Great big stinking pile of do-over

I read several quilt blogs that mention how we shouldn't just post pretty pictures of the finished products we are working on, but instead should talk about the process of the things we make. So let me describe where I stand on the quilt I'm working on right now:


Up. Ge. Fucht.

Screwed the pooch, six ways from Sunday, deities on crutches, fubar'ed, etc. I blew it like a blind ref with a grudge and six seconds remaining.

The good news? It's fixable. The bad news? Not without a LOT of work. Yeah, Hallie, did you see this coming? It's your hexagon quilt, 'Remixed,' of course; I called you the day that it happened and told you that it would be a while before I tackled it again, and I was right. I whimpered every time I looked at it, and besides, I had a slew of baby quilts to finish.

I've marked all the remixed hexes with notes so you can see which are a mix of old and new fabrics.

Wholly vintage: 41 of 59 (70%)
Mixture of vintage and reproduction: 16 of 59 (27%)
Wholly reproduction fabrics: 2 of 59 (3%)

Final blog entry: it was remixed: 70% / 27% / 3%

['How it was remixed']

Short version? I tried to quilt this quilt top a few months ago, and after a very troubled five-hour rental on the longarm machine, spanning a Friday afternoon and a full Saturday, the machine blew not one, not two, but three fuses and eventually died on me, leaving the company with a machine needing a repair and me with an unfinished quilt top that I had to take off the machine. I took the quilt top home, pissed as all hell and intending to finish it at home, and then I got a good look at it.

I did not like what I saw. Not one bit. I used a grey thread when I should have trusted my instincts and used a white thread, but even disregarding the color, it was a mess. I didn't like how the quilting looked, and when I turned it over, I discovered the longarm machine had had intermittent tension problems throughout the entire quilting process.

Translation: one big stinking pile of do-over.

So that's exactly what I started this weekend: the great big stinking pile of do-over. Since the quilt has (thankfully, loose) stitching all over it, I won't have to re-pin the quilt if I'm careful. Instead I'm unpicking a column (3-4 hexagons wide) at a time from the quilt, redoing the quilting, and then moving on to unpick another column.

There is no part of this process that will not suck, but these pieces are old, and they deserve to be done right. The pieced front of the quilt consists of mostly old hexagons (see the entry for this quilt for explanation) but the backing fabric is new; that, plus my discovery that the tension was mucked on the bottom side of the quilt means I'm ripping from the back.

It's going to take me a while, but when I hand it over to Hallie, I will be able to say that it was done and it was done right. I am not going to visit her and her family and see this quilt in a bedroom and wince and think, I should have taken the extra time and fixed this quilt.

(For those of you who wondered why I made such a determined effort to discern whether or not I could quilt full-sized quilts on my home machine a few months ago, now you know why. I'm pretty determined to do as many as possible at home from now on.)

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