Saturday, June 20, 2009

Just the thought of machine quilting has been making me skittish. Using the machine at all makes me a bit nervous. Not enough to keep me from quilting, but still -- I guess piecing the tip of your little finger back together with steri-strips will do that to you.

My quilting opportunities have been too limited to give up, but I'm very aware of that rapidly moving needle and what it's going to do to me if I don't keep my fingers out of the way. I've never had to concentrate on that quite so much. (On the bright side, my two preschoolers have received a very graphic illustration of how the sewing machine can hurt you and why they should never touch it. Leif was helping me sew this morning by standing there and reminding me not to sew my little finger again.)

I'm not sure if my new semi-phobia had anything to do with it, but assembling the blocks of my Weed Whacker took a lot longer than I expected it to. The blocks weren't going together quite right (my blocks rarely do), and I had a feeling that I was going to wind up trashing the whole thing. That feeling's been with me through most of this quilt.

It took two nights to get it sewn together and then I decided to pin baste it while I still felt the slightest glimmer of hope. It looked good, but the thing wasn't anywhere near flat. (Most of my quilts aren't.)

I got a sheet from the sewing room that I thought wouldn't clash too horribly, and some of the polyester batting I bought on sale a while back, and my pins, and crawled around on the floor. And it came together. It smoothed out enough to make me content and the backing actually went with the front, and the next thing I knew I was clearing off the table around my sewing machine and looking for my darning foot.

I did half of the quilting last night and the rest this morning. I'm not about to show it to any experienced machine quilters for fear that they'd laugh at me -- or try to convince me to rip it out and do it again -- but it's so much better than my last attempt I can't believe it.

I decided to use the leftover sheet for the binding and got that cut and machine stitched on and it's all ready for me to snuggle up and do some hand-stitching.

I think I've been afraid that if I turned my back on this one, it was going to fall apart on me. (I really thought I'd wind up tying the thing and shoving it into the boys' room where I could pretend it didn't exist.) Now that it's done, I'm almost giddy.

I liked this Mountain Mist batting more than I expected to. Not as much as Warm and Natural, which I absolutely love, but it's considerably cheaper and if I'm making utility quilts for the kids out of scraps, it'll work. As long as it holds up in the wash.

Now I've got a stack of other tops that I'm dying to get quilted, but I should probably make some more progress on the sewing room excavation.


Vanasa said...

I am preparing to take the machine quilting plunge once I get my walking foot problems under control. Reading your blog gave me confidence!! Thanks!

barncow said...

Don't worry the sew the finger phobia goes away pretty fast. I sew in a factory and it doesn't take long to be zooming along again. Karen

Quilter Kathy said...

Congratulations on a great finish! Good for you to keep with the machine quilting'll get better with each quilt!


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