Friday, February 5, 2010

A Very Long Post

With lots of pics (clickable for larger view).  I finished my beach quilt, and wanted to show you how badly it all went, lol - misery loves company!  I'm keeping it anyway, and plan to embellish it.

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This pic was about the truest on the colors.  As I said in my previous post, I used the spray adhesive and tulle on top.  I started to quilt the waves, using my walking foot, and it wasn't going well - things were shifting.  I decided the only way to do this would be free-motion, something I've tried and never been successful at.  I started with the sand.

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I was having a BLAST!  This was hugely fun.  I was totally impressed with myself until....the thread broke.  And broke.  And broke again.  It turned into a battle of wills.

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When I finally got to the sky, I was frustrated beyond belief.  I scribbled with abandon, not even caring how it looked, just trying to stick things down with the thread.  It's a real good thing the telephone didn't ring just then.

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Can you see the knots?  Where the thread nested up and broke?  Seems like every few inches it was happening.  I was using rayon thread, I have it in every color for my machine embroidery - maybe that's why it was breaking, I don't know.  I scoured the internet for clues and tips, did everything I was told, and still......sigh.

Here's the back:

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Pretty awful.  I'm looking at this as a total learning experience, and one I probably won't repeat.  I did finish the water with the walking foot, by this time I had no control over where the needle was going.

I also did things different on the binding. 

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Mary had done a quilt where she sewed the binding to the back first, then brought it around and finished it with a small zigzag on the front.   So I tried it and it worked a treat!  It's not as straight as I would like but you don't want to know my frame of mind by then.  This thing was lucky it didn't end up out the window.  But for all the trouble I had with it, I still like it, and will still embellish it  - I need to add some yarn for the kites, buttons on the houses, sea shells and whatever else I find.


In other news, Midge has been at it again.....

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She sent me another wonderful, soft, luxurious pair of wristwarmers.  Oh they are amazing - and I had to threaten to cut Sam's hair to get them back from him.  Midge, you are a darling!!!!

58 comments:

Terry said...

Sorry you had so many problems with this quilt! Sounds just about like the last one I worked on! But yours looks great on the front! I can't wait to see it with embellishments added! :0)

Tanya said...

Hmmm. You know, you didn't have to show us the back! The front is pretty impressive by the way! I like the way you played with the quilt... So what did you learn about how to keep thread from breaking? Mine was doing that yesterday too but it was cotton. SOOOO aggravating! You have a lovely FUN quilt! Go relax at the beach!

Tozz said...

Allie you are not the only one that this happens too. I too have had the same results and ended up putting it aside and trying it on something else. But the front is looking really good :) Hope it works out for you soon as it can be most frustrating. Hugs Vicki

Cheryl said...

I agree the front looks great, sorry for the frustration it put you through. Good for you for hanging in there. Love the wrist warmers!

Dolores said...

Ouch. I really liked the first pic and then I read and read and finally you showed the back and I understood the frustration. At least the binding worked out for you. Midge one in a million - those wrist warmers are wonderful.

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Oh my isn't that just so frustrating? It's an awesome piece of work, and I'm glad you stuck with it.

Anne at Film and Thread said...

Oh, Allie. How frustrating this must have been, but it really looks good and if you hadn't shown close up pictures of the little knots, no one would have known. I really like how the binding looks and the whole quilt has such a lively happy feel that it doesn't reflect any of the difficulties.

Linda said...

Allie I think you're being far too hard on yourself. I love your quilt. It's so happy, makes you smile. I think perhaps it was the fact that the thread was rayon. I used to have those problems, we all do. I've changed over to using a denim needle when I machine quilt now, especially where there's applique involved, and love the difference using it makes.

Sharon said...

I agree with everyone else...the quilt is awesome! I'm sorry it was such a bear to work on; I understand your frustration! I wonder if it would have worked better without the tulle?

Anyway, it looks wonderful. Have a blast embellishing it!

By the way, I'm having a little giveaway over on my blog...come by and leave a comment!

www.indigothreads.blogspot.com

Mary said...

Hi Allie - the quilt looks just fine. It's a happy, whimsical quilt! I've tried free motion quilting a few times and have been exasperated too, but you know something? Nobody will be inspecting the quilt back once it's hanging up. BTW - I love the zig zaggy quilting on the palm tree :)

Aimee said...

I love it and if you didn't point out the boo boos no one would know they were there! Those things are so very frutstrating, though.

Peg - Happy In Quilting said...

