Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Stitch in Time

Remember when Holly Anderson came to our guild and I made a vow to put a little more effort into my quilts?

Yeah, well. What a pain.

You might be wondering why you haven't had an update on Orange Crush recently. I mean, way back in January I had all of the steps done, and the top only lacked borders. What the heck is taking so long?

Truth be told, I put the skinny orange border on right away. Unfortunately (there's that word again!) I took the lazy way out and just cut long border strips, sewed them on, and whacked off the ends. Now, for some quilts that might work. For some quilts you'd never even notice. But for this quilt - this scrappy, triangle-y quilt - it was a disaster in the making. This is what it looked like:

So I went to the Wanna Bees and whined and cried and asked for help. They all agreed that my fatal flaw was failing to measure the quilt and the borders and pin it to death before connecting them. They all agreed that I would have to take the orange border off and start again. You know how I feel about ripping stitches.

Jodi said to iron the hell out of it. With starch. Ben wondered if blocking it would work. Lynn mentioned something about interfacing (I stopped listening after that word), and Lene said I needed to stitch around the edge of the quilt before trying to reattach the borders. Jackie confessed that she'd be tempted to do what I wanted to do - stick it in the UFO pile and forget about it.

But no! I remembered my vow to Holly. I carefully ripped out all of the orange border. I pressed the hell out of it. I stitched around the border. I measured the quilt in about 10 places and took the average and measured the binding and cut it carefully. I pinned it to death before starting to sew again. I whispered a little prayer and asked Rene to use the IDT to help me.

You know what? It worked! Even my fellow Wanna Bees were impressed with how flat the quilt lays and that there are no puckers. When I think of the time I could have saved if I had just taken the time to do it right the first time it is embarrassing, but what a lesson learned.

This is what the finished top looks like now:

I am so happy I took the time to fix it. What a feeling of accomplishment! Now I'm off to piece the back and, hopefully, give some of those orphan blocks a home there.

I wish you a sense of accomplishment today too!

Update: Apparently none of my orphan blocks are suitable even for the back of this wild quilt. The Wanna Bees gave them a resounding thumbs down. All of them. I guess they are orphans for a reason. Is there any point when you just throw them away?


  1. Congratulations on finishing this quilt top. I love that lime green.

  2. Wow! I love the bright colors! The green does make it all pop!

  3. Wow! You made a terrific quilt! Congratulations on all your hard work and efforts! I laughed when reading the list of everyone's recommendations! Thanks for the smile today!

  4. Your quilt is beautiful...congrats on finishing it!

  5. Very nice! One day I'll actually measure and cut the borders...I know, I know....don't scold me...I like the easy way out.

  6. The quilt is lovely. And well worth "redoing" the borders.... I too am such a lazy not attempted this one... know it would make me weep~!

  7. Well worth the pain, very lovely!

  8. oh no, don't let my mom read this, I'll get ANOTHER I told you so (I hate, hate, hate measuring for borders). I'm impressed with your tenacity, great job!


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