February 10, 2016

Sharon's First Project - and my epic "fail"

Sharon and I belong to a group which meets on Tuesday mornings.  She's a delightful woman and, I learned recently, has taken up quilting!  She visited me last week to show me her first project, and we experimented with basting it on the longarm.  More about that experiment in a minute... but for now, have a look at this quilt!:

(Double click the photo above to see a larger image.)
How's that for a "beginner project"?  I didn't measure it, but I'd say it's roughly 50" x 60".  And oh, it's beautifully pieced.  I was totally blown away when I saw it.  Sharon, very humbly, said, "well, I just followed the instructions".  Right.  Well, folks, there's more happening here than just following the instructions.  I can think of a million and one ways someone could mess up a design like that - but not Sharon!  Just look at how evenly the prints are distributed, everything set with obvious care and an instinct for the total design.

I didn't get any closeups of the blocks - should have.  They're beautifully pieced.

Then she showed me a photo on her mobile of "project number 2" - and WOW!  Even more complex than this one! 

Now, about that basting experiment...  

Well - I don't know where I put my brains.  I had noted that my longarm has stitch settings of 1", 2", and 4".  And I thought - hey!  Baste at 4" and it'll be so easy to pull out at the end.  Yup.  Very easy.  Way too easy.

So we did it.  I say "we" because Sharon had fun driving the longarm - but what happened is all my fault.  We basted the quilt sandwich using the 4" stitch and it wasn't until we were pulling it off the longarm that I realized what I'd done.  As I was taking it off, my hand caught one of those 4" sitches and PULLED!  NoooOOOoooOOOOO!!!!   (Actually... what I said at that moment I won't repeat here in polite company - just suffice it to say I'm sure my parrot heard me and pressed "record" and I'm going to be VERY sorry for my outburst).

The basting should have been done at half-inch intervals, not 4 inches.  With half-inch intervals the stitches wouldn't be so easy to catch.  Four inches is just way too long - and it's probably going to make the handquilting work MUCH more difficult.  Oh... I'm just sick.


I suggested to Sharon that we pin it and pull out the basting, but she's keen to give it a go anyway.

And, for my part, I'm going to put together something for hand-quilting and will longarm baste it with half-inch stitches and see if it works as I think it should.

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