Monday, June 8, 2015

Some thoughts and a Rainbow Nightmare

I have been so busy I feel like I have no time to blog anymore.  Work has been crazy this spring and my personal life has also filled up fast with other commitments.  Plus I'm not working on anything that I find overly exciting right now.  It seems like it's just been a lot of deadlines and sewing for other people.  I guess I'm just having a hard time feeling passionate about my quilts at the moment.  It makes me sad to say that out loud.  One of the things I have struggled with as I try to grow my blog and expand my quilting (with the hopeful someday goal of making it my business) is whether or not I should try and grow this "business".  If it becomes a business will I lose my passion for making?  Will my time go from precious sewing time to burdensome work?  I don't know yet.  And not being able to answer that question is seriously stressing me out.

I'm hopeful that I'll get some spark and spunk back but I don't know when, so bear with me while I find my mojo again.  Do you ever question why you are quilting or taking on a certain project?

Anyhow, enough of that.  One of my commitments this year is the Round Trip Quilts round robin bee.  We are nearing the end of our nearly year long journey but I still have two more packages to send off.

Right now I'm working on Mary's quilt.  She blogs over at See Mary Quilt and is absolutely amazing.  Seriously, go check her out.  Right now.  I'll wait.  Her quilt is amazing.  Because of a change in the schedule, I've had it in my hands for almost 2 and a half months now.  Enough time for something to rub-off on me perhaps?  I started with this amazing Roy G. Biv fabric pull and a healthy selection of white and black based low volume fabrics.

I mocked up her quilt top in Excel and played with a print out to see what I wanted my border to be, eventually deciding on a rainbow gradient triangle border.  This step was so helpful for me to figure out where all the colors would go.  As you can see I had to move things a few times.

Then tragedy struck...I pieced the first side with the triangles point the WRONG DIRECTION!  Shortly after that I realized that I'd cut all of my triangles a quarter inch TOO SMALL!  Could anything else go wrong?  Suddenly my border was completely the wrong size.  To make matters worse they finished at 3 3/4" which meant I needed some serious make-it-work action to happen.  I had a furious instagram session with Mary and eventually decided to sleep on it, putting the quilt aside out of pure frustration.

 The next morning I decided to add one more block to each border bringing each side to a size slightly larger than Mary's current quilt top.  I added a black border in between my triangles and Heather's herringbone, playing off some black that was added in at the very beginning..  Once again, I did the math totally wrong and had to trim the border down once I had attached it.

This is the best picture I have of Mary's quilt top so far.  My border is now attached and ready to send.  We eventually ended up delaying this month's mailing another month because everyone was running behind.  So now I have it for another 4 weeks.  I'm currently debating adding another low volume border since Mary is missing out on one addition due to our schedule change that I mentioned above.  The real question is: do I really want to start working on this rainbow nightmare again?!

Regardless, Mary's quilt top is stunning.  I'm not one for Roy G. Biv quilts but this one could win me over.  It is by far the most "traditional" version of a round robin quilt in our group.  Despite everything that went wrong I've enjoyed working on the top and am proud of my current contribution.  At least Mary will get a good laugh about how many times I messed this one up!

I got to meet Mary at MQX this spring in Manchester.  She's a fellow New Hampshire resident!  I have to say, she's just as amazing in real life as she is on her blog!

Check out my Round Trip Quilts page for more of the work that's happening as a part of this group!


  1. I totally question why I take on certain projects sometimes. I think that is an OK thing to reflect and learn from. So far I have been able to push through and finish everything I have taken on, but I have learned a lot along the way about what works for me and what does not! I am sorry that Mary's quilt was such a mathy nightmare for you. I saw the progress on IG and think the extra black border works so well, and I am glad you were able to make it work in the end!

  2. I am very impressed with how you managed to overcome your quilt problem. Sometimes these "nightmares" turn out ok in the end and yours definitely has. I hope you get your sewing mojo back soon!

  3. I am loving your rainbow, you have great transition fabrics from one color to another. I am always a fan of a rainbow combined with low volume prints.

  4. A very wise friend of mine told me once to be careful that doing what I love didn't turn into a "job". I wasn't sure what she meant until I had to make four identical quilts for a client. That sewing project was definitely a job and I lost my enthusiasm for a while. It's a fine line to walk, but the good thing is that you are in control and can say yes or no or schedule customer work so that you can mix in fun projects to keep you motivated. I find that always having a "me" project to work on while doing sewing for others helps keep me in my sewing room. Good luck! BTW, the borders you added to Mary's quilt look great; I love how you added in the lack and used the low volume prints!

  5. Ugh, those times when you spend so much effort sewing something and then finish and realize it's wrong are the worst. I'm almost ready to get back to a project where I did that same thing but it's taking a lot of deep breaths to do so. At least you picked up on the wrong direction after the first row, so you didn't have to make the decision what row to take apart and remake. I think the black border compliments the one from the inside of the quilt beautifully!

  6. How many times have we all been so careful with a plan, did it wrong and then had to figure out plan B?! You ended up kicking it's butt, BTW! I have often wondered why I take on some projects, especially when I don't really feel a connection to them...I guess I just love and want to quilt all the time!

  7. Great solution - i really like the black border - draws you in nicely!

  8. Hi, my first time to your blog. I so understand your questions. I haven't really been able to sew lately, just can't get motivated. I just recently finished two large quilts for coworkers. They were beautiful. Plus room is a factor. I move things and then "where did I put them?" My husband always tells me don't turn what I enjoy into a job, and with the things I have done and sold, there is no money to be made. I don't have a good business mentality. I can't set a price and it get paid. So I barely get paid for my time at all. I would say just think about it, try to work on you love. I love the quilts shown above. Beautiful work. In other words, don't lose the joy.

  9. Ugh...I hate when I make multiple mistakes on the same project! It turned out lovely in the end, though. Mary's quilt really is beautiful, isn't it?

  10. Why is it that one oopsie seems to breed another? When one thing goes wrong, three others follow! Excellent work on the save. If you had not pointed out the problems along the way, no one would know from the finished result.

  11. Hers came out great! Even with all the quilting failures, you can never tell it was such a struggle! So crazy this is almost coming to an end :(


I love hearing from you!