Tuesday, 6 April 2010

A big disappointment

Over the last year I've worked hard on Tail Feathers, by Natalie Lymer, which was a BOM. The embroidery was good fun, the patchwork less so. Lots and lots of one-and-a-half inch squares. Too many seams to match up. But I persevered, then managed to put it together and decided to machine quilt it. I thought about hand quilting, but decided against it having just finished hand quilting An Angels Story and wanting to do some embroidery instead.















But that's where it all went wrong. I was quite happy with the machine quilting as I went along, but oh dear, when it was finished it just didn't look good. The stitching panels seem to have expanded whilst I was quilting! They're nearly all too big and puff out from the quilt. I don't know how it happened, but I can only think that struggling to fit all the little patches around the stitching and poor basting have combined to jump up and bite me in the bottom! I've washed it in the forlorn hope that it might look better, but it doesn't.






























Believe me, it looks worse in real life than in the photographs! So, I'm now feeling rather downhearted, wishing I'd hand quilted it after all. Any suggestions?

15 comments:

Amelia said...

I can see a bit of puffiness but not that bad...just tell everyone each block is a 3 dimension effect you created in the quilt. All your work will shine thru anyway.

Karen said...

How about just a little hand quilting in the stitchery blocks? Or machine quilting but I am thinking if they are puffy, the machine stitching might push it to make little wrinkles. Experiment.

Amy (lilme2_99) said...

Oh Amanda---I feel the heart-ache with you. Been there myself a few times :0(

What appears to have happened: the outside of the blocks have "out-quilted" the inside, which causes this "puffy" and unbalanced look. Karen's suggestion could lead to some possible success; I would suggest to do some small meander/stipple/"fill" quilting to the white embroidered blocks. By doing so, the quilting can balance-out.

Jo in TAS said...

You must be very dissappointed after all that work. Hopefully someone will be able to give you some good advice. I haven't tried machine stitching a quilt this big yet, still prefering to handquilt mine.

scraphappy said...

I think it looks lovely. I'm sure you are being much too hard on yourself because you've put so much work into it. I would go with Karen's suggestion and try a little hand quilting in the stitchery blocks. That might make them all lie down flat without distorting things more than they are.

Pat said...

Your work is most beautiful, my dear friend. Thanks for sharing. Happy Quilting!

Pia said...

I'd suggest a little handquilting in the stitchery. Just straight lines along the edge might get them to lie down.

Marie said...

Hi Amanda, I love Your quilt. But if you want to add some hand quilting to the blocks that would give it more defination. I have always enjoyed all you make. have a great day y friend. Many hugs, Marie

Marie said...

Hey Amanada, I lost my comment si here goes again-- I love your quilt. Bur if you want to add more deination toit then mabe a little quilting in the blocks would do it. I love to visit with you so have a good day my friend. Hugs, Marie

Chookyblue...... said...

oh Amanda.........feeling your pain.......I have no suggestions but if you really hate it then cut all the stitcheries out of the quilt and start again..........

anne bebbington said...

To be honest Amanda I think without looking at it in real life that the puffiness of the embroidered panels is probably no greater than you would get with any large area of unquilted fabric - why not outline quilt the embroidered motifs - that should help - or even (sacrilege here) quilt across the embroidery in invisible thread - it would drag them back into line

Farmyard Crafts said...

Awww... so much work for you to be not happy with it. I haven't even finished block one of Tail Feathers yet! Oops!!! Hope you can find something that helps to fix it a little.

Liz said...

So sorry to hear your dilemma. I would try to stipple quilt around the embroideries perhaps pulling them taut while you quilt maybe then this would hide some of the puffiness. Maybe try it on a smaller stitchery so if it doesn't work you could unpick it.
Hope you find a solution. Looks lovely though.

Katie said...

Quilting always draws up the fabric, hand or machine. What if you do a little hand quilting in those blocks to highlight the embroidery. That should help them not look puffy. :-)

Lynda said...

Hello Amanda

I finished quilting my Tail Feathers last weekend. I managed to put 2 tucks into the backing in the top left-hand area and spent last night unpicking half a row of feathers plus other quilting. Unpicking takes so much longer than quilting.

Generally I was happy with how the quilting turned out - I continued the machine quilting a little way into the stitchery backgrounds but not over the stitching. I was so sorry to read about your dilemma - I have no help to offer other than what's been suggested.