Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Here is the promised photo of the quilt I made over the weekend, modelled by Dennis who has been banished to the bedroom to watch football and is now snuggled under it.

I think he likes the back more than the front!

But my story is about another quilt....

I am not normally prone to publicising details of my own embarassment on line but I will make an exception today in the hopes that some other beginning quilter will learn fom my lessons. I have just sent a quilt top to a long arm quilter. On that top I applied two tips both given to me by established quilters ( one a teacher). First, use Soft Touch for construction thread because its lightweight and so makes your seams lie nice and flat. Second, don't pay extra for foundation piecing paper - ordinary typing paper works just as well if you follow the usual rule of shortening your stitch length to enable easier ripping.

Both tips are true. However, in combination it turns out there may be a problem! Chris, the quilter rang me today - when she put the top taut on the machine and started to plan her quliting she found one seam was a little open. Then she found another...eventually she found fifteen gaps! Now they were not obvious when I checked for loose threads and ironed it. However, it does seem that the combination of light thread and tugging thick paper out has caused some individual stitches to rip. A longarm machine does not stretch the top but it does pull it tauter than ironing does and so unravelling started and she was unable to quilt it.

Panic. This quilt has to come back for me for embellishment and then go out in the post for Christmas. And Chris finishes work on Thursday. Solution? Husband from Heaven volunteered to drive to Yorkshire to get it in my car using the sat nav he is unfamilar with, as he had no idea where he was going. Fortunately I was working from home so, on his return, was able to down tools and mend it and by the skin of our teeth we got it in the post for next day by 9am delivery so Dennis didn't have to go back with it as he remarkably offered to do. Phew.

I should say that Chris would normally have offered to do it for me but was just so pushed for Christmas work that she simply didn't have time - and after all, why should she?. She was very kind about it telling me it happens 'all the time' - but even so, to send a quilt out with holes in it? Mortified. Next time I shell out for foundation paper and use Gutterman cotton!

Oh, and Dennis arrived with the top and said, 'I trust that woman now, I quite like her.'

I was rather confused and asked why he didn't trust Chris before, given he had never met her, and he said, 'No, not Chris, the lady in the car.' Apparently he was talking to the sat nav voice as he drove. Bless him, I think I may actually have literally driven him mad!


Quilt Pixie said...

I've never used anything but typing paper for foundations, and must admit to often finding slightly popped seams even with short stitch lengths and good thread... Love that I can print the foundation on my computer, but its never been the best solution...

Gina said...

I use cheap copier paper as it rips easily. I always use Gutermanns thread though as my machine doesn't seem to like anything else. It has expensive tastes, like it's owner.

love and hugs xxx

English Rose said...

I have a foundation quilting book on my table to give it a try, so will bear this cautionary tale in mind. I am seriously impressed with the Dennis, what an absolute super star, even if he is now completely bonkers.

Kristin L said...

I can't imagine being banished to the bedroom with such a colorful quilt being a bad thing. :-)

Thanks for the cautionary tale.