Finishing the Pokemon Quilt

When I left off the Pokemon Quilt Part 1, I had spent six hours ripping out all the quilting stitches during our Virtual Retreat, then six more over the next two days. Fitting punishment for my stupidity and ignoring the drag on the longarm. But there was no way I could let something that poorly done go out with my name on it.

So now, I had more hours to spend ripping stitching over the next several days. I thought it would never get done. Irritatingly, there were sections that were quilted well, and those were harder to remove, adding more time to an already time consuming task. I needed to be very careful as I wanted to reuse the backing. That meant not nicking it up with careless or hurried frogging.

After a total of sixteen hours skinning, the top was finally free of the backing.

Then more time, measured in hours again, to pull out all the threads from both the top and the backing. Once again, I tried using a sticky roller, but it didn’t work. The threads wouldn’t pull free of the fabric without me grabbing them or scratching them free. So I just had to keep on plugging along.

When it was back to a thread free state, I pressed the top again, and loaded it on the longarm to start over.

Testing the stitches on a scrap, I had this on the backside. Here we go again.

I made adjustment after adjustment, top and bottom tensions, and all the test patches were bad. At this point, I decided this thread was just not going to cooperate with this quilt. The munchkin is 7 years old, so I decided it would be OK to do this in polyester thread instead of cotton thread. I took this photo after I had successfully quilted a row with the poly just to show the many test patches running down the side. There were a dozen of them.

I rethreaded the machine with white Glide in the top and Bottom Line in the bobbin, adjusted the bobbin tension with my Towa gauge and did a test. Perfect stitches. Finally, maybe I can get this gift done.

The pantograph is called Pipeline by Urban Elementz. It has a spiky feel that went well with the characters.

Amazingly, it only took one morning to fully quilt the top.

Quilting done, the backside is perfect.

The top has texture without overpowering the characters.

So now, I am days past the deadline for mailing in time for Christmas. But, I had a few hours left in the day, so I pushed on. I made the binding out of the same yellow fabric, and attached it by machine.

Later in the day, it was finished. I made a label with the munchkin’s name and the date, and topstitched it to the back side.

If I worked just a bit more, I could pack it up and get it in the mail. It might not arrive in time for Christmas Day, but at least he would have it this holiday season. Nothing wrong with extending Christmas, right? I made him a card to go with it, with a personal message inside. The quilt was put in a box, gift wrapped, then put in a flat rate postal box and a label applied.

I mailed it on Friday, December 18th, and emailed his mom and dad to let them know a gift was on the way.

And miracle of miracles, it arrived before Christmas, and was under the tree for the big day. I didn’t tell them what the package contained, and I got a wonderful email after he opened it. His dad said he was crazy about it, and wished that he’d had that reaction on video. I can almost hear him here, saying “oh!!!!!! It’s Pokemon!!”

Turns out the size was perfect. Such fun to make him happy.

This week, I am working on quilting a Quilt of Valor for a friend who made a lovely churn dash top. I’ll show you that when I’m done. What are you working on this week?

Sharing – Whoop Whoop Friday.

32 thoughts on “Finishing the Pokemon Quilt

  1. Debra Gutenson

    It must have been so gratifying to see his enthusiastic reaction after all that struggle! I am learning to use my long arm, and tension is my biggest challenge. Is it worth it to get a towa? It really works? Thanks. I always enjoy your posts.

  2. Brenda @ Songbird Designs

    Don’t you just love seeing the smile on their faces when they really love what you gave them? My boys are still sleeping under their quilts I made them last Christmas. They love them and I know this little boy will treasure this always! I’m glad your package made it in time. It took a week for my Christmas cards to arrive at their destinations! I think the one that arrived last was actually to a recipient in my town!! Our post office was very backed up!

  3. Wow, when you see that smile, you know it was worth all the work. Isn’t it funny how your machine doesn’t “like” a particular thread? Not worth the trouble in the future I think! You finished it up and got it there in time for Christmas, so all in all a big success!

