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A Quilting Odyssey

August 11, 2007

Alright, so that's a bit high-falutin' for a title, but it's semi-accurate these days. I haven't intentionally removed myself from blogland (I've been busily quilting away on a bed tarp). Frequently I have blog fodder swirling around in my brain, but it's not so frequently that I actually sit down at the puter and share...

The quilt I'm working on has a center of pieced blocks, surrounded by four borders - the "map" is four vertical rows of connected block motifs to cover the center and the two inner borders, then separate border motifs for the two outer borders.

There have been a couple of issues during my machine quilting odyssey so far. Click for bigger - heaven knows that a big picture of a snafu is always more fun than a thumbnail (or is that a hangnail?). Groans of commiseration and "poor baby" declarations gladly accepted. For your consideration:

Oops1, View 1Oops1, View 2

Imagine my joy at finishing the third of the four rows of motifs then turning the quilt over to prep for the next and seeing this big ol' pucker quilted into the back. Hmph.

Each motif row takes about 90 minutes of actual at-the-machine time. To pick out and re-quilt two of the 5 motifs in the row takes about 80 minutes. Fortunately the two motifs were at the end of a row, not in the center!

Oops 2
I thought I was done with the motif rows. I was happy (and many days into the project). Flipped it over to give the unquilted borders a good press before continuing and found this joy. ::sigh:: I wasn't even rushing or anything!

For those who aren't into the quilting thang, that's the edge of the backing folded over and quilted evah-so-neatly onto the back. It's not supposed to be that way.
Oh, but wait, there's more!

So there I am, happily zooming away on my last row of motifs. All of a sudden I hear a CLUNK-THUNK and my needle tip breaks off! Does it break off and fly? Noooooooo.... the needle tip has broken off and the shaft of the needle has embedded itself into my clear plastic quilting foot! Now, tell me. How is that physically possible? The needle is in a stationary position. The foot is in a stationary position. HOW does the needle shaft move 1/8 of an inch (or more) backward onto the foot???

Mr. Wonderful heard the CLUNK-THUNK (and resultant swearing) and came into the room - I had to hand him the pliers and the foot (with needle shaft embedded) so that he could He-Man the two apart. Of course, then I had to find a file and smooth down the underside of the foot, since there was a big ol' outward dent burring up the whole thing. Sheesh. (No pictures. It was too painful. Trust me.)

I see a new quilting foot in my future. Probably by the time this is finished there will be a bonding event with Miss Clairol, too.

The next phase is to mark out the initial pattern for the next-to-last border on the quilt (there will be a secondary pattern applied after that). Hopefully there won't be a Part Deux to this post!!


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