Quilting Another Charity Quilt

Every time I do a quilt, I learn something, and I try to pass along those lessons.  This one was no different.  I was originally given this quilt and backing about 4 months ago with a group of quilts.  They came from my friend whose neighborhood group in the local guild is making quilts for Mainstay this year, a local battered women’s shelter.   Most of the quilts these ladies do are pieced nicely, but almost half of them had poorly applied borders.  That slap-and-sew method causes me the most headaches with charity quilting.  I have a Borders Tutorial and I think a few need to see it again as they just do not understand why measuring is important.  This one was no exception, but it also had another issue, the backing was exactly the same size as the flimsy.  I sent it back as I have to have extra all the way around, see my post on Loading the Longarm if you are a new reader to see why. I received it back with extra fabric sewed onto all four sides.

Duck Border Charity Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

Oh, great.  I warned my friend that I would attempt to get the flimsy centered but that I could not guarantee it. She said no problem, so I brought it home to quilt. Loading it, and laying the batting on top, I could no longer see the seam lines on the backing. It looks like there is a light area, but that is just the way the light looks, the edge of the quilt is actually on top of the seam line.  Or so I thought.

Duck Border Charity Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

It has a border that looks somewhat masculine, so I got out my pantographs to look through them.

Duck Border Charity Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

I like to do this one called Tiger Swirl, as it isn’t feminine and has a 14 inch span. It will cover this quilt in about 5-6 passes, quick as I need to get it back to the maker soon.

Duck Border Charity Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

The curves nicely complement the angles on the on-point squares.

Duck Border Charity Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

So, sewing along, doing OK with the borders, edging in the fullness when I get to this.

Duck Border Charity Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

This was around the third pass, and on the left side. So out comes the Best Press solution that I dilute 50%, and the steam iron. I showed that in detail in my post on Fixing More Quilt Problems. I got it a bit better, but it still puckered. At least I didn’t need to put in a pleat. But then, I get to the bottom.

Duck Border Charity Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

A wavy border, and to make it worse there was a bias seam just to the right.  You can see the end of it in the lower right corner of the photo.  The maker made a seam like you do for a binding, not great for a border as the bias edges create even more fullness.   Trying to get it to lay flatter wasn’t working. You can see here how much it is bowing up in the center because the edges are too long.

Duck Border Charity Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

So, I steamed the stuffing out of it, trying to get it to shrink a bit and take up some of that fullness. There was still a lot left, I just flattened it a bit.

Duck Border Charity Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

Now I have to pull the corners out to spread out the fullness to that edge. Those will have to be cut off once the quilt is done and ready for binding to square it up again.  There are a fair number of puckers in this quilt, thankfully these will not be noticeable once the quilt is washed and it draws up all over.   But I am not happy giving back a poor looking final quilt.  Unfortunately, there is nothing else I can do.

Duck Border Charity Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

Eventually, I get it finished. Then with some dismay, I found the backing hadn’t lined up as I thought.

Duck Border Charity Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

Even though I warned that this might happen, I am still thinking she will be upset with the results, especially when I got to the bottom and found I had more backing available than I thought. So, I could have started a bit lower and had a bit more wiggle room at the top.

Duck Border Charity Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

Ugh. Well, at least it is done. The quilter will have to cut off about 2 inches of border all the way around to get the extra pieces off, which will reduce the overall size of the quilt.

Duck Border Charity Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

At least Mainstay will get another quilt for their residents.  And after all, that is the important thing.

What are you working on today?


18 thoughts on “Quilting Another Charity Quilt

  1. I can only imagine your frustration. I know when I used to do alterations for folks it’s those little off things that would just drive me crazy. BUt another nice quilt is done for the ladies ♥

  2. Its a pretty quilt. Shame that it was a mess to begin with. I am glad that you were able to do as good of a job as you were able to. A charity quilt should be made with just as much love as any other quilt in my opinion.

