Monday, November 5, 2012

QOMB Finished

It feels like I've been doing nothing but work on my Exeter sweater for the last week, but in reality, I've had a houseguest, been on two dates with Hubby, and spent several hours finishing up my quilt.  As the weather cools, I'm definitely going into hibernation mode:  really all I want to do is knit!  And now I've got two quilts to cuddle up under while I do so.


Honestly, once I was completely finished with this quilt last night, I felt a little underwhelmed.  You know that feeling - when it looked so much better in your head than it does in reality.  That's not to say I don't like it; I do.  Just not as much as I was expecting to.  But I learned a couple of good lessons along the way.

I made a few design decisions that I think made this one harder than the previous one.  Because I didn't want to interfere with the pattern of the dotted Swiss on the back, I decided to do the quilting in between the rows of dots from the back, to create a diamond pattern.  I knew I was taking a risk doing my quilting from the back, and the diagonals made it even more difficult because they created longer lines to quilt, and it meant that the quilting was done on the bias.  I've got a couple of areas that demonstrate very well the need to keep all your fabric taut as you quilt:


Obviously, I didn't pick out those rows.  I'm actually really OK with the imperfections on these first two quilts:  I like knowing that I've got room for growth.  And these wrinkles don't really show all that much now that the quilt has been washed.

When I was almost done with the quilting, my walking foot started to act up.  The bar that goes over the needle clamp was getting stuck in the up position, so the feet weren't moving the fabric forward.  This created very uneven thread tension; lines of quilting that previously looked like this:


Started to look like this, the white thread I used on the front pulling to the back:


I took my foot off, rethreaded my needle and reset my bobbin a couple times, but these fixes only lasted a few inches, so I went ahead and finished the last few rows of quilting, convinced I'd broken the foot and would have to buy a new one.  After I finished, I got the bright idea to google "troubleshooting walking foot problems" and discovered that a drop of oil might fix it.  I inspected my foot to see where the moving parts were, then added said drop of oil.  And hey, presto!  It worked!  I was able to add on the binding with no further problems!


The oil goes on this little piston which is attached to the long bar that goes over the needle clamp.  It sits in a little kidney-bean shaped opening:

(from a slightly different angle)

The other thing I learned is that I've got a long way to go in terms of applying binding.  There are a lot of places where my stitching shows at the edges, partly a function of choosing a highly contrasting color for the binding.  But I didn't have the heart to take any close-up pictures of those boo-boos.  Also, it's a very cloudy day here.


I'm pretty happy with how the quilting looks and how all the fabrics work together.  I wish I'd done a little more planned placement of fabrics rather than making everything completely random.  But overall I think it's a pretty good use of scraps.  As I was making it, it seemed so much bigger than the first one, but in the end it's exactly the same width, and only about 3 inches longer.


The color and style go pretty well with my living room, so I think it will live down there.


It didn't use nearly as much fabric as I'd thought it would, so I still have pieces of most of these fabrics left!  It might be time to make some little zippered pouches, or some more box bags . . .


26 comments:

  1. cushions, you could make some patchwork cushions to go with it! I think it's really nice, great job using up leftovers! The quilts for my boys are the only ones I've loved as soon as they were done, my others took a little while for me to love them, I think once you've put all that work in you kind of expect it to be the best quilt in the history of the world! How do you bind? I sew mine with the machine as I've no time or patience for hand stitching. Oh, and I can relate to your stitching woes, I cleaned several years of dust out of my machine and seem to have done something to the bobbin casing so it played up terribly in the last bits of quilting I did, not sure how to rectify it...

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    1. I thought of cushions (especially after I saw yours) but I don't have room for any more on my couch! And I totally agree about the expectations we place on our quilts. So silly, isn't it?

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  2. It looks good! I've never thought to oil a walking foot, I'll have to remember that trick.

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  3. Gail, it looks great! The little mistakes will only be visible to you and now you know for next time to do things a bit differently. Thanks for the tip on oiling the walking foot – I was having some issues with mine last week an now I know to try oiling it. How perfect is it that you have a cuddly new quilt to snuggle under for knitting over the next few months!

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    1. Even slept with it last night ;-)

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  4. the quilt turned out beautiful, even if it doesn't quite look as you had imagined it to!

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  5. Gail, on a different subject, I saw this in the NM catalog and thought of you! How many sets are you buying?

    http://www.neimanmarcus.com/p/Tom-Ford-Beauty-Exclusive-16-Color-Nail-Set-Nails/prod149660176_cat41000731__/;jsessionid=BFCCCF8F08302C2CCC9BE0F530289D0E?isEditorial=false&index=1&masterId=&cmCat=cat000000cat000285cat4830738cat000294cat43890732cat11610741cat40960772cat41000731

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    1. Wow! I wonder how many of those will be sold?! Good thing I already have all those colors!

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  6. So sorry for that long link, I had no idea! I think you have to cut and paste it. Kristen

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  7. "I like knowing that I've got room for growth." Love this sentiment! And it's good to like that feeling, because it never goes away, right? ;-) I think your quilt turned out just beautiful, and I'm looking forward to seeing your Exeter!

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    1. I honestly do feel that way too! It keeps things interesting!

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  8. I think you quilts are amazing and they will keep you nice and warm while you knit away.

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  9. Beautiful quilt! Sometimes you just need to be random, I think it looks great that way. I hope you get more knitting time now!

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    1. So many crafts, so little time, right?

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  10. To my unbiased eye your quilt is beautiful, I especially like the bright red edge against the black back. But I can totally relate to the shock probably all crafters feel when our high expectations clash with reality. (Since last night I deal with that same problem with my current project and I can't decide whether to I accept and continue as it is or abandon the project altogether.)

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    1. Oh no! I hope it works out for you!

      When I look at this quilt, I can clearly see the demarcations between the three sections I made and then put together. I think I should have given more attention to making the sections more similar. Live and learn!

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  11. It looks great. And it definitely works well in your living room.

    I made my first quilt the other day and it's quite addicting. I keep thinking about the next project. I admire that you tackled such a big one. I am too scared to go bigger than a lap quilt!

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    1. Or a baby quilt;-) I hear you - I too keep thinking about "the next one!"

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  12. It looks great, Gail! I've gotten that "it's good, but not great like I'd imagined" feeling more than once. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who does that.

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    1. I'm all about truth in reporting :-)

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  13. oh wow, I love it! I love the random placement of the scraps - it would go well in my living room :)

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    1. As it does in mine! And I'm really liking having it there, as that room tends to be cooler than the others.

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  14. That's so impressive! I love the colours :)

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