HI Allie...it sounds like you have had a terrible time, but it does look good and at the end of the day it is the finished product that counts and it is looking like a bit of a masterpiece to me....

soggybottomflats said...

Wow Allie, what an awe inspiring quilt you have! Very cool. I agree with everyone else, you are way too hard on yourself.

It reminds me of when I tried machine quilting the first time. I wanted to slap my machine...real hard! I went online, no answers there. So after going thru my book, I started reading it and found that I could adjust the foot tension and the upper tension...what an improvement! I also tried using a different stitch with my walking foot. Just don't give up girl. You did a remarkable job, be proud of it. I too cannot wait to see what else you do with it. I actually love it just the way it is.

Paula said...

Sorry you had such a frustrating experience, but really, your quilt is still amazing! You should be proud of yourself for trying something so new and different for you! I can't wait to see the embellishments. That should be fun to do!

loulee said...

It looks amazing, if you hadn't said anything, we wouldn't know. Well done you for persevering and doing such a good job.

Jenny of Elefantz said...

Sweetie, I am so impressed with your grit and determinatiin to stay the course and finish the job at hand!! To me it still looks great, but I understand how frustrating it was to have all that breaking along the way.
I like the binding done that way - unusual but really nice!

Joy said...

Good for you Allie for perservering, because the quilt looks great, it really does!!! I've had trouble with breaking thread too, I've found that when I use a 'metallic' needle it doesn't happen half as much. The hole is bigger and smoother so it seems to be a bit kinder on a thread that might tend to be a bit more delicate. It's worth a try perhaps ;o). Allie you tried something new and it turned out a treat. Who's gonna look at the back when it's hanging on your wall looking all fabulous :o)!!!??!
Hugs,
Joy :o)

Mickie said...

Allie the quilt is wonderful! I have had a lot of problems doing regular sewing and quilting with rayon thread. But I think the finished result is WONDERFUL! Did you fuse the pieces down? I really love the look of this! :)

Mama Spark said...

I guess whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right? I love how the front turned out and once it is hung no one else will see the back (unless they are nosey and then they get what they deserve! Good for you that you didn't give up!!

atbquilting said...

The front looks great. It looks like you were dealing with several issues. Rayon thread is one of the weakest. To make it work on my commercial machines I have to run two strands at once to make it strong enough. I don't remember, but I think you fused your pieces together. it looks like some of your issues were where you had multiple layers. Even on a commercial machine with cotton or polyester thread I get breakage when there are lots of layers of fusible.
You could always put a facing on the back to cover the issues there. Again the front looks great and the embellishments will be fun.

Niki :-) said...

I used to do a LOT of applique, because it's so interesting, and pretty, and you can do so much with it. But I had toooooo many of those 'bad' incidences that I decided to stop. I would still do it here and there, just not as much. One thing...and I'm sure you know what you're doing but I'm just asking...did you use the light fusible web to bind? I once used the heavy and OMGosh, I didn't know it gummed up your needle. I live and learn...But that was a horrible learning experience. And that was back when I owned my Bernina! eeeekkkk!
Hugs Allie poo!

Karen said...

Your beach scene looks good to me. Thread breaking while machine quilting is a pain! I am not very good at free motion machine quilting. I know it takes practice but I don't think practice is going to give me the talent I would really like to have doing it.

Mr Puffy's Knitting Blog: said...

You are too hard on yourself! It looks wonderful :) No one is going to look at the back and examine it with a microscope ~ it will and should be a piece you enjoy very much! So cheerful and sunny in the middle of Winter.

Shasta said...

What a beautiful beach scene! Sorry about you quilting problems - the same thing happens to me. I think my machine likes rayon thread, because it did on a couple of quilts, then it has problems with the next one. I think the magic has to do with matching the needle with the thread and the thread tension, but getting all those things to align all at the same time is difficult for me, and I have many UFOs as a result! And quilts that don't get free motion quilted. But I hope to persevere, and figure out the magic this year.

Pam McL said...

Oh, hun...I feel your pain about the breaking thread. Usually when that happens to me, someone has fiddled with the tension. It is SO FRUSTRATING!
I still like your quilt. I hope one day you can look beyond the character enhancers and enjoy it. Being a perfectionist myself, I have trouble with that in my own work. You will rise above it, though--I have confidence in you.
Love the wrist warmers! Both sets are gorgeous!

Fleurette said...

I think you've done a great job despite all the frustrations.I love your quilt and can't wait to see the embellishments.

jan said...

