Monday, December 21, 2009

The good, the bad, and the plain ugly

The good.
I noticed a lot of bloggers showing us some favourite Christmas decorations so I thought I'd join in.
This is my all time favourite because it was made by my DD, SIL and two of the grandkids in 2007. One of the grandkids was only two at the time. It has very special meaning for me and It reminds me what Christmas is all about on so many levels.  Note the sheep!

Another goodie, this parcel arrived last week. I love these dots. In fact there aren't many dots I don't like but these have a retro feel and will go with thirties fabrics as well as the brighter designer lines. It's Kai Honeycomb and I got it from here.

I decided I'd better get onto quilting the cot quilt for my grandson before he gets too big for the baby hammock and goes into a cot. You might remember this one from earlier this year. I got a bit lazy and decided I would machine quilt it in a simple way. Since it's small, why not use basting spray?

I lightly starched the backing and pinned it to the mat in the sewing room. Placed newspaper around the perimeter to catch the overspray and opened up the doors for ventilation.

So far so good, I'm using a beautiful wool batt, Tuscany by Hobbs. It's so soft and luxurious.

The bad.
I merrily quilted some loop de loops over the majority of the quilt. All the time, I'm thinking how puffy the wool looks and I prefer the look of cotton. I carry on because this baby will need the warmth in cold New Zealand in winter.
About 3/4 of the way through, I look on the back and notice some bad tension problems that weren't occuring at the beginning. I'm too ashamed to show that part but I really hate the puffy look on the front.

The ugly
I can live with some things that aren't exactly what I'd like but this was just too yucky and embarrasing for me to pass it on as a gift so I decided I would have to bite the bullet and unpick it. One evening of unpicking and I'm over half way there to getting this back to the starting point.

I't's been another valuable learning experience and now I'll hand quilt this using perle cotton in a big stitch, it should go fairly quickly. The hard part is that it's pretty hot weather here so sitting with wool might get a little uncomfortable.

36 comments:

Lurline said...

Tragedy! Do you need a Kleenex? looking forward to seeing the quilt again soon!
Hugs - Lurline♥

Jackie said...

Love your post! I totally can relate. I spent the better part of 2 weeks "unsewing" quilting that I was not happy with. But in the end, it was the right decision. I am sure you will find it that way too.

Notjustnat said...

Great post for this time of the year. You are good, unpicking! It worth it at the end though - Hugs Nat

Janet said...

The "good" part is very good - I love the polka dots! The quilting on your little quilt was looking so great - nasty tension! Unpicking is no fun but it will be wonderful handquilted with pearle cotton.

Darlene said...

Oh, I hate when that happens. It's a cute quilt, however.

Linda said...

You're a trooper to go to all that effort to unstitch. But, I know how that feels and would do the same... with much grumbling, though! Good on you for sticking through it all.

Julia said...

What a shame Janet...but it's worth doing it again...it's such a lovely quilt!
Julia ♥

Barb said...

Oh.....I feel your pain...been there....tooooooooooooo many times.....

Thimbleanna said...

Oh Janet! That's an absolutely adorable quilt -- I'm so sorry the quilting didn't go well. I'm pretty lucky -- when I have machine quilting boo-boos, I have a tv watching hubby who will do the unpicking for me!

mbroider said...

Oh dear. That was a very bad experience.

You will feel better once done... First unpick, and leave it alone for a day or so before you get back to it.

Nedra said...

To pick or not to pick, that is the question.
And your creche from the family is my favorite.

Christine said...

I know how you feel and I am sure you are glad now to have unpicked it.
It is going to be a very cute quilt.

cheers
Christine

Kathie said...

the quilt is adorable and well worth unpicking, I feel so bad for you. Yes a few nights of big stitching and you should be done.
the creche is beautiful, yes very special on so many levels.
wow even I love the polka dots!
says HAPPY to me.
Kathie

Martha said...

Oh, I sympathize with you on taking out that stitching. It's a drag, but you're going to be so much happier with the new design. And I LOVE that little creche.

pamina said...

Very cute quilt, it will be beautiful with hand quilting, but I understand your deception !

