Saturday, November 23, 2013

Yikes, it is not always clear sailing

Sunset - after the ripping

I took that photo this morning. That is the nice pile of thread left from ripping out about 3" of matchstick quilting in Sunset last night. It looks pretty, and I have an awesome seam ripper made by Amy's husband Mark - Amy blogs at During Quiet Time and sometimes lets folks know when Mark has made some more (in fact I just saw one still available in her etsy shop).

Last night I saw nothing pretty in this pile.

Sunset - distortion caused by changing the direction of quilting

After dinner, I started on the second half of the quilting on Sunset, I turned the quilt over to sew from the opposite top to bottom as the first half so that the quilt would be less bulky in the throat of my sewing machine.

But at the end of my allotted hour of matchstick quilting, I took a good look and saw the big stretch in the piecing line caused by the change of direction of the stitching.

Sunset - distortion caused by changing the direction of quilting

This end was even worse, it is the end that had become the top. You can see how the stitching pulled the piecing line down.

I should have looked closely at it sooner. I have even been discussing distortion in piecing caused by matchstickquilting on instagram with a friend so I knew this could happen. But the sewing was peaceful, the threads were pretty and I just didn't stop to look.

Sunset, during the ripping out stage

After trying to convince myself I did not care, I got out my seam ripper and sliced the stitched on the back, and pulled out the long threads on top. This is what it looks like when you do that.

Sunset, during the ripping out stage

It does not take that long, in the end, to remove all your evening's work.

Sunset, fixed

And I went to bed happy to know that the stretching was all gone. My plan now is to just stitch over the pieced parts in the same direction as the rest of the quilting to date. Once I am well into the background I will change directions to make room as this quilt is about 48" wide and a lot to stuff into the throat, especially as it gets pretty stiff with all the stitching.

Sunset, fixed

See, all fixed, well it is, even if the photo looks a little curved.

This bump in the road is gone, I will share what happens next. I did end up exactly where I started last night, but I also learned some lessons too, so it was not all wasted time. I hope to have some time tonight to try again.

Best,

Leanne

38 comments:

Lucy @ Charm About You said...

What a pain but I'm glad you'll be happier as a result! I find rolling the quilt helps me get it through the throat much easier than stuffing it ;)

Jenny said...

"After trying to convince myself I did not care," Ha! That doesn't often work with me, either. But it's always worth a try!

Amy's Crafty Shenanigans said...

Interesting - now I learned something too :) It is looking incredible xx

Canadian Abroad said...

Oh crap! Hate ripping stitches. I always start in the middle and work my way out, turning every time, so I am going all one way on one side and the other way on the opposite. But that allows me to be working to the edges and never having the big bulk of the quilt all in the throat. Would this be totally wrong for matchstick quilting? Need to know before I ever (if I ever) attempt it.

Debbie said...

I found myself repeating, "OH MY GOSH" as I read through your post. Unfortunate, but you are right, you'll like it better starting on this section again, and not only did you learn something, but we all did. And no, I won't be matchstick quilting my current project. Thanks for sharing the good and the bad. I can relate to that.

elle said...

I, am learning some lessons this week. I'd have done the same thing, zoned out, sighed away, frowned, stalled, but ripped it out! ;)

Flying Blind... said...

Ah bugger! About as much fun as sewing the corner of a quilt into the middle of the quilting and keeping on going xxx

Judith, Belfast said...

Now that takes dedication (& good eye sight!) Jxo

Amy Friend said...

Ugh, I am so sorry you had to put that seam ripper to the test! I had similar shifting on my quilt and didn't have the option of shoving it under and staying in one direction due to the size. But i think you made a good call. You will be happier this way and it's coming along so nicely!

Jessica said...

Aw, I'm sorry Leanne. That totally stinks. You couldn't have said it better about how fast it takes to get rid of an entire night's work. But, it will be amazing when it's all done!

Katy Cameron said...

Eeek! For some reason, when we were talking about it previously I'd thought you said to rotate the quilt at the end of each line, so that's exactly what I did, and for the first time ever I didn't get any weird squinky overlappy bits where things met, like at the Liberty panels, so I thought you were a genius (you still are, but I think that discovery might have been an accident now ;o) ). I started at the centre, and worked my way out evenly - down one side of the centre line, then up the other, then rotating to go back down that side and finally up the other, and repeating all the way to the edges. It did mean remembering to shift the needle from one side to the other to get the distance spacing right though after each circuit o.O

cauchy09 said...

oh, whew! yeah, changing direction is the real gamble. totally the mistake i made. glad you got yours all fixed up and going again.