It looks great from here! I think that you should just call it a five foot quilt - cause it looks great from five feet away! Seriously, it is very charming and embellishment will add more charm. The only time I have used rayon thread was for hand embroidery, but I gave up after one 12" length tangled and broke about 10 times. I am sure that there are tricks to using it and the colors are great, but I will leave it to others!

Lynn said...

It sounds like my sewing lately. When it happens to me, I stip and change my needle and clean and oil my machine, sometimes it works (sometimes not). Thank you for telling about the binding. I've been trying to machine bind (and have it look good) for some time now. I'm definitely going to try this.

Mary-Kay said...

Very Cool! I really like the way those turned out. Great job! Too bad that your thread kept on breaking. I hate when that happens. But they turned out great anyway.

West Michigan Quilter said...

I love your beach quilt. Sorry about your problems. I hate it when that happens, and trust me, it's happened to me. Your quilt reminds me of a beach in the Bahamas. Love it.

Carrie P. said...

Hey another pair of cool gloves. Very nice.
I think your quilt looks fantastic on the front. I wonder if that tulle had something to do with the way it quilted. Just don't look at the back and you will not remember what a time you had. I am sure once you get the embellishments on it you will love it even more.

Cindy said...

Your quilt looks whimsical and fun-loving just like YOU are, my dear friend! Sorry you had such a time of it with the thread. LOVED the idea that you decided to "paint" new fabric to your liking. Who'd have thunk? And the hand-warmers...HA! I had to gigle thinking of you chasing Sam (I think you said it was Sam...I'm new at this posting on blogs stuff) around trying to cut his hair IF he kept the hand warmers. How many seconds did it take to have them returned with such a serious threat? Allie...YOU are SUCH a blessing! Thanks for your help today in getting my blog up & running. I don't know where else to put this, so I'm wrapping it all up in one internet "quilt" of love. Too bad I don't know how to put gadgets in this post, or I'd post a nice quilt with it so you could have some eye candy. ; ) Love ya! Cindy Lou Who

Martha said...

I think the quilt looks fabulous, and who's going to be looking at the back anyway. I'm glad you didn't throw it out the window.

soggibottom said...

Allie, it is very remiss...is that one s or 2 ?
Of me not to vist......
Thank you again for your link after I told you I didn't send you them to be blogged...
As for you quilt...I am a nut about fabric art...this to me isn't just quilting..it is art..
at a heigh degree. I always feel it's such a shame when someone shows their skill....they never show the true skill of coming through the pitfalls of a tedious sewing machine, the machine that has days of being very good or being a comnplete rat. Thank you for showing the rat days..we all have them... but some are never such artists that they share them ...
x x x as always Midge x x x
I will look out for the bag x

soggibottom said...

Visit has been spelt wrongly...sorry ...it's late x x x x

Debbie said...

Wonderful beach quilt, Allie. That little zig-zag came out great!

Dandelion Quilts said...

Allie, I have had this problem and it is A REAL DRAG...makes me all uptight to the point I want to quit. The lady at a quilt shop suggested I use a sharper needle. And she said that I always need to start with a fresh one. I also found a tip on a blog about using these bobbin washers...I found them at Clotide.com. They just came, so I don't know if they will help or not. I use cotton thread. I really am sorry you were having such a bad day at it...before I got to reading, I thought...."What clever quilting." Really, the front looks great.

Kim D. said...

Wow, the front looks awesome Allie. Sorry you went through so much trouble. I have trouble with the thread breaking from time to time. It could be the tension or the needle. Try a Schmetz Sharp Needle and see if that helps. I usually practice on some muslin sandwich first and after I know everything is working, tackle the quilt. Those wrist warmers are gorgeous.

Heather x said...

Aww, don't be dis-heartened babe, I think you have made a pretty amazing piece of work! Your FMQ is quite impressive for someone who as given up and just "scribbled" and you know what they say, practice makes perfect lol. As long as you are enjoying the journey, what else matters?
*hugs* Heather x

Valerie said...

Been there and done that. But actually it looks great. Once you get those threads cut off. You did good on your free motion. I just can't get it yet but it is a lot of fun. Your quilt is gorgeous. I LOVE it! I can't wait to see everything you do with it. Granny always says that no quilt is perfect. She tells me to fix what I can and keep going. I LOVE your beach quilt.

Bobbi said...

Hey my girlfriend!
I think your quilt is beautiful, regardless of the problems you had. (remember you're your own worst critic)

The weather is simply awful. The temps haven't been too bad, but it's been snowing for days. blech....I ended up in the ditch on Friday night again...the second time in two weeks. Thank GOD no one was injuried, and the truck is okay. NOT fun, needless to say.

