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Conceded defeat, for now...on to Plan ?????

Hey, everyone.  Thanks so much for the encouragement and empathy in my last post about the wedding quilt.  I worked hard on it these past 2 days and finished tying it late this afternoon - only to have it come off the frame with the same issues - if not worse - than the last quilt.  The difference is that I could live with the last quilt being bubbled, since I'd used a fluffy batt in it anyway.  It was intended to be somewhat fluffy - like a comforter.  This one was not.  It is more formal than a dorm quilt.  I used a flat cotton batt, and was careful not to stretch the top or back too much or too little on the frame.  I did not use flannel on the back, so I can't say that the back stretched more than the top, which I think it what caused the problem on the graduation quilt.  

I'm disappointed, frustrated and sore, but willing to concede defeat.  I'm not going to make the deadline.  I will still send it, but it won't be delivered in person and it will be late, but it will be fine.  

I'm using a Z44 Grace frame.  Is it the system itself?  I don't think it is.  In theory it should work the same as my antique floor frame - it just takes up less space and is easier for one person to use.  It loads on rails just like a longarm frame.  I've used it before to pin baste and tie baby quilts.  I haven't used it much for larger projects.  I've known lots of folks who have one and I've heard no complaints.  Is it operator error?  Probably.  I'm not sure.  I can't figure out why the larger quilts aren't coming off the frame smooth, even, and flat.  

I will take it apart and redo it, although certainly  not on the same frame.  I may send it to a long arm quilter since I'm not going to make my deadline of this weekend anyway.  It really does need to be quilted, but I was tying it just in the essence of time.  Since the time factor has been taken out of the picture, I'm going to get it done right.   I've never coveted a longarm machine more than I have with the disappointments and frustrations of these last 2 quilts.  

On a more positive note, I still love the quilt top in spite of all of its design challenges.  Maybe all of this was just a wake up call for me to slow down, enjoy the process and do it right the first time instead of just trying to hurry through it at all costs.  I will post a picture before it is sent to its new home.   

At any rate, I am looking forward to enjoying the wedding weekend, reconnecting with some very special folks, and spending car time with my sweet DIL on the trip there and back.  (The Lord blessed me big time when He put her in our family.)  

Thanks again.  Anyone want to buy a quilt frame?  (wink)

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Comment by Prairie Quilter Jan/NE on May 23, 2015 at 7:21am

Pam, my Mom said the same thing about a late wedding gift.   

Comment by Pam/NY on May 23, 2015 at 7:12am

I have never tied on a frame before. I layer it over a table, so it is a relaxed hang. Then I work from center out smoothing as I tie. I actually think, getting a gift after the wedding is so much nicer. The activity is over and they can sit and really appreciate the gift. Enjoy the wedding!

Comment by Janet/MO on May 22, 2015 at 9:32pm

What a bummer.  After looking at the pic of your 1st quilt that you used this technique on, I am wondering if maybe you need to have more knots than you have been putting in.  I have only tied one quilt and that was a small baby quilt that I also did some machine quilting on so this is just a guess on my part.  One year I decided to make my youngest daughter a quilt for Christmas, but knew I wouldn't have time to get it completely finished.  So I put the top, the backing & the batting in a box, wrapped it up along with a note saying I would finish it after Christmas.  Would something like that work in this case?

Comment by LKC on May 22, 2015 at 8:54pm

I sure need to also slow down. I have noticed that some batting can be a "pain". It is not always cut squared if it comes in the package. 80/20 can also in some brands be harder to work with. Backing if pieced can also throw off the top. Backing also has to be squared. So I am not sure it is the frames, then again sometimes as I move the rollers, sometimes more give is played. I do keep my batting lose, meaning only the backing goes on two rollers, the third on my HQ holds one end of the top. Do you have to sandwich all three at the start? I straighten my batting after each roller move and check the backing. I still have had pleats. I have just hand sewn it down or just ripped out that section and tried to make the fullness work. Often that all that is needed. I have joked with my mom that where I write my name and say " life will have bumps in the road"

Comment by Jodi Cramer on May 22, 2015 at 7:27pm

PQ, I'm so sorry you had such a disappointing, frustrating time with this quilt. I think it will be better in the end because it will be quilted. I think your lesson about slowing down, doing it right and enjoying the process is spot on. Isn't that why we started quilting in the first place? I know it was for me. I'll always treasure the hours I spent on my first quilt  which was a hand pieced, hand quilted Grandmother's Flower Garden. Blessings as you go forward. jodi

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