Monday, August 20, 2012

The Demon Quilt

We've all had one of those quilts, right? The one that just doesn't want to behave. No matter what you do right, it's still all wrong. This is the story of my demon quilt. This might be a long one, so settle in with a nice glass of tea before you start reading. 

Remember the picture I posted while I was sorting through a massive pile of stuff? The one of the commission quilt that, although was a queen size, was supposed to be a quick, easy knockout?

Yeah, not so much. Everything went wrong from the beginning. 

First, I needed 6 yards of that black fabric. It's 108" wide and the quilt was to be pretty much a whole cloth quilt with an applique. So I check, they only have 3 yards. No biggie, I found the other three elsewhere. I decided to wait until I got order confirmation from before ordering the rest though, just to be safe. So I get it, and just for kicks decide to look at their stock now. Now they have something like 88 yards! Ok, yet again, no biggie. The fabric costs enough that by ordering 3 yards, I'll get free shipping. So I order the other three yards and decide to find the silver lining. Now I don't have to try to cut a 6 yard x 108" wide piece of fabric into two 3 yard cuts, they did it for me!

Ok, so the fabric gets here and my plan of attack is to baste the entire 3 yards cuts. So I set to work, basting on my bed as I always do, moving it around and trying to get it straight, and it JUST.WON'T.WORK. Ok, next move is to rearrange my living room since the empty floor space I do have isn't big enough and scrub the heck out of my floors. 3 HOURS later, I have a basted quilt. 

Next, I set to work quilting. I planned to quilt, trim and bind it before attaching the applique. It needed to be centered just right. I begin with a free motion stippling pattern, but I keep popping thread. I try again, I pop the thread. Over and over again this goes on, and this is with aurifil so I know the issue isn't the thread. I finally throw my hands up in the air and decide it needs straight lines. Time to rip quilting stitches, black thread on black fabric quilting stitches. Another 3 HOURS later and I have a quilted quilt. One that would have only taken 30 minutes had I just gone with the straight lines to begin with. 

Ok, now this particular customer is very particular about the size he wants this quilt to be. So I decide to wash it before I trim it so it will shrink now instead of after the fact. That goes pretty smoothly, other than the batting lint that now covers the entire quilt. And it's pretty wrinkled up and bunched now since my washer and dryer are only so big. I iron it and set out to trim it. Somehow, some way, I end up with one side being 3 inches wider at the bottom than it is at the top. I trim a bit more and end up being 4 inches off instead. Oye. I finally get it right, but now the quilt is a little bit narrower than the customer requested. Fortunately he's a close friend and very forgiving, and fortunately it's still plenty wide enough to fit his bed. 

The binding process goes smooth, thank goodness! I know have a whole cloth quilt and just need to add an applique. Well, the applique just so happens to be that dang tree and moon from our state flag, again. This will be quilt #3 using this applique. Problem is, I threw away the pattern I had created when I did the other two. Why? Who knows why I do what I do. What I do know is that it is a pain to make, a pain to cut, a pain to sew, just a pain in general. But I get it done with very little incident. Yay, the quilt is done!

I decide to take it to the laundry mat to wash this time, bigger washer and dryer means no major bunching and wrinkling and no need to iron the final product. And maybe the washer there will rid the quilt of it's bad juju.

It's washed, dried and ready to be delivered. I bring it home hoping for a good quick shot to blog about and The Demon Quilt strikes again! It had stormed, really badly, earlier in the day. The ground was a mess and the quilt was just too big to try to hang on my line without fear of it hitting the ground. So I laid it on my bed and tried and tried for a good shot. By now it's about 6 pm and the light just isn't coming in my room right. The black of the quilt is not photographing properly at all. I finally turn off the flash and all of the lights, manually focus the camera, hold really still, close my eyes and press the shutter button.

This is what I've got folks

The colors still aren't the truest in this shot, but it's the closest one. That black is much darker and the red is more crimson. Well, the photo on the top shows them better. 

I called the friend up and told him his quilt was done. He said he wouldn't have the rest of the money until he got paid, which was 4 days away. I don't care I told him, pay me later, I just want it gone!

Whew. The colors are very fitting of the quilt, don't you think?


Archie The Wonder Dog said...

Is it me or can hear the distant sound of Carmina Burana as I look at the quilt?!! It's great but I bet you're glad to have it finished and out of the house! Well done for persevering, I think I'd have given up and cried!

Rebecca said...

I hope you saved that pattern! Maybe you could contact someone about changing the flag design? ;) Glad it is finished and out of the house. Good job! Looks great even with it's bad juju getting there.

Krista Schneider said...

yikes! this is why i talk myself out of commission work (you know, theoretically speaking, as no one has offered to pay me yet... haha!) i think forcing yourself makes any project demonic, lol! good work on the finish, hope he likes!

Lynne said...

Oh, what a saga. I bet you're glad that's out of your life!

Heidi Grohs said...

oh...I know those kinda quilts. And I agree with Krista...whenever I have paid job...all calamities start right then and there!

But you know what? I loooove it!!!!!!!!

felicity said...

It's always the supposedly "quick" projects that trip me up too. But it's DONE! And it's beautiful.

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