Tuesday, October 23, 2012

"Stopping the Bleed"

My teaching and traveling schedule has been extremely busy this past month or so...many friends know when my  life is crazy because I don't have the time to sit down and visit with all of you.

I just got back from teaching at the MQX show in Portland, OR where I also had a featured exhibit of my special quilts.  I'm still very buried here at home but have missed visiting with you.  I have several more posts that are waiting to be written all of which feature students' and blog readers' projects.  I am going to do "mine" first so it will be on the bottom of the posts and theirs can be towards the top longer.  So be patient with receiving a few blog post notices over the next few days while I get caught up!

I have been working on this beautiful linen for about a month-ish now.  It's been hauled around with me to various shows and hotels/motels, airplanes, etc.  The workmanship on this is beautiful but not very well done...the more I get into it there are more and more things that are going wrong.

When working on the feathering around the outside I was getting very large areas of very puffy fabric that refused to be quilted down. This was due to the fact that the linen was VERY out of square to begin with and had been pulled unevenly due to all the cutwork and bridgework.    I tried everything...pushing excess fabric into meandering mosaic background to ease things in...steam...nothing worked.  I finally ended up with nasty creases and wrinkles that just looked awful.

And then there was the middle that just wasn't working at ALL.  My first thought of quilting and then hand embroidering a Baltimore Album block design was turning out nasty.  I could have either just tossed this quilt away and said forget it or try and "stop the bleed" and go to Plan B.

While I was in Portland I was able to sew in my room before/after classes and got a hair up my hiney and decided to cut the outside edges off of the quilt...saving just the middle section.  There is something definitely wrong with cutting a beautiful linen wholecloth quilt up into parts...every fiber in my body was screaming at me...but I did it anyway.  You know what?  I like it better.

This is now going to lay flat...there are no creases and puckers...the mosaic background work is gorgeous. 

I have a beautiful Irish crochet collar that I have placed on top of the bad embroidery design and I also placed a beautiful crocheted pineapple piece on top of that.  This will become the base for a lot of embellishing, beading, jewelry, etc.  I will be able to use the cut-off border section of this piece for other things.  Nothing goes to waste in my house!

I wanted to share this to let you know that I have trouble with things like this too.  Sometimes sharing the journey, whether it's good or bad, is one of the best teachers of all!

This post also finds us getting ready to move.  We have secured a small home to rent from good friends and will be starting a slow-move process during the month of November.  We should hopefully be all snugged in right around Thanksgiving.  I'll share the adventure and the step-by-step process I'll be taking of creating my new sewing/working space.

Hugs, Cindy :)


Quilting Babcia said...

Thank you SO much for sharing this experience! It gives us novices hope that not everything that goes wrong is "our" fault! Reminds me of my June FMQ challenge piece that had loads of overly-puffy areas that needed to be beaten into submission, pleats and all, lol! Looking forward to seeing this piece when you've completed it.

Anonymous said...

These projects really are not "wrong" they are just not "quite right" or the way we/I envisioned it to be. As long as it's "in process" is just that: "in process" and it's not done til it's DONE! (Determined by the 'creator'/artist) Your work is so motivating and inspirational....can you tell: I am a FAN!!!! Blessings, Doreen

Karen said...

So glad you got that hair up your hiney and cut it down! The lace and doily added to the center are just going to make the piece even more dramatic, beautiful, romantic, and it's going to be so special!

regan said...

I so appreciate your honesty in showing something that gave you troubles. Not many teachers would do that! What a great solution to the problem, too! What an amazing lesson you've just given us! Thank you so much!

Judiquilts said...

Cindy, thanks for sharing with us when something goes wrong - lots of good advice taken on board! Regards,

Karen said...

Sorry you had so much trouble - but glad to know that happens to others too. Can't wait to see your work in person!!

Linda said...

Your work is just gorgeous. Thank you for sharing your challenge - it's very encouraging!