Svetlana said...

aw, what a nightmare. You have such a wonderfully positive attitude about it. Way to go!

Sarah said...

You'll be glad you sorted if out or it would have bugged you forever. It's always tough to make those decisions.

Tamie said...

I hate those kind of lessons learned. Hang in there.

Jennifer Ward said...

Wow, I had completely no idea! Thanks for sharing with us!

Jennifer Ward said...

Wow, I had completely no idea! Thanks for sharing with us!

diane said...

I just got caught up on your last several blog posts. Thank goodness for Instagram, because I never lose touch of what you are working on. Your pickle dish is really growing and I know how much love and time you are putting into it. On the other hand I would hate to rip out all that matchstick quilting. Your seam ripper must be really sharp.

OPQuilt said...

AAAGH!! Sorry about all that, but good for you for facing the music and pulling out the offending quilting. You'll be happy you did later on, even more happy than you are now. Your Sunset quilt will be beautiful!

MariQuilts said...

What a pain....but so worth it!!!

MariQuilts said...
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Lori Landenburger said...

You have such a great attitude!! Thanks for the update and the reminder to check as you go:)

Charlotte said...

wow! This is good to know. Have you considered doing a few lines of quilting in the unquilted areas to anchor things a bit before you get to the matchstick quilting? Or would that totally mess with your flow? Just a thought - it might help to hold things together before you change direction.

Annabella said...

Wow - great post and great comments! So glad you were able to go to bed with everything ready to go today. It's such a beautiful quilt Leanne.

jeifner said...

That pile of threads is really pretty. Too bad I don't know of any practical ways to use it :-) and the quilting is looking just gorgeous

M-R Charbonneau said...

Bummer! I do a 1/2" set of lines across the whole top to stabilize all the piecing and then go back in with more fill. That and basting every 2-3" helps too. It's looking fabulous so far though!

Poppyprint said...

I admire your tenacity and calm, Leanne.

SandyQuilts said...

You might want to consider using some tear away stabilizer underneath. This would help to stabilize the close stitching and fabric. I also agree with MR Charbonneau ... 1/2" line stitching then fill in. I love your piece.

Di said...

What a pain but once done you will glad you did it. Di x

Yvonne@thatssewcreative said...

I'm sorry that happened. I can't stand when it happens to me. I usually can't talk myself into not caring either. Hope it is smooth sailing from here.

Betty said...

I admire your tenacity and appreciate you sharing the lesson learned - note to self! That piece is so gorgeous and I just love watching your progress. And I, too, own one of those marvelous seam rippers and somehow it DOES make ripping threads not so bad!

Arita said...

Thank you for sharing all your ups and downs. Like other's I would have gone up and down.....I was wondering why I was seeing all the cut threads on one end. Keep it up and so looking forward to seeing the finish.

Adrianne said...

Oh wow, I would have been boiling mad to have to rip out all that quilting. When I do matchstick quilting, I quilt lines one or two inches apart and then fill in in between - I think it helps reduce distortion. It's interesting to read your experiences too and see how much difference working with a larger quilt can make!

Camilla said...

Well done! I so know that feeling of trying to convince myself I don't care! But in the end it always feels better to go with what you know underneath you do want, even though it's maddening to have to spend time undoing your hard work. I left you a comment the other day about appreciating progress reports, but did something weird on my iPad and lost it before it was posted; so thanks for sharing your progress it's encouraging and useful!

pennydog said...

Urgh, horrible feeling, but hopefully plain sailing from here. If it was me I would have just kept going, but then I have had to cover the World's largest pucker on the back of my latest quilt with the World's largest label (I honestly think it could be a contender, more on that on my blog later this week) so I am a bodger, I don't strive for perfection.

Cindy said...

It does look a million times better the second time around - you would have been so annoyed with yourself if you just looked the other way and ignored the pull. Glad you were persistent and pulled out the seam ripper.

Sarah @ FairyFace Designs said...

Oh - that's happened to me more than a few times, even when I'm being careful - the pressure is too heavy on my presser foot and I can't adjust it, it's one of the reasons I almost exclusively FMQ except on small projects. I've ripped back quite a few quilts and I feel your pain, its a horrible job to do. The right choice though and it will be gorgeous when its done!

dutchcomfort said...

This has happened to me once, but don’t we learn the most of the mistakes we make?
It looks so wonderful now! I had to unpick a backing this week for at least three times. I used a row of blocks for the middle of the backing which edges were cut on the bias. The two fabric panels I attached were looking curvy and awry. I would never have been able to baste the quilt properly. After using lots of pins it now looks fine...