Sometimes I feel like I have been working on this quilt for a long time.
LESSON 1: DON'T APPLIQUE WITH KONA COTTON.
- This quilt was designed last spring in a class taught by Elizabeth Barton at AOQ.
- Then last fall I bought the Cherrywood fabrics for it.
- Then it turned out the black Cherrywood fabric was not black enough for contrast with the blues so I switched to Kona cotton black.
- Then I decided to hand applique the overlay shapes. Kona cotton is not easy to applique.
LESSON 2: IT WOULD BE HELPFUL TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO QUILT A QUILT BEFORE CONSTRUCTION.
- Of course this is easier said than done.
- I had no idea how to quilt it so asked the advise of Jacquie Gering at Craftsy. She suggested crosshatching.
- Had I known that was how I was going to quilt it during construction I would have quilted it first and then added the shapes. Would have made the quilting a lot easier. Or maybe not since I have never done that before.
LESSON 3: I AM TOO OLD TO BLOCK A QUILT ON THE FLOOR.
- I used muscles that I had not used in a long time and was sore for days so this might be the biggest lesson I learned!
- Plus it was hard to work on getting it square while squatting, kneeling, and leaning over it on the floor.
- I am still not sure it is!
LESSON 4: FOR A QUILT THIS LARGE THAT SEEMS REASONABLY FLAT BEFORE BLOCKING SKIP THE BLOCKING.
- This quilt was reasonably flat. I debated about blocking it. I should have squared it up and sewed on the binding and then washed it to get glue and marking out.
- This would not only have been easier, but probably just as accurate as what I did.
LESSON 5: IT IS NOT EASY TO FIGURE OUT IF THIS QUILT IS SQUARE OR NOT
- Yes, no, yes, no....I kept going back and forth on this.
- It was not easy to trim this quilt after blocking to make sure it was square. I hung it on the wall and at times it looks square and other times it does not.
- The optical illusion that is created by the black shapes near the ends of sections can make it look out of square.
- I have measured and remeasured and it is reasonably square. Maybe off by an 1/4 inch in some of the longer measurements. Surely that is not bad. It is less than 1% error! Plus sewing on binding always results in some wiggles and distortion at the corners.
- I even measured along the diagonals and they came out good so it should be square.
- Almost pulled my hair out when I saw it on the wall yesterday and it did not look straight and square!
- Although when I photographed it and cropped it in Photoshop, it seemed pretty square.
LESSON 6: IT IS VERY HARD SQUARING UP A LARGE QUILT.
- I found this to be really difficult due to the size of this quilt.
- Not sure I was really successful. This goes back to Lesson 5 learned above.
- I wonder how much the wood slat running through the sleeve on the back of the quilt is contributing to the appearance that the quilt is not square....
- Note: I just adjusted the position of the sleeve on the back of the quilt a little and it looks much better. In fact now it hangs flat without a slat of wood in the bottom sleeve!
LESSON 7: YOU ARE STILL GOING TO NEED A SLEEVE ON THE BOTTOM EVEN AFTER BLOCKING A QUILT THIS WIDE.
- Yes I thought by blocking it would be flat and not wavy. That has been the case with my smaller quilts.
- It still had some wiggle. Well now that I adjusted the top sleeve it does not have much wiggle.
- So blocking was a waste of time. All that pain for nothing.
LESSON 8: MAKE A QUILT WITHOUT A BORDER
- It is much harder to square a quilt with a border. I forgot about that since I have made so many quilts without borders lately.
LESSON 9: LET IT GO AND MOVE ON.
- The quilt came out very, very, very good, but not the "masterpiece" I thought I was making.
- Maybe I am the only one that has hopes that are too high for each quilt I make and find myself a little disappointed when it doesn't come out as wonderful as I envisioned. The least little imperfection makes me crazy.
- Accept imperfections....stop being a perfectionist.
- Move onto the next project...
Thanks for reading. What lessons have you learned when making a quilt?