Thursday, March 8, 2012

If at first you don't succeed...

Try, try, try again, right?  Maybe after some foot stomping?

My mettle was tested yesterday as I worked on quilting...and then unquilting...and then re-quilting my Star Crossed Stitch quilt.  I thought with the sharp angles in the piecing that perhaps some pointy stippling would be interesting and I wanted to do something different.  Never tried it before, but that's never stopped me in the past, so I went for it.  I enjoyed it, but after about 10 minutes, I took a harder look at how it looked with the quilt, and it just wasn't working.  Please excuse my horrible phone camera pictures...



Then, I sat on it.  Walked away for a while, had a cookie, and came back.  And looked again.  And I still hated it.  It wasn't that I hated the quilting itself, it was that the quilting just didn't feel like it went with the quilt.  And for the very first time, I unquilted.  It was painful.  It made me painfully crabby.  I kept wondering if I was being too much of a perfectionist and that perhaps I ought to have kept going.  But then, as I was unquilting, I had a crazy, completely hair-brained thought.  What about baptist fans?

Um...no.  Baptist fans are quilted by hand, or by a long armer, I told myself.  But somehow, the idea kind of took me over.  I started trying to freehand draw my own, and they were...well...hideous.  Then, I trucked over to Jo-Ann's to look for a circle ruler, figuring if I could make a template of sorts, perhaps I could manage to pull this off, and I lucked out.


I found a Circle Cut ruler, which is has a bunch of nesting half-circles, much like the traditional baptist fan, and I busted out my water soluble pen and went to work.  After I traced my first row of fans, I went ahead and stitched them.  It took a few curves before I started to get the hang of it, but I really enjoyed it.  So I marked up the rest of the quilt and kept on stitching.

IMG_8042


IMG_8041


I'm about halfway done quilting now, and I'm super happy that I unquilted and trusted my crazy self.  When I finish this and show you guys the front, I think it's going to be really cool!!!

37 comments:

  1. Looks great! I heart your work

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  2. a bummer when things don't go as planned but so great when they turn out even better! Yay for you! Anxious to see the result...

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  3. Can't wait to see the big reveal =D

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  4. That's lovely! I needed this message, too. I'm often lazy to pick out mistakes and regret it.

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  5. Nice work! Get after it, girl!

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  6. Good for you. It really looks wonderful now.

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  7. I'm curious....are you starting and stopping with each curve of the "fan"? I love baptist fan but it always looks like a lot of starts and stops to me.

    Regardless, it looks great and will be awesome when finished!

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  8. Love it!!! I've been wanting to break out of my stippling rut and this looks awesome. Did you use your feed dogs and turn at each point or just free-motion it? Looking good . . . can't wait for the reveal.

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  9. Ugh! Unquilting stinks, but alas is sometimes necessary! Can't wait to see how it turns out! I always love seeing other quilters FMQ-ing!!

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  10. I just finished quilting a wall hanging and enjoyed the process so much this time that I can't wait to try again. I love the way your curves are turning out!

    Yesterday I bought a pattern by Carolyn Friedlander and her quilting tip is to take a piece of clear vinyl, lay it out over your block/quilt and draw out your quilting plan with a dry erase marker. I love that idea!

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  11. Sorry you had to unquilt, but I agree that you made the right decision! I actually think angular, pointy piecing often calls for the opposite - softer, curvier quilting.

    And the baptist fans are FANTASTIC! Love them! At first I looked at what you traced and thought, ugh, all those starts and stops! But I see that you're cutting across to the next row so you've solved that! Are you using your walking foot?

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  12. I hate un-quilting, but it is usually worth it in the end. The Baptist Fans are looking great - always go with your instincts! Can't wait to see the finished quilt.

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  13. That's looking fabulous! Excellent choice with the baptist fans. You should trust yourself more often!

    I was un-quilting last night too, but a much smaller area. I prefer to call it "unpicking" because un-sewing and un-quilting sounds so counter productive!!

