So I have a sad story about this quilt, but at least it has a happy ending. Looking back, this quilt had a rocky start – I set out to make something else and even cut up a bunch of my treasured Carolyn Friedlander fabrics, only to find that I didn’t even like my design. Happily I was able to turn it into something I did like (photos of the quilt top here, last March).

In fact, I liked it quite a lot, and as with quilt tops I like a lot, I hung it in the closet, afraid to ruin it during quilting. Recently I got the urge to get these quilts finished, so sandwiched a few of them, including this one. I started quilting and immediately knew there was a problem. You know how you can just tell it’s not basted well enough? Well, I knew, but continued on with a few more quilting lines just in case it would work itself out. Nope. And now I had even more quilting to rip out!

I resandwiched it and pressed on, quilting all the horitonzal lines I’d need. It was ok, but I could see that it wasn’t stretched tightly enough. I suppose it might have been ok if I had just continued on with horizontal lines, but I had already picked a design from Jacquie’s book, and wanted to see it on this quilt. There was no way I was ripping all that quilting out though, so I kept on, and it kept getting worse.

Adding all these quilting lines between the horizontal lines I had already quilted made the issue that much more obvious (it looks ok in some of these photos, but in person you can see how there’s lots of excess fabric, even folded over some of the quilting lines). I was pretty bummed about it, and thought I might not even show you this one, but then Hazel walked by and was so excited about the quilt and immediately asked if she could have it for her bed.

She, of course, didn’t even notice all the bad spots I was focusing on, and instead just loves it for what it is – a quilt made up of colors she likes that will keep her warm at night. I shall try to embrace it in the same way (though I still reserve the right to be bummed that it didn’t turn out as nicely as I had hoped!).

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16 Responses to framed

  1. 1
    Robby H. says:

    I love the design, and I think Hazel also sees it as “a quilt made by my Momma” which makes it extra special. Sometimes we only see with our own critical eye and not the loving eyes of a child. Hope you’ll see it that way over time instead of seeing the flaws. (Not that I’m any good at this myself. Ha!)

  2. 2
    Jessica W says:

    just wanted to say THANKS for sharing. I work full time and am raising a daughter but love quilting when I can. I quilt my own projects on a domestic machine and live in small house so basting is often an issue. I tend to beat myself up about it, and it was refreshing and reassuring to know that it happens to the best of us (b/c seriously, you are the best!). And yes, the quilts are loved and used, puckers and all.

  3. 3
    Paula Alden says:

    This is a lovely quilt and I’m glad it has a loving owner. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us, good and bad. It helps me so much to know that other, more experienced, quilters have similar issues to mine. I no longer feel like such a failure and can appreciate the learning experience.

  4. 4
    Suzette says:

    It’s lovely. I hope you learned from it to avoid the issue in the future. I’d love to hear more about what you think happened.

    Hazel is a lucky gal.

  5. 5
    Beth T. says:

    Thanks for keeping it real, Ashley. Sometimes those of us who read blogs can get the impression that the people we admire don’t have the same struggles we do, because all we see are the successes, the creativity, the straightforward progress. Meanwhile, our (MY) quilting journey is notable for its spectacular miscalculations, interruptions, and meanderings. Some of which have brought about new ideas, but few of which are represented on the blogs of quilters I follow and respect.

    The story of intending to make one block, not liking it, going with another was a great reminder that it happens to all of us: our first plan does not always turn out as envisioned. Keep at it! And who hasn’t quilted a wrinkle in? Kept going, and then thought, “Why didn’t I stop sooner?” We readily relate to that. We should just as quickly recognize that the people we love–big ones as well as little ones–won’t be judging the quilt with critical eyes.

  6. 6
    Jean says:

    “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”! Hazel gets it! Thank you Ashley!

  7. 7

    Thanks for sharing that. I have had to rip a little quilting this week myself. I am glad you finished it. That is a real lesson to us that most people don’t notice those mistakes like we do. The quilt is beautiful

  8. 8
    Lisa C in Dallas TX says:

    Hazel’s perspective is perfect! I think some fabrics have a finish on them that makes them harder to baste. They slide more or something. Glad you pressed on because it’s lovely.

  9. 9
    Linda says:

    The most important thing is that you made your daughter deliriously happy! Remember, if you can’t see it from a galloping horse, it’s okay.

    Love to all your family. I guess it’s going to get REALLY busy with summer vacation on it’s way…..

    xo Linda

  10. 10
    Nan says:

    I really appreciate your sharing your frustrations with this quilt. I have a similar project that I keep putting down and picking up and ripping stitches and wondering if I just have to start over. It is an intermediate or advanced level quilt when really I am a beginner. Also, some of the directions were just not helpful. But whenever I bring it out to work on it my family gives me lots of positive feedback on it. I hope if I keep working on it a tiny bit at a time that one day it will be as finished as it can get and I can move on from “all the mistakes!!!!”

  11. 11
    Colleen says:

    Our kids teach us so much ! It is a beautiful quilt.

  12. 12
    Erik says:

    This quilt is beautiful! I think the soul of this quilt is like most of us…we want to be loved for simply who we are. Good job…great story!

  13. 13
    Gillian says:

    The colours are so pretty! It’s not a perfect quilt, but it will be used and loved, and that’s really the point, right?

  14. 14
    Shelley says:

    Thank you for posting that. The quilt top is lovely and so are you for admitting there is sometimes imperfection in lovely things. Why do we have quilt police?

  15. 15
    Jenifer Farrell says:

    I think your quilt looks so beautiful but I know how these things can weigh on us ! I wanted to share that I have so many unfinished tops because I love the process of piecing – and have had my share of experiences like yours because I dislike basting so much and I’m not that good at it. I recently used fusible batting for the first time based on a YouTube video by Angela Walters and her recommendation. It’s a game changer for me ! I no longer have the basting issues I had before. I recommend trying it out to see if it works for you! Meanwhile thanks for sharing your quilting journey with us – I don’t often comment but I love seeing what beautiful things you do !

  16. 16
    Barbara says:

    I feel your pain. I have tried multiple basting methods with mixed results. It can be so frustrating. Perhaps the the best lesson from this quilt is that it does not have to be perfect to be loved.

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