goes - once you get it back it's yours and you can do what you want. I have a round robin to quilt that I ripped the last 3 borders off of and threw them away they were so hideous. I like what's left of yours, but I think I might bring some colors from that final outside border closer into the center by appliquéing two or three similar groupings of flowers on the big almost blank white border. This really is a nice quilt, but as you say, it's big!

    By Blogger Patti, at 2/17/2006 07:44:00 AM  

  • i cannot believe you were brave enough to try and quilt something that big in your machine!!! brave woman!

    as for the borders- I'm with evelyn.

    By Anonymous Samantha, at 2/17/2006 10:51:00 AM  

  • Well I guess I'm practically a loner here, but I like it and think you should just quilt it as is. I think with some quilting and the binding on it will look wonderful.

    By Blogger Dawn, at 2/17/2006 12:05:00 PM  

  • Hard to say what you should do with your round robin top--only you could decide whether it suits your tastes in anyway shape or form. In one way, it is YOUR quilt now and the normal rule not to alter anyone's work would not apply. After this length of time, the statute of limitations has surely run out, LOL. I am sure the maker thought they were doing their best work at the time.

    Interesting way to rotate the blocks--forward and backwards, so to speak.

    Hope Chad starts feeling better soon. I keep hearing of more people with pneumonia lately!

    By Blogger Linda_J, at 2/18/2006 01:21:00 PM  

  • You ARE NOT a bad quilter!!!

    Well, OK. I'll 'fess up...if you're a bad quilter for feeling that way, then I am too, Judy!

    I saw the "pain" that some of my fellow guild members went through a few years back. I was soooo thankful that I didn't say "yes" when my gut and my heart were arguing!

    Ten years isn't so long! ;-)

    By Blogger Darcie, at 2/19/2006 07:26:00 AM  

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