Tuesday, 21 September 2010

If only...

If only I had not been so eager to get started on the quilting of my daughter's graduation quilt, I would not be sitting here now angry and frustrated. All my own fault. Because the piecing was done by hand, it took a long time and I was excited when the quilt top was complete. However, when I laid out the backing fabric, I was shocked to see how little I had to spare at each edge - I had made the quilt smaller than the original pattern and thought I had calculated all the fabric proportionately smaller. Maths was never my strong point. I stretched the fabric as taut as I could, pinned and basted the sandwich and all seemed okay. Just. But it was 'knapp' as the Germans say - cuttting it fine.

I never quilt with tight stitches and I didn't think I would pull much of the backing in with the quilting. So I've been merrily quilting away for months now, on and off, and finally finished all except the border today. Felt really good and the quilt looks lovely. Oh goody, I can put the binding on and quilt around the applique bits on the border afterwards. And then I realised that even with my non-tight stitches, the backing is now slightly too small to match the top. There was nothing to be done even if I had realised earlier as my quilting pattern was fixed and I wasn't going to undo it.

I've thrown the quilt onto the rocking chair where it is staring at me and demanding a solution. I've thought about doing a binding that is sewn to the back and brought round to the front, with a wider strip to the back and a normal width at the front. I actually think that would be hard to do, though, as it would need all layers to be sewn in a nice straight edge before I added the binding and it is all layers together that I HAVE NOT GOT! So, creeping into my brain and slowly overcoming my resistance is the simple solution of going back to what was left of my backing fabric and making some strips to sew to the edges of the quilt back to extend them and then add binding as normal. It would leave the back with a seam running all around the edge about an inch from the binding but it's all I can think of. Having accepted that it has to be done, I feel much better and shall try to get this done tomorrow morning before I go to work. It's not a tragedy; it's a setback. Not a halt; a delay.

However, this is just another of those examples of what my husband calls my perverse preference for taking risks instead of taking a risk-free route. We're not talking huge life risks here - I'm not a daredevil in any way. But if I need to put something down in a hurry, I will always choose to balance it in an insecure way, inviting accidents or breakages, rather than take my time and do it in a sensible way. When I think of the many incidences where I've shown this tendency, I realise it's always the short cut I'm taking, the quick way, the easiest. I'm too lazy to do things securely. This was never the case with my children or with the dog, but 'things' ? Yes. It's the same reason I won't take an umbrella even when it looks like rain. If it isn't raining AT THE TIME, then I don't need an umbrella. As you can guess, many is the time I get soaked and look what has happened to my quilt! I do wonder sometimes how my husband puts up with me because this is not really grown-up behaviour. Still, we had our 34th wedding anniversary on Saturday so he hasn't been put off yet.

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