So, the quilt started out really great.
The stitches looked awesome, but I made one little mistake putting my quilt pieces together. I used a thin batting, but the design had kind of a Trapunto effect to it. But since I didn’t use a puffy batting, the fabric just kind of wrinkled. I mean, its not a huge deal… but it would have looked a little nicer with a puffier batting. But hey, its ok right? You live and learn and besides that, the quilt still looks really nice.
So, I finally finished quilting it all. The next thing you do after you are done quilting is what’s called blocking. And that is where you get a spray bottle of water and you lay your quilt on the carpet, spray tons of water all over it so that its nice and damp, and then you pin it to the carpet nice and tight so that it lays nice and flat and anywhere that it is baggy, it can shrink a little and anywhere that is tight can stretch a little bit. So it just helps it to lay nice and flat, which is especially important for wall hangings. You don want the corners to be floppy of have it curl along the edge. So, here I am, quilt layed out on the floor. And I grab my spray bottle and start spraying my quilt. About 7 squirts in, I start to smell something funky.. Clean funky. My nostrils then inform my brain that there is not only water in this bottle, BUT BLEACH!!!!!
So here I am, sabotaging my own quilt. The second I realize what I’ve done, I just plopped on the floor and started sobbing. All this work!!! Now my borders are ruined! (Luckily the main bit was almost white already)…. And I have heard horror stories of people sabotaging OTHER people by throwing bleach on their quilt, but doing it to your own blood and sweat, NEVER! I should have never blocked it! It wasn’t even puckering hardly at all!! I just thought you had to block. I couldn’t have and should have quit while I was ahead!!! So at this point, I figure, “well, I have already ruined at least the borders. Might as well spray the whole thing so it all matches.”
Then, I think, “Maybe I can just hurry and put my quilt in the washer, to at least neutralize the colors a little.” So, I hurry and throw it in the washer and add a little soap. (At least wash off the pencil marks while I’m at it.) And then I just sit and wait (….and cry some more) I had already put about 35 hours into this quilt and my deadline is in less than 24 hours.
Then, I pull it out of the washer and to my surprise, something crazy has happened. Around the beige fabric, I added 3 stop-borders. First Navy, then Olive Green, and then Sun Yellow. And The BLEACH ONLY AFFECTED THE YELLOW!!! What the Heck!?!?! I bought all 4 colors of fabric from the same place, same day, same line of fabric, all solids.
So at this point, I realize the odds are stacked against me, but then I think “Hey, I will just cut the yellow outer border off and bind it in beige instead of yellow like I originally planned.” So that’s what I do, cut off the yellow.
Then, that evening I bind it in beige. And then, to my surprise, it actually looks pretty nice. So I think, “Ok, I will block it one more time, overnight WITH WATER ONLY, and then tomorrow I can take pictures, burn it to a disk, and take it to the post office before it closes at 1 o’clock- Crisis averted.”
The next morning,(new year’s eve morning) I take pictures of it, burn it to a disk, and fill out the entry form. Here is the part that makes me the most sad…..
As I am filling out the form, I look for the category that I am planning to submit my quilt into, just to find out…. MY QUILT IS 6 INCHES TOO SMALL TO FIT THE REQUIRMENTS!!!!! I set myself up from the very beginning. I was too big of an IDIOT!... to read the rules carefully and plan my quilt according to size.
I know my goal was just to at least submit a quilt into every show. So even though I knew it wouldn’t get it, I still submitted it anyway.
I learned a few really important things from doing this quilt.
- Plan things out. Don’t just jump into a project without thinking about every element, INCLUDING ones that won’t even be seen.
- SMELL YOUR SPRAY BOTTLE BEFORE ASSUMING IT IS JUST WATER!!!!!!
- Don’t set yourself up to fail. Read through things carefully and plan out each step.
You live and you learn. And I can tell you first hand, it sucks to learn things the hard way. But it sucks even more to learn things the hard way more than once.
And, All in all, I am still pretty pleased with this quilt. It lays flat (now) and the stitches look really nice. I will probably submit it into another show later this year. Its not completely lost and I really learned a lot.