Friday, January 23, 2015

Suggestions for an Unloved Quilt?

Apparently this is the week to tell you about my tree skirts and/or my mistakes.  Nothing is hidden here, is it?


In November I was inspired by @Breepickles on Instagram to play with the idea of a Swoon tree skirt.  I fell in love nearly immediately, deciding to use the Folk Art Holiday fabric available in the shop.

Before I knew it, I had everything cut out, pieced and up on the design wall.


I will not lie.  At this point I started to get concerned that A: all of the prints were very small scale with little variation between each part of the star and B: I disliked the multicolored partridge print in the center of the star, wishing I used a solid instead.  I posted photos on IG, folks cheered me on and I plowed ahead.  Mistake.


The top was done in no time (early December) so I tossed it onto the quilt frame, delusional that it would be done to give as a Christmas gift.  


This is where I made my third mistake.  I quilted like a maniac under pressure and made mistake after mistake.  I lost my place in the pattern.  I quilted twice in some places.  I didn't have it loaded onto the frame properly and created wrinkles  Wrinkles so big your finger tip can be lost in them.  It was a total disaster.  


I became angry and ripped it out of the frame when it was only half quilted.  That is why you see it with the wadding flowing this way and that in the earlier photos.   It's not trimmed, remains wonkily quilted and wrinkled.  

Here is my question - what do I do with it?  I have fallen out of love with it. I do not like the fabrics, the piecing, the quilting.  Here are my options as I see it:

1. throw it out - this is becoming increasingly attractive as sewing/quilting is supposed to be FUN.
2. rip out the quilting and try again - it's only about 45x18 inches of quilting.  That wouldn't be a disaster, but it would not be fun.
3. rip it all apart and fix the center of the star replacing the multicolored print with a solid - I'd nearly rather start again all together. 

Any other suggestions?  What would you do if this was your mistake of a quilt?





35 comments:

helenjean@midgetgemquilts said...

is it big enough to finish simply and donate to the ambulance charity as a small lap quilt?

Lynz said...

Give it to meeee! I love it (I think that multi coloured partridge fabric is amazing!) and would fix it. Or, you know, any one of your other options. But yeah, it's supposed to be fun so if the thought of working on it any longer fills you with horror then move on!

Lucy @ Charm About You said...

Personally I like it but I've been in that position and threw it out!! I know it's bad but when you just can't stand it anymore sometimes that's the best thing to do. Now though I say send it to Lynz and move on to something you love! Xx

Annabella said...

yes - give it to Lynz or replace the print with a solid option. If that would make you absolutely love it then do option 2. If not - get it to LYnz! x

Paula said...

If you really don't like it then you probably won't enjoy working on it no matter what sort of fix you would decide to go with. It's one thing to have to "just" rip out quilting and redo it because if you like the actual piece it's well worth it. But if you aren't happy with the actual fabric choices then you really aren't going to enjoy fixing it no matter what.

If you really aren't going to like it then I say move on, but whatever you do don't dump it because it is a really lovely quilt even if it is not to your taste. Personally I think the fabrics all work well together, and love the small prints throughout and I am guessing there are plenty more people who think just like me. Pass/sell it on to any of us who would love it and be happy to correct the mistakes, or maybe swap it for the materials to make a new one that is to your liking. The charity option already suggested is also a great one and again if you didn't feel you wanted to do the work to finish it up for that then I'm sure there are plenty of us who would happily take on the task.

Before you make any final decisions though it might be worth bearing in mind that you had intended this to be a tree skirt. The central fabric is the one you don't like and you will be cutting out some of that and much of the remainder will most likely be shadowed by the tree and you will see a lot more of the outer fabrics and not of the blue (maybe none of the blue if there are a few presents under the tree). How it will look under a tree is not how it looks hanging on the line or on your design wall.

pennydog said...

I'm joining the give it to Lynz gang! I think if you were wanting to keep it, I'd go with ripping the quilting out but I like the patchwork as it is.

Ruth said...

I agree with Paula it will look different with a big green tree sitting on top of it! I'd pass it on as Lynz has an an enthusiasm for it and it would make you both happy!

