inspired by the quilt show, i pulled it together and finished the paint quilt. yay!
the process of making this quilt helped me work out a lot of issues that have been vexing me, which is awesome. all of the things i mentioned here as potential problems turned out to be actual problems. happily, after some consideration, i figured them out. mostly.
first, i did not baste the quilt sandwich well enough. at all. basting, i may have mentioned, is the process of temporarily holding all of the layers of the quilt sandwich — top, batting, backing — together while you do the actual quilting. it’s a super boring step, and therefore, easily rushed. but, as i learned, time saved basting will be spent ripping out bad quilting stitches later. it’s best to baste well.
i also considered that my machine was improperly pulling the fabric, or something, and that my walking foot was not functioning properly. both of these things were happening. mainly, the walking foot. basically, the little arm that moves the top feed dogs (yes, that’s a thing) was getting stuck and not moving up and down. this completely defeats the purpose of the walking foot and causes lots of problems. i haven’t figured out how to completely stop this from happening yet (maybe i need a new walking foot?), but now i know to watch for it and correct it as soon as it happens. this discovery is huge for me and explains many of my past problems.
also, i think even with a properly functioning walking foot, there will inevitably be some pull on the fabric. originally, i was quilting the diagonal lines starting from the same side of the quilt. this meant all of the pull was going in one direction. the effect this caused was what made me rip most of the quilting out. i decided to alternate my starting sides, which evened out the pull.
this picture sort of shows what i am talking about, maybe? at the top of the picture, the pull is all in one direction, which makes it much more noticeable. this was the part of the original quilting that i did not rip out because it was not the most hideous part. at the bottom of the picture, i started alternating, and the pull is less noticeable. fascinating, right?
the backing and binding fabrics are from jo-ann’s. neither are what i had in mind, but like most jo-ann trips, it’s important to go in with an open mind because chances are you’re not finding what you actually want. that being said, i really like how both of these fabrics ended up looking with the top.
speaking of binding! i finally figured out how to do it! as previously mentioned, i follow this tutorial from cluck cluck sew, but it never turned out right for me. i am not even sure what i was doing wrong before, or what i did differently this time, but it all just came together and did not look terrible! i hope that this was not a fluke.
also exciting, in addition to completing the quilt, i also finished all of the call the midwife episodes currently on netflix. the most exciting part? i discovered that other people actually watch this show! as this article explains:
Filmmakers have been putting damsels in distress since pictures were first made to move. And Call the Midwife … is the ultimate 21st-century feminist spin on the genre. Instead of kindly gents rescuing helpless women who’ve been tied to railway tracks by mustache-twirling villains, Call the Midwife shows a dedicated band of nurses and nuns saving pregnant women whose health and welfare are imperiled by poverty and misinformation.
c’mon! nothing could be better.