Wednesday, June 26, 2013


I have been doing a lot of training at work lately - as my organisation desperately tries to spend all its budget by the end of the financial year (30 June here in Australia). And much of it has been about leadership, and performance, and values, and those kind of nebulous things. So there has been a lot of sharing, in pairs, to report back to the group.  At one point we had to reflect on our successes and I must have been distracted by something else because I said "There are none. I have failed at everything I've tried." Which of course completely stopped the conversation while everyone gave me that special look you give to someone who says they have vodka for breakfast. I recovered, and managed to give my normal impression of someone who has their shit together, but it made me think about failures and the face you show the world.

And this is relevant (honestly) because I couldn't think of anything to blog about even though I have spent all week in the sewing room ... because it is just fail, fail fail. I am trying to make a baby quilt. First attempt:

I made these wonky log cabin type blocks in solids and then thought I would free motion it on the new machine -  now I have conquered it. Well, I haven't conquered it. It has a completely different pace and feel that will take me a while to get used to, and this quilt is just horrible.

Close up of the bubbly gaps where I couldn't get the quilting right. And the folded over seams where I picked up the pieces with the foot.

Second attempt:

Kind of a cool dresden plate with borders. I thought that after the horror of free motion quilting I would give the walking foot a go ... it sucked. Really sucked. It doesn't look like it's walking at all. I will have to try something else as a test, because it might actually be the quilt. I cut the background fabric away from the dresden plate so it wouldn't be so bulky, and it pulled and stretched every which way while I was quilting.

Close up of the terrible puckering and lumpy bits. Not even a baby would want this mess.

Third attempt:

I can't even blame the machine for this - I did the flying geese for two borders and did completely the wrong number.  This is solely the result of my own inability to count, apparently four sixes are twenty-four!!! Who knew??? So I don't have enough flying geese for the next border and I've run out of fabric and I might have started swearing and throwing things at about this point. It is salvageable but my enthusiasm has vanished.


  1. i think you are your own worse critic. your quilting isn't horrible. you had a couple blips, but so what? pick out the folded one and let the rest alone. when that baby quilt is washed a few times, the quilting is going to look just fine. and for goodness sake, the baby is going to throw up and pee and poop on it! :)

    i am really curious about how you are doing with the new machine. i am guessing there is a bit of a learning curve with it? would love to hear more of the pros and cons of it.

    and yes, the waterbed was cool...for the first decade! haha

  2. I agree that once things are washed all sorts of little problems are suddenly invisible. And you can't say everything is a complete failure - your wonky log-cabins look pretty cool.

  3. I wish I failed like that. They look pretty good to me, especially the plate one - so pretty.

  4. So a baby cares about machine quilting ? Nope, babies only care about putting things in their mouths ... so as long as the threads don't come lose & get swallowed, its a good baby quilt.

    Hugz Helen Ducker