Sometimes you set a perfectly attainable goal, and then a couple of days later you realize there’s no conceivable way on earth you could possibly accomplish it even after you’d crowed about how you would absolutely manage it this time. Yes, dear readers, I’m talking about finishing my quilt in the month of July. The goal certainly seemed reasonable when I wrote about my plans for the month, and then I sat down to craft night and realized that my quilt is absolutely cursed. I would like to stress that I’m not superstitious in the slightest, and I believe that my quilt is undeniably cursed. Cursed!
The meandering pattern that I normally use for quilting wouldn’t work though it had worked beautifully in my practice swatch. Instead, the machine kept skipping over chunks of the top quilt. The needle would pierce the fabric, but the thread wouldn’t catch and secure. I thought I was going at the wrong speed, so I ripped everything out and tried again. Then it still wasn’t right, so I ripped everything out, and I tried again. No dice. The free-motion quilting just wouldn’t work over the seams of some of the pieces that had a significant amount of bulk. Now, the definition of insanity is supposedly trying the same thing over and over again while expecting different results. So, when the meandering pattern still didn’t work, I stared in bleak and dismal hopelessness at my quilt while I contemplated my options.
(1) I could pay someone else to finish my quilt. (BOO!)
(2) I could finish it myself.
Okay, option 2 it is. Now what?
(1) Keep trying a free-motion meandering pattern.
(2) Bust out that walking foot I’ve never used.
Well, we’ve already talked about the definition of insanity, so I opted to find my walking foot and to determine how best to quilt using said walking foot. In the end, I decided to use the walking foot around the rosettes and accented details. I didn’t want to do straight lines all over the pattern because I don’t think that would look good with the quilt design. After equal parts finagling and prayer, I quilted around the perimeter of a rosette and around a shape on its interior. I plan to use the walking foot to repeat these patterns on the rosettes and similarly outline others with my gorgeous variegated thread from King Tut. I’ll add some small embellishments to the rosettes with free-motion quilting in the sections where I can do so. I’m still not 100% sure what I’ll do with the white part of the quilt, but I feel good to have a plan for tackling the quilting myself that has thus far been 100% successful even though it involves twirling my quilt around and stuffing it through the neck of my machine incessantly, making the quilting particularly slow going.
If I effectively did all that problem solving, why can’t I finish my quilt in July like I’d planned only two days ago?
Well, as I mentioned in that post, we’re leaving on a family vacation on the 17th—in ten measly days. I also unfortunately discovered while charting out my coursework in anticipation of said vacation that the project I thought was due mid-August for my graduate class is due the day we return from vacation.
So, I’m going to spend some time working on my quilt, definitely, but I know better than to think I can get it done when I have to front load more of my research project than I had anticipated. This is what happens when you go back to graduate school: All your other hobbies, plans, and goals are affected. The lesson, apparently, is either to never plan (nope!) or not go back to graduate school (too late for that!).