Friday, July 9, 2010

The Ugly Quilt- conquered!

Ever feel like you are at war with your quilt? Why can't we just get along?

This quilt has been a true test of my patience. I have started, stopped and remade this thing so many some point you just have to get 'er done!

This one was made for our long-time babysitter who has worked with our family for over four years, since the Middle Child. She was there when I brought our last baby home from the hospital, and agreed to continue to come babysit for us when we moved across the city. While we have had our tense points and disagreements, we are thankful for the care she has given our kids over the years. Now that Last But Not Least is off to preschool in the fall, it is time to part ways, and I wanted to give her something personal and heartfelt to remember our family. As she is often the first to see the products of my late-night crafting when she arrives in the morning, it was obvious it had to be a quilt!Her favorite colors are red, black and white. Not exactly mine....I had a hard time from the start with finding fabrics and inspiration. Then came design. I planned it, did it, undid it, redesigned it, ran out of fabric, got lucky and found more, redid it, still hated it, then went back to the original design...and, well, ran out of time! So this is what we have. Not perfect, not totally satisfying, but DONE.I did enjoy some aspects of this quilt. This is my first time really doing a lot of chain piecing, which was great. And it was actually my first non-baby quilt, which was also a learning experience. It measures about 4 ft by 5 ft, a nice lap size (especially since the recipient is 4'11" at best!). I also quilted the top in the 3 different thread colors (while keeping the bobbin thread black), and I like how the red gave it a bit of zing.
I learned many things from this quilt as well, since I literally hit a roadblock at every step. First- trust my instincts regarding design. If the gut feeling is unsure, try it on paper (like the twin quilts) before cutting and sewing it up. When I did the quilting, I quilted along the borders in red, then did so along the edges- never again. When I squared the quilt, the outer line was then wonky, and even worse so when I added the binding. I had decided to try machine binding for the first time- thought it would be "faster" and would be well disguised with the dark fabric. However, I then had to pull it tight to cover the red outer quilt line, and this made it difficult to keep straight....anyways. You get the idea. FYI, I ended up sewing an outer red quilting line after all was said and done to make it look complete.
In the end, I think it looks decent. Maybe not so much "The Ugly Quilt" as "The Ugly Duckling"- it came together in the end, and I confess, I actually kind of like it. I will certainly declare this my LEAST favorite quilt to date, and hope it keeps that designation for a long time- clear sailing for the next couple quilts, please! And many to should see the stash I have been acquiring lately! I think I will blog about that next and give you a peek :-)
Oh, and by the way, I didn't include "The Ugly Quilt" name on the label. Didn't think that would be appropriate for a gift I am giving someone...let's just keep that between us, okay?


Kelli said...

Yay! YYYAAAYYY!!! Whooo Hooo! It's finished!
That was me doing a little dance for you! : )
SO glad you can now add it to your finished list! I think it looks great! Love the red stitching.

Anonymous said...

i love the quilt and the fabric