22 Jun

It Kicked My Butt

My quilting self esteem took a big hit this week. I know that I’m no world class quilter, but I had no idea how bad this simple quilt was going to kick my butt.

I decided to try wool batting. This one is Quilter’s Dream wool. It is lovely! It is light and squishy and so so easy to cram through my sewing machine. I’ve even heard that it resists creasing, which is great for those of us who have to fold our quilts for mailing to shows. But… it’s poofy! I imagine that in a hoop for hand quilting, it would be just fine, but poof can be tough to deal with on a home machine. My first disappointment is the tucks on the back. Not a ton, but there are a few.

The quilt screamed out to be quilted on the diagonal. And I jumped right in, because heck, it’s just straight line quilting — not circles like the other one that kicked my butt. Ah, but fabric stretches on the bias (diagonal) and boy was it distorted by the time I was done quilting. I fought the law of warp and weft and the law won. I wet the quilt to block it and pulled and stretched and massaged and pulled some more for two hours. I broke quilting threads which I will now have to pull out and re-quilt.

It’s closer to squared now, but not exact. I am so in awe of you modern quilters out there who can manage straight line quilting and seemingly squared quilts. Between the poofs, the tucks, the broken quilting, and the general out-of-squareness, it’s a good thing that this quilt is likely going to my kids and not meant to grace any book or show. I will be crawling back to my wonky art quilts with my tail between my legs.

P.S. Does anyone know of a low-loft wool batting out there? I really do like the weight and non-creasiness of the wool.

8 thoughts on “It Kicked My Butt

  1. I use Matilda’s Own which is low loft. I’ve never had any problems with it at all. I bought a big roll of it years ago which I’m still working through so I hope they are still making it!

  2. I’ve never tried using wool batting. Maybe it needs more safety pins than cotton at the basting stage?
    The nice thing about a 12×12 quilt is that you don’t get too much distortion with that size! 😉
    Anyway I’m sure the kids won’t care if the quilt isn’t perfect.

  3. I’m loving your quilt, wonky or no.
    However….this is a strange solution, and perhaps not one that you wish to add to the design of the quilt. If you believe it will stay wonky or even increase in wonky due to the “law”, you could cut long triangular strips…two for the sides, two for the ends. Large enough that you don’t have to recut. Oversize, oversize! lol. Cut each strip on the diagonal and stitch to top and side. This will create a frame in which your wonky quilt can remain wonky. The border will be a few inches at one corner, reduced to nothing at the other, on each side. Triangular. An offset wonky quilt.

    Well, that’s MY wonky idea for the day. Now for a cup of coffee and get back to sensibility. lol.

    P.S. I’ve used wool for hand quilting. Wonderful! Yes, it’s a bit lofty but lofty is good in this regard.

  4. The Z-man will love it, NO MATTER. You’ll not likely see it all spread out and smooth again anyway, lol.

    It’s awesome, sorry it’s been such a pain.

  5. Ha! I just had my butt kicked by some straight line quilting, too. Back to the meander for me, yup. I would experiment cautiously with the wool batts- I had three quilts that did not beard the first was, but were basically fuzzy nightmares after the second wash. Very distressing. But I do love how wool looks, and it’s very comfortable to sleep under.

    I so enjoy how you share your process on the aprons. I am toying with a nurse apron or something made out of old scrubs.

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