Saturday, 21 February 2015

Finished (kind of) Projects!

A few months ago I mentioned my plan to add to the double wedding ring quilt I had made years ago. It didn't really turn out quite as well as I had hoped as a lot has changed in those years including my sewing machine and the neutral fabric I used. Also I didn't have Fergus to ruinate everything. Overall I guess it could have been worse, and I can put the new part to the bottom edge of the bed. :)

I did take pics of it's progress; this is one of the quilts in my original quilt journal, which years later I'm actually finding helpful in a few cases because I documented my process so well and it HAS been almost 20 years in some cases. So this is pretty pic heavy. Mostly phone pics, but I used my camera at the end.

Shemar crapped out in mid-December, and I finally got the time to get him out and to the repair shop, hopefully to have his hook race replaced. I pulled out the old QC to finish the edging of this quilt, as well as other projects awaiting completion since Shemar was sent on vacation while still insisting he prefers Versace. Anyway the quilt is still awaiting a binding. I fricking hate binding in case someone out there didn't know. Given my record I'll do it eventually in 10-13 years or so.

Crappy phone pic of the arc blocks with the various neutral fabrics I bought behind them.  They ended up not exactly the same colours, but I was still okay with the way the new matched the old colour wise. I did also find more of the original fabrics, and hardly had to use the jelly roll. So I still have most of a jelly roll for other things.

Unfortunately once I got the melons done, I learned why the quilt was smaller than expected all those years ago: the blocks that were meant to be 15" were all actually 14". I had to cut all the new blocks down to make them match the old ones. 

When I cut down the new blocks, it caused the four-patches to go pretty wonky. Above is an old four patch and the worst of the new ones for comparison. The patches, having been cut so much, were just not all the same size. This was really disappointing because at the time I was proud of how well the original four-patches matched up. 

Part of a completed new unit.

All units sewn together, ready to add to the quilt. Despite mangling the four patches, I was glad to see that they did in fact match up with the old piece. Alas, that was a temporary reality.

It also took some work to get Fergus the hell off of it so I could take a picture. Not the last time with this quilt, as you'll see. I threw him off, turned around to take a picture, and got this. He got kicked out and the door closed after this.

Beginning the process of ripping out the old quilt. Probably the easiest part of the whole process. I chose to hand sew a strip to the back so I wouldn't have to cut as much quilting out. I trimmed the batting to match inside. 
New and old pinned together, with the old backing and batting pinned away. Another problem is that these kind of blocks are meant to be sewn together in an "S" pattern. Because I was adding new rows, I had to add them in "C" patterns. This meant I had to hand sew the four-patch units while laying the pieces on the floor. So that was annoying.

Here it is after hand sewing, all in one piece. At this point I decided to add some paint to the four-patches to at least give the worst of them the illusion of matching better than they really did.

I didn't have my beloved spray adhesive, so I pin basted. It was challenging to lay out because of course there was a completed quilt on the end of it, so I taped the backing down and weighted the quilt so that it was still taut. I ended up with a tuck on the edge where the strip to add the two pieces was, but meh.

Pin basting in the hoop.

So once it was together I started quilting. I used the original quilting pattern as I had it in the quilt journal. As mentioned, this was the only quilt I ever completed on my hoop. Now that it is no longer in storage I pulled the hoop back out; it was far easier to use than I remember. Partly because I think I learned more about keeping tension right, and partly because I sat on my bed which is really really high. The hoop practically sat in my lap.  Here it is in the hoop, started on the rings then added the central motif.

I used a thicker thread which made me crazy and I had to use a needle slightly larger than a between, but over all it was fun to do. I tried to match but the stitches were slightly smaller than the original. And with less tension in the hoop, it was much less painful to do than the original. Helps not having an arthritic flare up too.

Fergus thought this was a "box" and tried to sit in it whenever I readjusted the quilt. He also tried to chew the thread and jump on top of the quilt while in the frame. He got kicked out and the door closed...again.

New ring above, old ring below. I had been considering getting a smaller hoop for the frame (you can get different sizes) but now I find that while the large hoop has it's challenges, it's just not that difficult to use anymore. 

Ready to cut down, and...oh look it's Fergus the king of the aholes.

....yeah. He wanted in the kitchen as soon as I had covered the doorway.

The last pic was taken after I had quilted and edged, but before washing. Glad I did it, because after washing, the new rings all shrunk considerably. They are now significantly SMALLER than the old ones. I think it's because I used kona cotton for the centres instead of broadcloth, as originally. So I didn't need to cut them down anyway, they would have shrunk down. That said, they wouldn't have matched. Still, I did a lot of extra work on them because they weren't the right size, then they SHRUNK. PHEH.

There's now a ripple in the middle of the quilt though it's more noticeable on the back, as can be seen here (note the hand-sewn strip too--been awhile since I hand sewed like that, and it wasn't the straightest, heh).  It also shrank more to one side than the other.

This is how much smaller the three new rows are. :( Mama and I did tug-of-war with it for awhile to stretch it but mostly only succeeded in almost knocking each other over a few times and lawling at each other. It really didn't stretch too much and mama once again reminded me of how often I fail at my bad ideas. Sigh.

Anyway here's some more pictures of the finished quilt. It really has turned out to be quite large and it was hard to find a wall big enough for it. The darkest rings all ended up in the last row and colourwise I think that's the only thing that looks a little weird (more noticeable in the pic with Ferghole the douchecopter). 

 The entire quilt, new part on the top so there's some rippling to the larger bottom. I had to actually Hammer push pins into this wall! This apartment has some kind of rock hard particle board that nothing sticks to or in for walls.

Look at that shrinkage. One thing I will say is that it makes the quilting look pretty nice...I mean for part of it. Really the quilting is where a difference is most apparent. 

 Quilting in the sunlight. We had a very sunny day today so I decided it'd be good for the colouring.

This picture or the one above probably show its colours best. 

I figure if I put the new part on the bottom of the bed with the smallest side against the wall, as it is here, its hardly noticeable that it's smaller. 

The DWR plus another quilt I just finished.

So though it didn't turn out the way I wanted it to, they never really do. I know that it's not the best idea to pull the fork out again once you've declared something done, but I don't think it's a habit I'll ever be able to break. I do have a large and useable quilt now. And I want to hand quilt the New York Beauty even more now. Still working on the sashing!

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