Stephanie said...

I ruined a darling quilt last year with bad tension problems. No patience to unpick so I gave it to a friend for her cats. Perhaps the dots will help. :o)

Quilt Hollow said...

Oh...did a wee bit of unsewing myself this past weekend. My heart goes out to ya!

ranette said...

I also love the dots and the little creche is just adorable and to be treasured!

Unpicking is sometimes a fact of life and you would have never been happy with this cute little quilt if you'd left it as is. Can't wait to see how it looks with big stitch quilting.

YankeeQuilter said...

You are a better person than I...tension problems with a table runner last week and I got so frustrated I threw it in the back of the closet to worry about next year...

A good point - I really like hand quilting with the wool batting.

alobsiger said...

Oh and ugh, I feel your pain for the unpicking. Love the dots! I may need to add some of those lovelies to my collection. What a LOVELY nativity -- a true treasure!!

Shari said...

I love love love your little nativity set - just sit next to that while you un-pick and re-quilt. I'm in the process of doing that myself - but it's only a table runner and not wool. Hang in there!

Hope you have a really nice Christmas was lots of laughter and hugs

Shari

Crispy said...

That is the most beautiful nativity scene I have seen this year. A true treasure!!

Sorry about the unpicking, what a chore but you will be so much happier and that is what counts.

Crispy

soggybottomflats said...

Oh Janet, what a nightmare for you. I too had that problem with the tension on my new Janome. I re-read the booklet and tried to adjust the tension myself. I found that dialing it (the upper tension) to the absolute minimum was the answer for me. I love your little creche, what a true treasure. Thanks for sharing your story. Big hugs from Texas, Elaine

Meredith said...

Glad you are able to fix it. I do not care at all for teh spray. I sued it once on a small quilt I machine quilted. The wool is puffy I used it in a wall hanging as a test. I am glad you shared your family decorations.

wishes, true and kind said...

I'm so sorry for your quilting troubles, but bless your heart for taking the time to get it just right for your grandson! I love everything in your blog today: precious nativity, wonderful dots, and sweet quilt.

joan

Sharon said...

You will be so happy with the big stitch hand quilting. I mixed this technique with regular quilting with wool batting and I loved the results. Yes, the meandering loops result in puffiness with wool.

Cardygirl said...

Love the nativity! Unpicking is horrible....but the cot quilt is sweet!

Sew Create It - Jane said...

It's not fun unpicking, but I like you would have done the same. If it wasn't working...then it is best to start again. Quilting through wool should go quite fast...it's suppose to be easier than cotton...well that's what they say..I have yet to try it.

Kaaren said...

It was worth the time spent unpicking because now you'll be happy with it.

Love your nativity set and I can see why it means a lot to you, Janet. Precious!

Lori said...

No comment on the thread mess.....

The nativity set is SO precious!!! What a treasure!!

Corrie said...

oh no, I feel for you! Thank you for admitting it! I did a whole cot quilt when I was starting out with free motion and thought heh my machine does auto tension I'll be right! WRONG!!!!!!!! realised near the end but it's a wallhanging and I wasn't giving it away but I know it's there and it's embarrassing! never made it on my blog!

Corrie:0

Diane said...

Oh no...after all that work! "To thine own self be true." You'll be glad you took those nasty stitches out.

Vivian said...

You're braver than I. I put a poor tension victim on a shelf and have ignored it for a week. Maybe I'll unpick those ugly stitches while watching some favorite Christmas shows in the next few days.
Love those polka dots!

Happy holidays!

Janet said...

I find there is nothing more frustrating than tension problems. The wool batting is really nice for emphasizing areas of a quilt that would look nice if the were brought forward(almost a trupunto look). The cot quilt is very cute.

Take care - Janet

Carrie P. said...

Oh the little nativity set is so sweet.
Oh, too bad the quilting didn't work out for you. That is a lot of picking.

Robin said...

The nativity is so cute! And, ugh... the good, the bad, and the ugly... I suspect it is a story to which we can all relate! But, it sounds like you definitely made a good decision to go back and re-do it.