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)