So, here I was at the end of the last post on Minuet, with the quilt fully loaded. I was having quilter’s block on the design. All I knew at this point was I had rejected the idea of feather wreaths, as I have done those before and wanted something different. I had decided to do some stitch in the ditch to hopefully get the creative juices flowing again. Alas, it was not going to be that easy.
I got out my long rulers, and started doing the ditch stitching. I read online that many quilters do all their ditching around the edges first, so I thought I’d try that. I did both sides of the outer white border. Then I stitched in the ditch on the inner white border on both sides.
While I was going along, I did the piano keys in the middle border, as those were SID as well.
All the way around the quilt, I finished off the bottom borders, then breathed a sigh of relief that I had enough backing to make it to the bottom edge. But that relief would be short lived.
Next, to figure out a design for the inner blocks, I taped together pieces of Golden Threads paper and started playing with my curved ruler.
The idea was beginning to gel, but not quite right for the block itself.
I thought the intersecting lines should end at the outer corners of the color squares, so I did a basic drawing again.
I did several, some with echoed lines, and others with just the main shape.
I felt the design of the main petals and diamond shapes would not be enough quilting, so I added some echoes inside the main shapes. I can then use echoes between the medallions when I get the blocks done.
OK, finally I have a plan. I was almost ready to start, just needed to do a bit of practice with the machine, just moving it next to the ruler to get the hang of it before I turned the machine on to actually sew. I rolled the quilt back to the top.
But when I looked underneath, the backing was sagging, even though the top was flat. And not just a little, there are several inches of extra fabric hanging down.
I loosened it again, and tried to redistribute the fullness across the quilt.
But that didn’t work. I kept getting this excess either on the top or the backing.
So frustrating! It seemed to get worse instead of better. At this point I had a few choice words, and started slamming doors and drawers, turning the air in the basement blue. I phoned my friend, Terry, who does a lot of custom work, and she gave me the bad news. She never does SID all the way around the quilt in this manner as this always happens to her. She floats her tops, the way I do for pantographs, and does the quilting from top to bottom in the center section first. Then she goes back and does the borders. Her advice was to try some basting in the middle to see if the fullness would redistribute, and if that didn’t work, the only other recourse was to remove the stitching from the sides and bottom, and start over. Otherwise, I was going to get pleats on the backing, or worse, on the top.
I tried the basting idea, and had to take it back out as it didn’t work. So, there was nothing more but to bite the bullet and take out almost all the work I’d already put in it. DH took pity on me and helped me remove the stitching from the ditches between the borders, the edge, and the piano keys from 75% of what I had already done.
We painstakingly removed stitches, being ultra careful not to put any holes in the fabrics or the batting. In actuality it went faster than I thought it would. I worked on it alone for a couple of hours one afternoon, and then we worked together in the morning of day two.
We picked out all the thread bits, and I released the batting and top, repositioning it to float as I am accustomed to doing. The backing was carefully rolled back onto the bottom leader bar by itself. The batting is draped under the machine over a rail, and the top is floating. It is still attached at the very top, with the borders now stitched only to the bottom of the first row of blocks.
I’ll start again with the quilting, and hope it goes better with the second attempt. I’ll be doing a bit more practice with holding the ruler first as it is pretty awkward right now. I still have hope to finish the quilting in time to get it bound and ready for the fair. But, if I can’t there is always next year.
Ever had a disaster like this?