Monday, March 16, 2009

Quilting Stuck

Well, what do you know this is my 1001st post!

Wish I'd realized that last time was # 1,000. Oh well. Onto the new millenium right?

I have gotten so stuck on the above pictured quilt. It is a king-sized bullseye in these crazy bright happy spring green colors. For years now I've been saying it will be done by our anniversary (which is coming up in a week). This year I actually have made great progress, and was on track to actually get it done this year. I even made the backing, which took much longer than you'd think.
I finally went and got the wood rails and PVC pipe that is required to use the John Flynn frame I bought years ago. Went to assemble the frame and realized that some critical parts are missing and it won't work at all. This is the first time I've taken it out of the box, so I'm disappointed to say the least. I was on a roll and this has completely stopped me in my tracks.
Now to figure out if I can get the parts I need to make the frame work or give in and try to do this king-sized quilt without benefit of a machine quilting frame. I honestly don't have trouble with the quilting part, the stumbling block is the basting process. The only way I know how to baste a big quilt is with safety pins, and :
  1. I've Never pin basted one this big
  2. Pretty sure I don't have enough floor space to baste it without some major furniture moving
  3. Don't own enough of the right kind of safety pins.
  4. Am struggling with having enough energy in enough of a block to accomplish this, and once the furniture is moved and it is in process on the floor, it has to be done.
When I write this down like this, now I can stop beating myself up about being a slacker and not getting it done (again). No wonder I've been stuck! And no wonder people send out their big quilts to be quilted by a long-armer. I don't have the money to unfortunately, and I really want to gift my husband and I this big quilt that will actually cover our whole bed (with us in it). So I must figure this out somehow, so that I can move on to something else.
I say I'm stuck because all this equipment, long pieces of wood, giant quilt top and backing and batting is sitting out in my studio, taking up all the space and energy and it just plain demoralizing to even go in there and do anything at all. Gosh, what a complainer I am. I feel like Winnie-the-Pooh stuck in the opening of Rabbit's hole, unable to get in or get out. Guess I'll just have to wait until I get "thin" enough to move again...


Lutrah's Ocean Alter said...

Quit beating yourself up!
Is there anywhere near you that has large table that they will let you borrow for a few hours?
I used to take big quilts to the local school cafeteria and put the tables together, baste the quilt (with needles and tread), and be out of there before lunch...
Then I discovered the conference table at the hospital... a much better fit!
You just use painters tape for the backing, put your batt down, then the top, and start stitching....
I sure hope you get it done... it looks beautiful!

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

I, too, had a John Flynn frame, though smaller sized. Had a regular full size quilt, loaded it (the frame was a bastard to put together) tried to make it move under the mahine and guess what? NO GO. So it sat.
Then I took it off the frame and pin basted from the center out, working in the center, then up, then down, etc. Swore if I ever met John Flynn the frame was going up a rear part of his anatomy.....
I did find out from a friend later who had one and had the same problem that she saw him at a show and he hummed and hawed and finally admitted they weren't really made to handle the great big quilts.....I was really furious then!
So, I sympathize with you completely.

Quilt Pixie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Walker Lady said...

I had grand ideas of having a king size wedding ring quilt done for our 9th wedding anniversary this April. Right after the move last summer I had cut out all the strips and squares for it too.

Since then, the only progress has been to move it nearer to my piecing machine.

I've been struggling with another king size quilt that I cut out AFTER I cut out the wedding ring one!!!

I have had to force myself to do just a couple minutes a day to keep piecing this monster together. As of this posting to you, I have four more rows to make and join with the two rows that are done already. I could get it done before going to work this afternoon. But I am losing interest and might do the dishes instead. lol

Anyway, I think some of these bigger quilts get to be so overwhelming that we lose hope in the process. I've had this happen more than once! With this latest monster, I made a deal with myself to just do a little bit as often as I can. Even pinning points together for ten minutes is ten minutes of progress, right?

I will be trying to quilt this one on my newly set up mid-arm frame. I hope I can do it. If not, I will be laying this out on a big table and pin basting it and machine quilting it like I've done so many times in the past.

What am I getting at again??? Oh, ya, that you're in good company. :)

At least you have a chance to have your anniversary quilt done for this year's anniversary. I think I will just get hubby a riding lawn mower instead.

Karoda said...

I've thought of getting one of these...I've seen him at Paducah several times demo'ing it and he goes very smoothly.

is there a place near by that rents out time on a long-arm? still a bit pricey but not as much as sending it out to be quilted by someone.

it will get done and when you finished it, the delays will only be a memory that adds to the enjoyment!