Saturday, July 12, 2014

In which we give up and make a wall hanging.

This quilt: oh, this quilt. What a journey. It's the Converging Corners quilt tutorial from Film In The Fridge (found here). I started it back in the early spring of 2013, got 4 blocks done, taped them to my craft room wall, and considered myself a genius. Each block took just about a lifetime, and was just so fiddly. So many pieces, so much up-down to the ironing board, so many times that my seams were not straight enough and the whole block went a little off. I got those 4 blocks done, admired them on the wall for a few months, and sort of thought about making more, but then we moved. After we got settled in to the new house and I had my new craft room, I got distracted by All Of The Things, and totally forgot that I had made this at all. Then I moved my craft room from the spare bedroom to the unused family room in the basement (best move ever, I have so much space to sew and craft), and I re-discovered the quilt. Aha! I thought, I'll finish this up! Made a couple more blocks, remembered that it was terribly tedious and time-consuming the first time, realized it was no different this time, and put the blocks + cut out pieces in a pile on the floor. (Organization and putting things away are not skills that I have.)

Fast forward to last week, when I decided that I wanted to do some quilting. I actually made a block of a totally new quilt- something with fussy-cut alligator fabric, to commemorate our upcoming Louisiana move- before I thought, no no, finish something else first. Pulled out this stack of quilt blocks, and immediately thought, something's wrong. My cat does this thing where she gets mad at me when I travel, and when I get back from said travel, she does things like poop in the bed, between the sheets, on my side. Seriously. She did that once. So apparently at some point in the past, I traveled, she got mad, and she PEED ON THE STACK OF QUILT BLOCKS. I know what you're thinking. 1. You shouldn't store things on the floor. (I know.) 2. How did you not smell it? (I don't know. I feel icky about it.) and 3. Why on earth do you still have that cat? (Again. I don't know. She's fluffy and sweet usually, but we do. not. mess. with. the. cat.)

Corner matching: nailed it. 

So I tossed the blocks into the washing machine with a ton of Resolve and ungodly amounts of detergent, and hoped for the best. It worked- no more smell, no stains, but. The blocks were now a wonky mess. Un-sewn quilt blocks do not like to be washed, turns out. I didn't dry them in the dryer- I used my iron to try to steam the wet blocks back into shape, and it sort of worked, but at least one of the blocks was still irreparably wonky. I started to make more blocks, and had them all laid out on the floor, when I realized just how many more I needed to make in order to end up with a decent-sized quilt, and nearly cried. "What am I going to do?" I asked myself. "Wall hanging for the sewing room in the new house," I answered myself. I've always thought that wall hangings were a bit goofy, but now I get it. It's a solution.

A little bit of hand quilting. 

So I sewed those nine blocks together, had a hell of a time quilting it (wonky blocks! they don't want to be quilted flat), bound it in my favorite print of all time, decided that I had to wash it to try to disguise the wonkiness, hand-sewed the binding down, then added a little bit of hand quilting in contrast thread. I admit that I only did this because it took me 1.5 True Blood episodes to sew the binding down, and I didn't want to sit there and do nothing for the last half-episode. I don't do nothing well.

And now I have a wall hanging, and a color palette and theme for the new sewing room, and I don't have this WIP anymore, and I finished one of my new year's crafting goals: finish this quilt. Winning. Except for the cat pee.

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