Lesson Learned

This was an exhausting quilt week. Last week I finished one ray that contained McTavishing. I posted it on Friday and put the quilt aside until Monday. When I looked at it again, I hated the way I stitched the McTavishing. The travel stitching was really bad. At 11 pm, I decided to rip it all out! That was a huge mistake. It took me three and a half days of steady work to get it all cleaned up. What a mess. I tried to figure out what I could do to make it better (other than another five years of practice) and realized that I needed a higher seat in front of my sewing machine! Raising the height really makes a huge difference in how much you see, and the fatigue factor as well.

I finally finished the McTavishing, (and am still not very happy with it) and was able to do half of the zippling and boomerang areas. I decideFeb1d to add silver and gold to the quilt. This is the first time I have ever used metallic thread. It started breaking, so I logged onto the internet to get some tips. After loosening the tension, changing the position of the spool, changing from cotton bobbin thread to polyester, and using a couple of drops of Sewer’s Aid, I was able to make headway. I love the look of the boomerang area and its contrast to the zippling.

I opted to piece a Feb1'quilt last weekend, so I didn’t have time to use my new fabric paint. I did test the silver and gold on the margin of the quilt. They look beautiful on the burgundy fabric. Hopefully, by next weekend I’ll have caught up! Next time I get the bright idea of ripping anything out, I’ll wait a couple of hours to see if I really want to do it. This time it wasn’t worth it. I learned a very dear lesson!

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10 thoughts on “Lesson Learned

  1. Oh yes, ripping dense quilting is like getting your teeth pulled out from your ears. No Fun! Take a look back at your photos here though. Do you see how amazing your quilt looks? Can you allow yourself to see the wonderful design and intricacy of your stitches?

    Looking at our quilts from 10 inches away, our perspective allows us to see only the imperfections, not the full effect of the beautiful quilting and design. I’ve been working lately to shoot more photos so I can see the quilt from a further distance and appreciate the full effect.

    So from my perspective, I’d say your McTavishing looks terrific and your design is a knock out! Just keep quilting!

    Cheers, Leah Day

    • Thank you, Leah. I appreciate your feedback, as well as all the work you have been doing for the quilting community. It has been less than a year since I found your blogs and tutorials and what a treasure! How wonderful it is to have all your designs at our fingertips, along with your clear instruction on how to execute them and use them in our own creations. Your passion for the art is certainly inspiring, and I always look forward to Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday to learn more!

    • I TOTALLY agree with Leah here JoAnne, your McTavishing looks AMAZING! As someone who aspires to this art but who has been having difficulty acquiring the metal open-toed FMQ foot for my old Pfaff machine, work like yours is an inspiration! From a quilting blog I found recently, I pass along some wise advice from a veteran quilter: Get your nose out of your quilt. Step away after a little break, and see what you have accomplished rather than the perceived flaws of your work. Guaranteed that anyone else seeing your work would be truly impressed, as I am !! Happy Quilting

    • Thank you! I’ve been designing this as I go along, trying to fit Leah’s teaching into the quilt. It’s getting pretty filled up, so I’ll have to start on Express Your Love when Leah switches to another iteration, or design something else.

  2. Wow that was a lot of work to rip out the McTavishing. We are our own worst critics. I was pretty sure my boomerangs were “all over the place,” uneven, randomly curvy and would look bad, but from a few feet away, nothing stands out as really amiss.

    Your quilt is looking really good. Keep going, keep experimenting!

    • Thanks for the encouragement! Actually, other than the ripping part, this has been quite fun. I really enjoy looking at what everyone else is doing. It’s so inspiring and it keeps me plugging along.

  3. It is so interesting how a chair height adjustment can make such a huge difference! I know that when I elevated my chair slightly, all of a sudden the stitching just “flowed”!! Your stitching is incredible!!! I agree, take a breath next time before embarking on a ripping session! Hugs, Doreen

  4. This is so beautiful. I love the colors and the words and all of it! Can’t believe you ripped it out. There is no way I have that kind of patience. I can’t wait to see what the “better” version looks like.

    • Thank you! I think I wrecked it this week though. I used fabric paint on the motifs on the corners and the paint looks really out of place. I’ll probably have to do more painting to tone it down. This is fun, though. I keep reminding myself that this is an exercise to learn different techniques–and that is sure happening.

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