Saturday, April 6, 2019

Giving Up On Perfection

This past week has been a busy, busy week for sandwiching and pinning quilts. First, I sewed together three 'frankenbats' out of leftover strips of batting. All because the roll of batting is getting very skinny and also perhaps in an effort to be frugal? Whatever. I have very mixed emotions about the results.
The Baby Girl Quilt
On the baby girl quilt, I didn't notice the batting shifting at all. All the wonk in this quilt is because there was just too much ease in the long coin strips. It was something I was quite prepared to deal with and after machine quilting 'in the ditch' along every seam, I came back and hand quilted every other coin and just inside the silhouette flower. I'm satisfied with the results. Just the normal 'I'm sure I could do better, but not terrible either'.
Looking at the applique
The narrow coin strips were the leftovers from my Dried Flowers quilt. I really like the way they add just a little bit of texture to an otherwise plain Jane quilt. The flower was originally going to be a dark charcoal color, but at the last second, I switched the fabric out for this {happier} green grunge fabric. It's a little bit more 'St. Patrick's' than I intended to happen, but overall, it feels like such a sweet quilt. Fingers crossed the mama likes it too! The light gray alphabet fabric on the back and the darker gray polka dot binding fabric were all chosen in an effort to make the quilt feel a bit more modern looking. Not sure how successful I was, but my girls both gave the nod of approval.
Patchwork Triangles is finished!
Anymore, I have a habit of sandwiching and pinning two quilts on the same day. If the dining room table is out of the way, that's my cue to take advantage! I chose a quick finish, Patchwork Triangles, which was started in July of 2018. Somewhere around that time these triangles were cut off from the corners of some improv. blocks I was working with. It seemed fun and interesting to see where this small start could take me and I love how different looking this quilt is than the original make. 
Not my best work...
So... that being said, I don't love how terrible my machine quilting ended up turning out. Three major no no's contributed and I take full responsibility. 1. Too many bias cut triangles. 2. Batting not fitted and sewn together quite as snug and tight as it should have been. 3. Quilt sandwich not pinned nearly good enough. 4. I rushed through the machine quilting. Oh, did I say three things? Well, I so dislike machine quilting that I generally make things worse on myself. My bad.
Still happy the colors though!
You probably find this hard to believe, but I did actually get the seam ripper out and unsew almost five different rows before trying again.*ughh  It's a bad job and yes, rather than toss the entire quilt, I just gritted my teeth and finished up. There will be someone who will like {and probably want} the quilt regardless. I'm calling it a comfort quilt and as such will be perfectly adequate. Will try harder next time I promise.
Great fabrics for the back of a quilt....
Maybe some of you wouldn't have posted about such a quilt, but I do always try to show the good, bad and even the ugly around here. There is this one gal whom I have followed for ages now, though I won't tell you who she is. I absolutely adore how she posts pictures of. Every. Single. Miserable. Looking. Quilt block and/or quilt. She ever makes. It's endlessly fascinating and sorta sweet and endearing. Makes me love her ever so much more. You know why? Because she is genuinely human and not afraid to show the world that she loves her craft regardless of her shortcomings.
I'm sure someone will want this one in spite of the imperfections...
So there you go. That's my quilt round-up for the week. I have one more frankenbat left, but that quilt will be hand quilted so I sorta expect it to turn out fabulous. Hand quilting is usually nicely accommodating like that.  I've never had any trouble whatsoever with pieced battings {while hand quilting} except for the areas where the batting is thicker. So my fingers get a little extra bit of a workout. That's about all that seems different except maybe {occasionally} the stitches being a tiny bit shorter looking on the backside of the quilt in those specific places? What about you? Are there certain things that you've pretty much given up on ideal of *perfection* in your journey of quilting too?


  1. I suffer with liking or accepting my machine quilting. Love my hand quilting but sometimes that isn't an option. So they get a less than stellar quality quilt.