Catherine said...

I think you're leaning heavily towards calling it a day, so maybe that's the right thing to do - time to let go and move on? You probably learned a lot of useful stuff and you can find it a home with someone who loves it - give it to Lynz:-)

cheeky monkey said...

Put it on the shelf and wait to get back in Christmas mood first of all! Otherwise don't look at it as a single piece as you want to have it around the tree and it will look so different when you only see half of it and in a curve (not spread out flat). Also with a border and maybe some applique snowflakes you might fall in love again?

Leanne said...

Send it to Lynz. I would have tossed it without ever mentioning it but now that you have a taker, send it off to her. You need to like it, especially if you are gifting it.

Laura said...

If you can't stand to finish it, give it to someone who doesn't mind turning it into a charity quilt. Babies aren't fussy about their quilts!

Sharon J. Hughson said...

Send it to me! LOL

Suze said...

Unfortunately only you can decide what to do with your project. I have a quilt from over 25 years ago in my attic. Of course, it was done with no mats and no rotary cutters. Everything was done with a ruler, scissors, pencils, templates, lots of tracing, etc. It was all very, very tedious to say the least. It was my first quilt. I was married to my first husband. From across my large living room, he told me that one of my applique blocks (interlocking hearts) was not centered. Of course, we didn't make them larger and then cut them to size. I thought it was centered. He asked for my seam gauge to prove to me I was wrong. He said it was 1/16" off center. I was crushed. I didn't think he would ever sleep under the quilt if I finished it. He divorced me years later. I was lap quilting the king quilt. I boxed it up and sent it to my mother. She only knew how to quilt in a frame. So, back it came to me and it resides in my attic. In the 17 years we have been divorced we haven't even talked as much as once a year. We talked a year ago after my second husband died to see if there might still be a spark. I asked if he remembered the quilt and he does. He was so proud that he can tell when something is not level and when something is not centered. He said he could not believe that I could get that block that close to center by human hands. He never added that part and I had let a wound fester for 16 years. Our son would like for me to finish the quilt. I doubt that I will. I've had people suggest that some quilts were not meant to be finished. Other people tell me that it would be good for me to finish it. I still don't have a desire to finish it. I'd much rather piece a quilt and pay someone to quilt a new one for my son. So, my advice to you, is to search your heart and see what baggage it is to you. I really hate to have the quilt in the attic. I guess I should donate it to boutique at our quilt show to see if they can get a few dollars out of it. Yet there is still an emotional attachment that I'm not ready to let go of it. It's your decision and no one can make it except you. Wish I could be more helpful.

Pieces of Cotton said...

I've grown more accepting of throwing away disaster projects. No matter what the craft, sometimes there is going to be a little waste. Quilters have less than other crafters, usually.

needle and nest said...

I'd probably tear out all of the quilting, then add some borders to make it big enough to be a baby quilt. Then quilt it up and donate it... some mama and baby out there will love it! xoxo

kathy said...

Got some good ideas here. I favor moving on but my thrifty (devilish) side suggests cutting as needed into zipper pouches/pillows/purses. Re-purpose it.

Sarah said...

well sweetie i'm not feeling (from you) any love for this quilt at all, so i'd say give it to Lynz!

Marjorie Nath said...

Give it to a quilter that loves it and would give it a happy home.

Sophie Belle Designs said...

Hand it over to Lynz! I love it by the way but I completely understand when you fall out of love with a project.

Archie the wonder dog said...

Is there any chance you'd love it more if it was under a tree (a Christmas tree, not buried in a field under a real tree!) where you couldn't see all of it? I love the partridge fabric and wonder if it's the silver on white snowflake fabric which is causing the problem - it just disappears into the background. If you think you'll love it with alterations then send it over here and I'll unpick the quilting (and even the block, should you so wish) and then send it back to you...

Four dogs and one quilter said...

Put it away for a while. Right now all you are seeing are the mistakes and not how lovely it could be with a few changes. Will be a pain in the @$$ to undo the quilting but will be worth it. I agree with Archie about the points, they do get lost in the background.

