A lousy quilter but a great, er, binding-er.

This quilt is my entry for the Blogger’s Quilt Festival.

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zig zag quilted

After much struggling, my Zig Zag top is quilted.  I say “struggling” because I’m a lousy quilter.  I admit it.  I’ve made lots of quilts – quilt TOPS, that is.  I’ve gotten very good at piecing!  When I first started quilting, I sent my finished tops out to a longarmer to be quilted.   However, I quickly realized that THAT expense was unsustainable.  So I practiced a bit on scraps, then I quilted a simple 9 patch flannel quilt.  Quilting on scraps is a lot different than quilting a full-size quilt, especially on a small machine with a 5-inch harp!  I quickly became frustrated and discouraged, and simply stacked the rest of my finished tops in a colorful pile.

Last December I became the happy owner of a mid-arm sewing machine with a 9-inch harp.   I figured it was time to jump in and try quilting again, so I decided to quilt my Zig Zag top in simple, straight lines, parallel to the seams.  I thought the larger machine would make it easier.  Was I ever wrong!  There is no main speed control on the machine; the only way to regulate speed is my foot on the pedal, which proved to be very touchy and resulted in irregularly sized stitches.  The quilt kept catching on the edge of the table, and my inexperience in dealing with the bulk of a full-size quilt meant lots of uneven and crooked stops and starts.

It’s not perfect, in fact I’m pretty disappointed.  I think that I expected my quilting to improve along with my piecing, which, of course, didn’t happen.   I’m somewhat of a perfectionist, and I’ve realized I need to relax and let it go.  Am I just a quilter who prefers to piece tops only?  Or will I learn to love quilting if I keep at it and (hopefully) improve?  More practice is in order to know, I suppose.

Binding is another story.  I LOVE to bind quilts.

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binding front and back

I’m good at binding,  partially because I’m detail-oriented and partially because I really enjoy it.  My youngest son snuggled up next to me under the part of the quilt not being worked on, and we watched a Harry Potter movie while I stitched.  (“I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.”)

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quilt back

Maybe what I should do is join forces with a quilter who likes to quilt but hates to bind.  We could trade – she can quilt my tops and I can bind hers!
wpid-large-sig-2010-11-5-20-30.pngMy sweet friend, this is my most favorite quilt you’ve ever made!! Love the pattern, adore the colors.  I can only say it’s a good thing you live so far away or it wouldn’t be long in your house LOL! Your quilting looks wonderful, don’t be so hard on yourself. What is it you told me when I first got my new frame??……if it looks good from across the room you did a great job!! Just like your perfect binding, the perfect quilting will come.

Oh, and HARRY POTTER ROCKS!! wpid-Cindi-Signature-small-2010-11-5-20-30.png

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