Love ya!

Bobbi said...

BTW...I think your quilt looks good enough to send it to me. :D LOL

Rebekah said...

I'm so sorry to hear that you had such a bad experience with this! I hate it when my machine starts acting up...I don't have very much patience, so my machine would have been out the window if I was in your shoes!

The finished quilt looks great from a distance and I like the subtle look of the tulle on the front.

julie said...

You are too hard on yourself Allie. Your little quilt has whisked me off to the sunny warm ocean. Cool breeezes, white sand and the fresh smell of salt air.
My tip: hang it high.

AllyJo said...

Oh wow. I'm so impressed. You are a talented friend to keep forever. I really love this quilt. It's usually not my taste, but I could totally go for this.

Diane said...

I am so sorry this was such a pain for you. I think that it turned out beautiful and that very few people will notice the tiny issues. Just don't be pointintg them out!

Victoria said...

When threads fail to behave, it can very frustrating, (and rayon gives me a headache, too... always breaking, ugh!) However I think the end result, hanging on the wall, looks super-duper! (Who's gonna see the back, anyway?) You should feel good. You made a creative and very fun piece of art! Bravo!

Beatrix from Kindershop said...

I am sorry you had such an aweful time finishing this quilt. Even so the back might not look all that great I really love the job you did on the front. Wonderful design and all the colors! So fresh and vibrant.

Loralynn said...

So sorry for your frustration! This exact thing is the reason I have not tried quilting like that! I just know I would have the same problems you had. The difference is, you are more patient and I would actually throw mine out the window! Yours actually looks really good from the front!

Terri said...

Well you are a trooper girl!! I admire the determination to get it finished. I'm looking forward to seeing the embelishments....

Lauranie said...

I LoVE IT!! Sorry it was so frustrating for you, but you pressed on and what a unique creation!! Rayon thread, huh? Did you use and machine embroidery needle? I tried sewing with rayon...not a happy machine...but I switched needles and did cotton in the bobbin, worked better...although I was not quilting. I am sure you will have it figured out before the next one!! :D Happy embellishing!

Dawn said...

Oh Allie, It is the type of thread that you used... try King Tutt, Signature or Rasant... they are the ones that work best.... Nylon thread doesnt' grab to well...slips/moves along and then knots... sorry you had a bad time... gorgeous quilt though... I have a few hiccup quilts I call them...well done for persistance...
Hugs Dawn x x

bluebird-lyn said...

Hello Allie, do you think maybe it was the Spray Adhesive that caused your problems??? looking forward to seeing the embellishments...Warm Regards Lyn

sewtakeahike said...

ok Allie, I had this exact same problem with my bernina when I was quilting my "friends" string quilt. The thread broke every couple of inches and I broke about 7 needles as well. I was soooo frustrated! The owner of the bernina shop "fixed" my machine three times and when the problem continued, she asked me to bring everything in so she could watch what I was doing. I obligued her and she figured out it was the type of embroidery thread I was using (coats and clark) that for some reason, pulls really hard through my machine. She ended up giving me (seriously, she was so happy to have figured out the problem, she gave me a spool of isacord embroidery thread in a perfect matching color). She said sometimes for whatever reason, certain threads don't work with individual machines. To check and see if it's your thread, here's what you can do. Thread your machine with some thread that works fine in your machine and with the presser foot raised, pull the thread by the needle area and get a feel for how easily it pulls through the machine. Now, thread your machine with the thread that was breaking and do the same thing. For my machine, the coats and clark pulled a lot harder through my tension discs, therefore pulling on the needle and causing the thread to break and sometimes the needle. Hope that helps!

Judith Tetley said...

Hi Allie...I love the way you just went for it on your quilt and had fun with it...okey...it didn't turn out the way you wanted it to in the beginning, but....hey its now a "Seaside Storm"....and its perfect!
Kind Regards
Judith
http://creativestudio10.blogspot.com

Dorothy said...

Allie, I think it's great that you didn't let it intimidate you.
Love the wrist warmers!

Candied Fabrics said...

My mentor Melody Johnson, from whom I learned FMQ, literally dragged me up to her AQS best of show quilt, flipped it over and showed me the less than perfect back, after I was bemoaning the look of my back of a practice piece...it really doesn't matter - but it is frustrating!

Tammy said...

My RA filled hands would love these!! Awesome.

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