  3. manasotavacation

    Oh, Carole…..Your efforts are a testament to the old saying, “No Good Deed Goes Unpunished” !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Good Morning Carole! I feel for you Carole. Yet, knowing me…I would be one of those people who you would despise seeing a quilt coming from; only I know that you would teach me the correct way and I would listen and would learn! I always try and do the right way and through the years my quilts have improved by 100 % yet that does not mean that they do not need to still improve another 100%. LOL. Borders are one of the problems that I most likely do wrong. I will take another look at your article. Is it a PDF printable? With my memory problems, I always learn better with something I can read, do, read and repeat a zillion times. LOL.
    So it is probably for the best at this point, for everyone, that I still quilt my quilts on one of my personal sewing machines. I always end up having a blast. Although, I am working (still) on piecing the Double Wedding Ring and continue to dread doing the quilting on it! BIG TIME! Only Deanna and I keep talking about it and when the time comes I will be ready and excited and have a grand time as usual.
    Thank you so much for sharing these types of stories with us. For me at least, they help me to rethink the way I am doing certain things and want to improve the process and do it correctly for myself and if I ever do have the chance to have someone quilt it for me! Which just made that song pop in my head…”I CAN QUILT THAT OUT” I love that and am going to listen to it!

    Love you and sending Hugs Brenda

  5. Thank you so much for the link to your border tutorial. I have never been taught the proper way to put on a border, and have always done a “slap and sew” as you called. I have also been frustrated with the results, but thought that just the way it is. Thank you!!!

  6. I too learn something from each project. Thank you for pointing out the “errors” and how to fix them or at least make an attempt. I think the final result is a keeper.

  7. Melanie

    God bless our longarmers! I am ever vigilant in making sure I never make mine frustrated. LOL Your lessons and tips are so valuable, keep up the good work! And good luck at the fair! :o) m

  8. Lesley Gilbert

    Well done for staying with it to the end. You said you explained the problem before you started so the group should expect a not perfect result, even though you tried your best at sorting it out. I’m sure somebody will love it 🙂

  9. Today i am cleaning up after a canceled garage sale. Nothing like touching everything 4 times. And I went to a garage sale out of town and along with 3 others parked against the flow of traffic. Yep, I got a ticket. BUT i got some great fabric too so i guess they cancel each other out. Thanks again for reminding us to do our best upfront!!!

  10. Denise Force

    Just finished two batches of peach jam. ( Peaches under $1 a lb.) Two more to go. Trying to get handpieced quilt finished. Top is done but the quilting….it is taking forever. Think it is from 1950’s. Received pieces in a box from friend a few years ago.found pattern in old (1953)magazine.period material in Kansas shop and maching yellow material for centers of block and binding from Amish store in Ohio. Need a few ladies over for a quilting bee.

  11. Barbara Jenkins

    I’m so sorry for your frustration. I think I would be embarrassed to send a quilt like that to a quilter. Your tutorials are excellent….

  12. kattails

    I taught a class on EPP at our local quilt guild this morning…right now I’m working on several quilt-alongs….Harmony and Thread Journey with Wendy Sheppard are the 2 most recent with Snowflake Shimmer (with Yvonne @ quiltingjetgirl) coming in right behind them. You are a VERITABLE SAINT for even tackling these charity quilts. I think you did a great job on this quilt with these borders. Your “tutorial” on borders helped me tremendously ….I’ve been quilting for many decades and always wondered why about half my borders were wavy. It just seemed logical to sew a longer strip then trim to fit. The last dozen quilts I’ve made have had perfectly flat borders —thanks to YOU! Measuring makes a difference! So no one should be upset with your treatment of this quilt. I think what you did was the best anyone could do. I hope all your readers will check out your advice on borders. Blessings and a heart-felt “thank you”….from southern WV.

  13. Meandering by hand helps on a wavy border sometimes. I have been known to take a pleat when it was really bad- you just have to. It helps then have a handout of how to add correctly measured borders to people if you know them well enough that you know they won’t be offended. Good luck in the future with this…

  14. dezertsuz

    Considering all the issues of this quilt, I think you did an amazing job. The bottom line is that someone will be warmed by it, physically and emotionally.

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