Tuesday, July 3, 2012

In the Pink: Revisited or, Will Someone Please Take Away My Seam Ripper!

I want to be all that I am capable of becoming. –Katherine Mansfield

When last I posted about my pinwheel sampler quilt, I had three {of sixteen} blocks quilted. It's been almost a year since I folded it up and put it away, but two weeks ago I got it out and started working on it in hopes of entering it in the last of the quilt shows for this season. The entry deadline is this Saturday. I'm not going to make it. I'm spending too much time unpicking.

I started with the label. It said I'd finished the quilt in July of 2011. I've changed the date {with the back already quilted on} using a really-close-but-not-quite-the-same thread and actually have hopes of finishing this quilt before the label becomes outdated again.

Out of the three blocks I finished last summer, there was one that I left alone. You can see it here. I fiddled around with the other two. On this one, I didn't like what I'd done in the background so I added more to it. Lane always says that if the quilting looks bad, just keep adding more until you like it. I'm not sure if I've made it better or a real mess. For now, I'm pretending it is great because unpicking that will be nigh unto impossible. I might as well cut the block off the quilt and sew a new one in its place.

After that, I got cozy with the seam ripper on the last of the previously finished blocks. Two hours to unpick the curlicues in the pink pinwheel; 15 minutes to quilt the same design in a different color of thread :crazy:. {Sidebar: the quilting in this block totally reminds me of the jacket that Princess Leia wore on the Hoth ice planet in The Empire Strikes Back.}

Then I started in on some of the partially quilted blocks. I had the swirls done on this block. I finished it up, and then promptly ripped out the quilting in the pink & brown pinwheels because I used matching thread and I wanted the quilting to show. I've left the marks for the swirls because I still haven't decided if I'm going to rip those out and do them over in the same color of thread they're done in now. I like the color of thread, but some of the swirls are supercalifragilisticexpialidocious and some of them are just supercraptastic. {Sidebar: I got some Blue Line Eraser to remove the blue ink because it's been on there for over a year. Love it!}

This is the block I'm working on right now. After I finish the pebbles in the last section of the pinwheel, I'm probably going to rip out the quilting in the pink portion of the pinwheel and put it back in using the darker pink thread. {Sidebar: I'm using AURIfil Makò 50-weight thread in #2311 Eggshell, #2314 Medium Beige, #2360 Warm Brown, #2437 Medium Pink and #2440 Azalea.} I may also rip out the quilting in the brown flying geese and do something else entirely. I'll have to see once I've got the pink re-stitched and the background filler in.

I really like how the leaves came out in this block. I tweaked the contrast so you could see the quilting, which makes this a really horrible picture. I'm on the fence about ripping this out too. I think I'll probably leave it . . .

Here's another bit of quilting that blends in with the fabric too much but that will probably not get ripped out. I'm not sure exactly what the deciding factor is on ripping and re-quilting in a thread that shows better. Sometimes I can just see in my head that it needs to be one way or the other. And sometimes the density of the quilting just tells me that there's no point even trying to rip it out. Too bad I don't always know before I quilt.

This was one of the times where the quilting told me not to even try. On a whim, I used pink thread to quilt the pebbles in the light portion of the pinwheel. After I finished the first one {bottom right} I hated it, but I knew there was nothing to do but move forward. There was no way I was getting all those tiny stitches out. After I finished the pebbles, I ripped out the swirls quilted in dark brown thread in the brown pinwheel and re-quilted them in light brown. I liked the block a whole lot better. Then I went and stuffed it up with uneven stippling in the outer background.

On a positive note, I actually like how this block finished, with the thread all matching. I think it works like this. Mostly.

And I absolutely love how the little 3" pinwheel corner stones turned out. They are all different colors, but are all quilted alike. {Sidebar: I don't think I've ever shown the entire quilt top. The most you've ever seen is a quarter section of it together and my quilting doodles. I guess I'm waiting for a big reveal, because at this point I'm not sure if it is going to come out as fantastically as I envision it. You'll have to trust me [and I'll have to trust myself] that it is going to be awesome when it's done.}

Out of everything I've worked on in the last two weeks, I think this block is my absolute favorite. The only thing done on this was the stitching-in-the-ditch so there was no need to rip anything out :lol:. I'd planned to only do flower petals in the pink part of the center pinwheel, but after I finished them I knew it would look really good to do them in the white part too. It just makes me happy to look at it.

{Sidebar: this post has a lot of sidebars.}

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Angie said...

I think all the improvements were just right! Looking good my friend!

Teresa in Music City said...

Lovely! You are doing a fantastic job on it and it's so refreshing to see a quilter take her time and actually make changes because she's not happy with the first effort. We get in such a hurry sometimes that we settle for something that is less than what we really want as "good enough."

Shay said...

I cant wait to see the whole thing!

JJ said...

I think you are doing a great job and shouldn't pick any out. Are you doing it on your regular sewing machine?

Finding Fifth said...

Wow - great to see your honest process - even though painful to unpick. (Sidebar - loved your sidebar comments in this post esp. Princess Leia because I love that movie and Ijust recently introduced my kids to the joys of Star Wars 4/5/6.)

Paulette said...

I love the changes you've made. Your quilting is really pretty!

Anonymous said...

This is great! I can't wait to see the entire top finished.

mom said...

Do I need to drive all the way down there and take that seam ripper away from you?

Bente-I like to QuiltBlog said...

Hi Elizabeth,
I´m not sure if I understood everything you wrote in this post...
I think all your quilting in the blocks looks grest, very great!!! And you ripped some of it of?
Liebe Grüße

QuiltNut Creations said...

I love your changes. Please post a finished pic?