  2. You are too harsh on yourself. I can't even see one flaw on these quilts. (guess the pictures are hiding it well). I did just finish a top with scrappy basket that I am less than happy about. The fabric was fraying a lot and some seams weren't to par anymore. But finish is better than perfect because there was no way I was cutting another triangle to make it look better. I did that often enough, so much so that I only have a little bit 10 X 10 inches piece left. Ha! Anywho! You did a great job and congratulations on these three finishes. ;^)

  3. Not be g a quilter I love ethereal look of your quilts especially your last one.

  4. Oh ... Audrey ... So not perfect here. The one I'm working on right now, in the quilting stage, has issues. I agree, hand quilting can conquer just about anything, but not always possible to do. Piecing accurately is my nemesis. Too many opportunities to go wrong. Still I do my best, and accept my imperfection, and end up loving my quilts as a mother loves her children. Does that make sense?
    I have a special iron-on tape that helps with the frankenbatting. Its not very expensive and goes a long way. I'd tell you the name of it but I just crawled in bed with my ipad and don't feel like getting up.

  5. I love this quilt, the colours are so bright and it looks so comfortable. It just makes me smile so that means a thumb up for this quilt from me.

  6. People to need to make perfect quilt are just making their own life stressful. My own machine quilting leaves much to be desired but the quilt is finished which is my goal. Happy Stitching!

  7. A quilt is perfect if it shouts "use me". It is perfect x 2 if it shouts "smile". I think I can hear your quilts shouting from here!

  8. Me, me , me! Is it me who shows the ugly imperfect blocks?!? I laughed and laughed. I do show all my projects, warts and all. I feel it makes our craft[s] more accessible and more lovable. I have a friend who absolutely will not try quilting, much as she wants to, because she is afraid her work will not be perfect. How sad is that? Your quilts are always lovely and interesting, I see no flaws, just your style and vision.


  9. Isn't it amazing how each quilt from #1 to the current quilt teaches us something, good or bad. I also use an iron on interfacing cut into strips to bend the edges of batting together so there is no overlap. It's Pellon SK135 Sheer-Knit cut into 2" strips. I've always had good luck with it holding the edges together.

  10. Perfection is over-rated and has almost nothing to do with whether a quilt raises a smile or warms our hearts. Your quilts do both for me.

  11. Thanks! I needed a smile today! You had me at Frankenbat, but then reading about "Patchwork Triangles" had me laughing out loud. I have done the very same thing with quite a few quilts. When my husband hears the machine roaring away at 50 miles an house he doesn't even come near the sewing room. He knows I am frustrated. If we only had 24 more hours a day to hand quilt, life would be simpler! You hand quilting is so delightful!

  12. Love the colour in these two quilts Audrey and I too have had problems with not basting as well as I could or should but as Kaja says 'perfection is over-rated'. I watched a short video of the new MD of Free Spirit fabrics the other day, he was with Liza Prior Lucy, Kaffe Fassett and Brandon Mably. Kaffe said he didn't aim for perfection, Lucy also pointed out a quilt in which she had lost many corners - she wasn't concerned at all. The quilt looked beautiful.

  13. I agree with Kaja and Maureen: perfection is overrated. That doesn't mean racing to the finish. One of the many things I love about your quilts is how much attention to color and design you put into each. Love the little details you add.
    I looked at the original of the scrap triangles and remember when you first posted it. So different from this one. You have infinitely many stories in your heart and head. Love the way you release them!

  14. There's a couple of things that I'm not so exacting about in my quilting. At least you endeavor to do machine quilting. I only did it once and just didn't like the process. I do machine quilt the mini quilts. I do big stitch much more often than I used to. I figure a finished quilt is worth much more than a quilt top that can't be used.

  15. We all having quilt shortcomings and it makes the quilt more sweet and humble! I'm not in it for perfection, that's for sure. I would have been kicked out of the club long ago! LOL


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