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  14. You are so clever! I too have a quilt top that I've been thinking about doing Baptist Fans on. In fact the only reason I've put it off is that I know I need to practice the fans. But, AHA! I do have a circle cut ruler. Thanks for the great idea! Also, Sue, I will be using your tip also. You guys are great!

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  15. I love the Baptist fans! My grandma hand quilted all her quilts and always always always used the Baptist fan pattern. When I was small I didn't know there was any other way to quilt a quilt! If only my grandma could see how quilters do it now!

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  16. Oh, I feel for you! I've unquilted several times and it's not fun. But I was always glad I did in the end. I think your fans will look gorgeous. Can't wait to see the finishedq quilt!

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  17. Those fans look great! I hate picking out my quilting, but it looks like it was worth it in this case. And isn't it cool that such a traditional motif looks so modern?

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  18. Very cool, and those templates were the perfect solution. I have some Fiskars circle ones that I got years ago for scrapbooking (and never used) but have used for a couple of quilting things, and have more plans for them. Hadn't thought of this though, hmmmm...

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  19. unquilting IS painful. Done it, hated the process. Quilting still terrifies me, LOL! I haven't been able to FMQ anything big since then. Can't wait to see these fans from the front!

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  20. I can't wait to see the front. Be sure to include lots of closeups - I love Baptist Fans as a quilting pattern and I am eager to see how you accomplished them by machine, particularly the business of moving from one fan to the next.

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  21. It looks exiting with the half circles - waiting to see the whole quilt! And you have those beautiful fabrics, which I just added to my 'wish list' (= in my mind)! Maureen had made a bag with them. x Teje

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  22. Ick, I hate unquilting. I recently thought I was going to do some angular meandering as well, but after a brief trial on some scraps, I changed my mind.
    I can't wait to see how you quilted the baptist fans. Did you use a walking foot or free motion?
    Also, you might be interested in this post!
    http://pinsandbobbins.blogspot.com/2012/02/baptist-fan-quilting-fans.html

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  23. When I first started quilting (a long time ago!) i was told mixing sharp lines with curved added interest to a quilt. Looks like that worked for this one!

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  24. That looks great, it was worth the pain of unquilting. Looking forward to seeing it when it's all finished.

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  25. If you don't like it after 10 minutes, it's going to be worse in an entire quilt. And you'll regret leaving it every time you look at the quilt. You made the right choice!

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  26. Oh, I hate undoing quilting stitches! But I think it was for the best as your fan shapes are looking totally fabulous!

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  27. I so need a class on quilting your own quilts. I'm hoping for Sewing Summit to learn more. Yours looks great.

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  28. What a great idea for the use of the half circle cutter! I'm sorry you had to unquilt but it came out better in the end and with a better idea. I can't wait to see the finish!

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  29. I'm always unsure how to quilt. But I want the quilting to match the quilt, too. I think unquilting is a good idea if you really don't like the look. I'm curious how the finished result will look like.

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  30. Unstitching quilting makes me crabby, too! Your solution looks great. I like the comment from Sue clear up above about using a vinyl sheet to draw your design to place over the top of the quilt, to see if it works. I want to remember that one.

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  31. Love it. Can't wait to see it finished! Thanks for sharing.

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  32. This is going to be amazing Elizabeth! Way to trust your gut, love it!!

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  33. Well done for following your gut instinct! Fixing it at the early stage is much better than trying to learn to live with it.

    Love baptist fans...they make any quilt wonderful!

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  34. That looks great! Nice job!

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  35. We've all been there! I'm so glad that you're happy with how the Baptist fans are turning out! I can't wait to see :-)

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  36. Isn't serendipity a wonderful thing?

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Thank you for leaving a comment for me! I appreciate each and every one of them and try to respond when time allows. Your comments totally brighten my day :)

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Welcome! I'm Elizabeth, mom to a very busy six year old boy and I sew for my sanity. Let's get to quilting, shall we?

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