Friday, September 2, 2011

Finished is Better than Perfect

Way back in July I put together a Halloween quilt top. You can see it here. I finally got it out last week and basted it. This week I quilted it. Today I laundered it and sent it on its' way to Margaret's Hope Chest.

Designing the top and making the parts fit together was fun. Turning it into a completed quilt has been less than fun. "Finished is better than perfect" became my mantra as I worked on it this week.

Almost from the day I finished the flimsy I planned to quilt this using a spiderweb design. Originally I thought I would put the center of the web sort of in the middle of the quilt, off to the right side. After I'd basted it, however, it occurred to me that I had a giant spider and the beginnings of a web already in the quilt. Why not use that as my starting point?

It all began well enough. Once I had the upper third of the top quilted I found myself getting confused about where I was and which way I needed to go. I took the quilt out from under the machine, laid it out on the kitchen floor, and used my ruler and chalk to draw the lower part of the web in place.

I really thought I'd have this quilted in no time. In spite of my chalk lines I got lost. Plus I'm still learning the idiosyncracies of my new machine. I managed to screw up the tension somehow and my stitches weren't looking the way they ought to have done. Some lines of stitching had to be taken out and done over.

Eventually I got everything working smoothly again and filled in all the gaps in my web. It's not wonderful but it will hold together. The web is actually more visible on the back of the quilt but I can't get a decent picture of it.

The quilt trimmed up nicely (it was more of a trapezoid than a rectangle when I basted the layers together) and I had just enough of the black I'd used in the quilt as filler strips to make the binding.

Once it came out of the dryer I liked it much better. In fact, I was a little sorry to see it go. Guess I'll just have to make a similar one for our own use!


  1. I think, perhaps, I like your last paragraph the very best . . . that you were sad to see the quilt go - meaning you could just as easily have kept it and enjoyed it - but you care enough to let it go so someone else can be comforted by it.

    To me, that is the way a 'pay it forward' or 'mercy' or 'donation' quilt SHOULD be . . . one that we have invested ourselves in, that we would be willing to have in our own home, that we feel good about completing (no matter the challenges involved), and that we feel strongly enough about 'giving back' that the quilt is given from a full heart.

    Good for you!

  2. I'll be sad to see Strawberries & Cream go. I'm very fond of it, but at least it will be going to a good cause and it will take a bit of me with it, as do all the Q4L quilts.

    Funny about you quilting this the way you did. I hand quilted Haunted Houses exactly the same way, lost most of the chalk lines and winged it.

  3. What a fun seasonal quilt. I can see how a web quilting pattern would require perseverance!
    best, nadia


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