Anne said...

If I'm totally out of love with a quilt or project, I find there's almost always someone else who does love it and would like it. Sounds like you already have a taker, but if that doesn't work out, try a local quilt guild or even a charity which might have someone on hand to finish it off.

Throwing it away just seems too tough for me. :) But I definitely vote for letting it go. Time's too short to work on stuff you don't love.

Sarah said...

Clearly this one is just not for you. Send it to Lynz who loves it and will nurture it back yo health. Then you will feel good instead of guilty. It's ok to quit on something you hate this much?

Quilter in the Gap said...

I'm with everyone else.... You have to make the decision and decide what is the best call for You!! I have mailed a couple of projects off to people I knew would appreciate it more than me.

Judith, Belfast said...

If there's as much work and effort to get it to a place where you like as to start over with a new one, I would donate it to someone who likes it as it and can finish it & use it. Jxo

Nicky said...

Sounds like you have two options now Helen or Lynz! Better send some fabric to Helen though in exchange for the unpicking though I bet she would do it without!

Teresa Stanulis said...

What a frustrating situation for you! I made a tree skirt top several years ago and pulled it out of my WIP closet before Christmas. While pin-basting it, I decided I didn't like it enough to ever use as a tree skirt, but it would look fine as a table topper. Since it's a small project, I decided to hand quilt it to help me revive my hand quilting skills. I'm enjoying working on it when watching t.v. in the evenings with my husband. It has turned something unappealing into something pleasant for me. Your tree skirt fabric would look great hand-quilted with embroidery floss, which would be pretty quick work, if you decide to rip out the quilting you've already done.

Tomomi McElwee said...

Finish and give it away or donate to someone. I think if you separate it in four quaters and put it back together other way aound, i.e. bring white solid to the middle, it will be something interesting. But sure annoying for you.

mammafairy said...

Sorry, Cindy, if you are losing the will to live over this one, it just is not worth it!
You have lined up your options. Some of them you already know just won't happen. You are not going to unpick everything and replace that middle. Just not happening. It seems improbable that you would unpick the quilting and start that over.
That leaves throw it out. Life is too short to grieve over something like this. You also have a volunteer (even a couple of volunteers, I have seen at least one name other than Lynz who would gladly take it on)to pick it up where you have left off, so why not sing praises to the god of small things, hand it over to Lynz, or one of the others, and put it to bed that way! Off your conscience and off your shelf!
Then you can make a fresh start, and make the thing you are going to love!

Teje Karjalainen said...

Hi Cindy! Lot of Chat for your beautiful quilt - you see we love it, small prints and all! I agree with others that it will look different and show less under the tree. But if you don't like to keep it, make a baby quilt to give away or give it to Lynz or perhaps give away. I was looking if it could be cutted to make something else .... you could make a 'challenge give away': cut it in four and then the winners will make something with their 1/4 and you choose the winner. You can guess that now we all wait to see how this story continues. Have a lovely Sunday! x Teje

Katy Cameron said...

Have you sent it to Lynz yet? ;o)

Judy said...

I think that's happened to all of us at one time! I'd give it away to someone else and press on with something that you'll enjoy. Life is too short to work on a quilt that makes you unhappy!

Catrin Lewis said...

I'd put it in a cupboard for a few months and forget about it. When you've fallen out of hate with it take it back out and ask yourself if you love it enough to unpick it. If you don't, send it to the Ochil and Lynz still has enough time to get it done before Christmas. If you do, fire ahead!

Lynne said...

I would not encourage you to throw it out -- I can't bear waste. Give it away if you want to but please, don't throw it! That being said, I have just finished a Craftsy class with Jacquie Gering who uses a rotary cutter to remove quilting stitches. Basically, lift the backing, hold a rotary cutter with and old blade as you would hold a spoon and cut those stitches from between the backing and batting. I'm sure you can find better instructions on YouTube or elsewhere on the net if mine didn't make sense!

IdleHandsinAlabama said...

You could cut it up and make a soft bag out of it or Christmas stockings or even pouches to put favorite ornaments in.

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