The Misery Quilt update

The misery rolls on with this quilt, as there are times it seems that it’ll never get done. Okay, I’ll admit that it hasn’t been the top priority lately (though I can’t really figure out what HAS been the top priority, just not the quilt in any case), but I really need to be getting on with it if it’s going to be done by Christmas (ha!). Oh, yeah, did I forget to mention that I finally had to set a (possibly fuzzy) deadline for completion? I don’t like to do that to myself because then I get stressed, but I had to aim for something, just to have a goal here.

Anyway, when I sit down to do this satin stitching around the medallions in the border, sometimes the planets will all be in perfect alignment and everything will go well, and it turns out looking like this (click for a bigger pic):

Satin stitching when it's good

And then there are the other (sometimes more frequent) times, when for some unknown reason, it turns out all crooked and wobbly looking:

Satin stitch when you get to rip it out

I think maybe the edge of the open toe appliqué foot is just hitting the edge of the lighter fabric at times, and at other times it sort of slips off the edge, and then I get wobbles. Since there are multiple layers of fabric and fusible web here, I guess I’m not surprised, but it is frustrating. When this happens we get to pull out the X-acto knife and rip this tiny satin stitching with the lovely silk thread out. A very sharp X-acto knife is the only way I’ve figured out to get the stitches out easily, and without tearing up the fabric or stretching it out and making a complete mess of it. There is that slight risk of cutting right through the fabric of course, which would necessitate a much different usage of the X-acto knife if there wasn’t any Prozac handy right then.

If I mess up these borders, I think the whole shebang may find a permanent home in the deepest part of the basement storage room with all the other skeletons. The leftover scraps will have to be hidden too, so that I can forget I ever had any thoughts of making this quilt. Is it any wonder that working on this thing feels like a chore? And then there’s the comic relief:

Shadow being helpful
I think Shadow thinks it’s time for bed, not quilting. He’s quite the little manager. If I’m not in bed early enough to suit (think “right after dinner”), he bugs me until I get there, sometimes for hours on end. Obviously he’s aptly named…pest that he is!

Deadlines and commitments

Traditional Rose of Sharon BlockI received a response to an email I sent a couple of weeks ago to my oldest DD’s music teacher this morning, and he apologized for the lateness of his reply. He said “I put the band back together I should have my head examined.” My instant thought was “been there, done that.” I wrote back: “Isn’t it funny how we work so hard to do something we think we want to do, and then once we’re in the middle of it, we wonder if we were crazy? I do it all the time.”

Not with a band, of course, since I absolutely don’t play any instruments, but I definitely do over commit myself to myself and my art, and it needs to stop. Take this last quilt for example. I’ll let the cat out of the bag here: the Grasping Reality: Fifteen quilt is headed for the MAQS New Quilts from an Old Favorite contest this year. The theme block is the Rose of Sharon (one variation is shown here), and I brainstormed for a year off and on to come up with an idea for a design. The Rose of Sharon is one of those quilt blocks that I’ve never liked, and I’d never make a quilt out of it using the traditional block, so I thought it would be quite a coup if I could design a quilt that I love based on a block that I dislike.

I’d given up finally when nothing seemed right, because I didn’t want to be rushed on it by a deadline and time was marching on. Unfortunately, though the conscious part of my brain knew that I shouldn’t keep thinking about the contest and a design, my subconscious was still hard at work, and when I saw Chelsea’s drawing, I was inspired to make it into a quilt for the MAQS contest and time was already a bit short.

Maybe I should have had my head examined. Continue reading “Deadlines and commitments”