Thursday, February 7, 2013

quilting vs. scrapbooking

i spent a lot of time over Christmas break working on "taite." it's been on my dining room floor awaiting sandwiching ever since. good thing i haven't had any fancy parties planned lately. (like for the last 10 years.) despite the fact that i had it blocked off, just about every niece or nephew that came over to our house in the last month decided to stand on it anyway. and my littlest lady was beginning to think it was her personal playmat. she wouldn't stay off it. but i left it there because i didn't want to have to press all those darn seams again and so i would be motivated to get it done. that just wasn't happening, however. partly because i got really into this:
project life 2013! i did a very basic version of project life last year and am stepping it up this year by using the studio calico project life monthly subscription kit combined with the "seafoam" core kit from becky higgins. love it! this is such a great approach to scrapbooking/recording your life. can't recommend it enough. heck, it even looks a bit like a quilt with all those pockets, squares, and grids. but i've been absorbed in getting this album going and finishing off the two from last year (family and baby's first year). and that got me scrapbooking other stuff, too. so i've been spending my hobby time with paper rather than fabric. this was thoroughly enjoyable for me and so much quicker than quilting. i was ready to just chuck all the fabric because sewing is so time consuming. but then i look at all those projects i am itching to complete , as well as the huge stash i've invested heavily in, and my heart melts. besides, we really are enjoying wrapping up in the few quilts we have this winter and i look forward to everyone having their own.

however, that quilt top was getting dirty. so i made plans to get it off the floor. the only way that was going to happen was going to the store to quilt in open lab time without any distractions. which is what i did today. i also had high hopes of reworking that new quilt top and maybe getting it backed and/or sandwiched, too. that didn't happen but i did get the back completed on "taite", pressed the whole top again, and sandwiched the darn thing. getting sooooo close!
there were only a handful of ladies there today so i spread out over half the classroom. i had my tops laid out relaxing on two tables, my backing on the floor, and my gear all over another table. (partially pictured above). it was awesome.
me in the middle of the mess, looking a mess. i was there from 10:30 to 5:30. really, i should have got more done, but i was having technical difficulties. my machine was going all funky on tension and the bobbin stitching. several times i had to get help from the friendly ETC staff who know the machine i have well, since they sell it in the store. yikes! it was getting frustrating having to change needles and rethread stuff and unpick constantly. i definitely need to service my machine, but since i had set the day aside i did NOT want to give up and go home. i just kept pleading with it to last the day out. which it did, thank goodness!

i was feeling pretty giddy by the time that back was done and taped to the tables. my backing was not squared off, with several different lengths of fabric on the ends but i thought it would be best to just square up after quilting. i might have been wrong about this. despite spending a lot of time carefully smoothing out fabric and the batting, and after taking an hour to pin the darling,
it was all wrinkly on the bottom. this makes for ucky quilting. not good. i was soooo disappointed and a bit discouraged. this is starting to be standard operating procedure for me whenever i do a project, though:a few steps forward and a major problem stepping me back. just when i think i'm gettin' going, i come to a detour or screeching halt.

my word, just look at all those pins!  almost 200. i can't even describe how painstaking and tedious that was. now it all has to come out. someone play the violin for me, please. well, on the brighter side, i am that much closer to getting it done. i love how it feels to have a quilt sandwiched because you can finally see the almost finished version of the product. so exciting! even if i have to do that part all over again.
this is an aerial shot of the backing. all that white stuff on the left is the batting. my daughter picked that loud and luscious yellow paisley as her main fabric. i included the green floral strip to bring out the cool colors from the top but i'm not sure it's balanced well enough by the pink primrose tile on the opposite side.
i like to echo elements from the front on my pieced backings so i used the white sashing strips and leftover mini squares. but i'm thinking that green may be too strong. well, since i have to unpin it and do over anyway, it may give me a chance to do something else instead.
the mini squares show up nicely against the green and pink strips but kind of blend right in to the busy yellow piece.

i now feel like i can give myself permission to make a small doll quilt with some leftovers from "limb" so i have a practice piece for stippling because i am still mostly decided to stipple this but want some experience with it first. this quilt has been almost two years in the making. i do think i will be able to pull it off by daughter #2's birthday this year. she will be so excited.

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