  4. Linda B

    Such a nice ending to a hard frustrating experience! I suppose you will never think of pokeman without reliving part of that! I am working on corralling two down comforters inside duvet covers…the comforters are years old and I have been on my to do list for ever!! And adjusting a Christmas apron that I love which is too big for me…hoping it will be ready for next year! A little applique in front of the TV watching 007 reruns. All in all a lovely feeling to be between Christmas and New Years!!

  5. jesusnowand4

    Wow! How cool is that?! He looks like a very happy camper!
    I have a paper piecing quilt I am working on, not sure how it is going to turn out, but hey that is the way for most of my quilting journey! lol!

  6. Gretchen Romanelli

    Very nice quilt and photos. A very special quilt for a special boy. What a great Christmas memory for each of you.
    I had heard that some lomgarns do not play nice with cotton thread and prefer synthetic threads. I appreciate your sharing of experiences and difficulties quilting and how you resolved your situation. Quilter’s who share good and bad experiences help all of us.

  7. Darlene S

    Let the fireworks go as this finish really needs to be celebrated! Yeah! I’m amazed it made it to the little munchkin in time for Christmas. i think the Quilt Angels came thru to help. Really beautiful quilt and quilting. The smile on this munchkins face is the best!

  8. AJ

    A “simple quilt” turned into a nightmare, hours of grief while fixing it, and some how arrives in time for Christmas, and becomes a treasured gift – Christmas magic. The last picture is the perfect reward for any quilter and why we love making quilts.

  9. Nothing reduces me tears as much as bad stitching on the longarm. I can never figure it out. It will go great for 3/4 of the quilt and then, bam, no adjusting gets it back. I always longarm with a pit in my stomach not knowing when the bad stitching will appear. I did buy an overpriced, but useful, camera for the underside. I can see when things go south pretty quickly. Too bad I have to rely on it so much. Great perseverance on your part.

  10. Such a wonderful story of determination and persistence! Such a cute result and the delight on his face is priceless. We have noticed the mail rather slow since after the election, although the things I mailed to Colorado and NC arrived as promised. I don’t know why I am always rushing to the P.O. At the last minute—Christmas is the same date every year! Love this quieter time between the holidays-just love playing at whatever I feel like. Cards, sewing, crochet…love it all with no deadlines!

  11. lynn bourgeois

    What a great Christmas story. So much love poured into this gift, going to a youngster who will love it a bunch. Loving and giving. It is a wonderful time of the year. Lynn >

  12. I can see that your Pokemon quilt will be well loved and used often! All of that unstitching was worth the effort to see the look on that child’s face when he received his quilt.

  13. So glad everything turned out well in the end.
    Yes. I find cotton thread very unpredictable. Sometimes it quilts very beautifully, sometimes it quilts so badly I have to frog the whole thing.
    Blessed Christmas to you

  14. The pain is over, and he looks absolutely thrilled! Great job persevering on that one, Carole. I have been cutting sashing and borders today, I want to have piles of stuff to send through the machine on Thursday!

  15. Jo Anne

    What a labor of love! You are to be commended for picking out thousands of stitches and requilting! Your caring shows in the extraordinary effort you put in. You made someone very happy and that’s a memory you’ll have forever!

  16. Susan Salo

    I need to remember to try different threads when this happens. You should get a medal for all that hard work! Actually, I think the picture of munchken is your medal!

  17. thedarlingdogwood

    What a fun finish, so glad he loved his Pokemon quilt! Lucky that it arrived in time, many packages were delayed and other seemed to make record time.

  18. Joan Sheppard

    Hope you felt all the above love pouring to you when you were picking, we’ve all been there. And to make a card to match! Really special lady. Happy New Year! We have a tradition. Whatever you are doing at midnight you will do all year. So maybe I’ll have a quilt, needle and thread in my lap with my dog at my feet.

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