Friday, January 2, 2015

The Not So Fabulous Friday Finish...

Finishing a quilt is always a good feeling! 
Finally seeing the end product of all those hours of planning and sewing, seeing how the vision came together, knowing that it's going to be wonderful to admire it hanging on the wall or snuggling up underneath it; there's a great feeling of satisfaction in that.

Finishing this quilt was also a good feeling, but not for the reasons mentioned above.  It's simply good to have it done and not have to fret about it any more.  This quilt is all about bad fabric choices & not listening to what little voice in my head telling me.  This one is all about lessons learned the hard way.  

Here it is, finished at last, my Swoon Quilt.
I love love love the pattern, and I still do.  I have to admit though, I did not enjoy making it.  Cutting it out is a real nail biter!  There is absolutely no wiggle room and one goof can mean disaster.  Assembling the blocks wasn't fun, either.  I can't really explain why, but it felt like chores instead of quilting.  I am thankful there are only 9 blocks!

Now, the blocks sew up very nicely.  The instructions are good, and my blocks came out spot on for size and squareness (that's a thing, right???). My problems with this quilt were not technical.  

My problem lies in my fabric choices.  I used Happy Go Lucky, designed by Bonnie and Camille for Moda.  I fell in love with it at first sight and decided to go with a grey, aqua and orange color combination, with an aqua microdot print for my background.  It reads as a solid from a distance.  I became really intent on using the prints only one time--so intent I refused to listen to my little inner voice telling me some of these blocks were not working--there was not enough contrast.  

Some of the blocks, like these,  came out really nice! (of course there is no sun when I can actually corral two people to hold the quilt for photos)

Some came out kinda blah, so-so, not horrible, but not actually good either. 
But do look at how nicely the quilting looks!  The long arm quilter did a lovely job on it. 

And then there are these, I knew they didn't work, but I persisted.  The center stars disappear into the background due to lack of contrast. 

Here's the top on the design wall.  I should have listened to myself and made at least 3 of these blocks over again, but honestly I was so tired of it all I just wanted it finished and off the To Do List.  

This quilt was made with the intention of giving it as a gift, but it turned out so poorly I was too embarrassed to send it.  Don't actually know what I'll do with it yet.  

Pattern: Swoon from Camille Roskelley
Fabric: Happy Go Lucky from Bonnie and Camille
Quilting: Professionally long arm quilted by Pat Boeck
Dimensions: about 80 x 80
Started July 15, 2013
Finished November 2014

So, although this post might sound like doom and gloom, I learned a very very valuable lesson: 
1. LISTEN to my little voice & TRUST IT!
2. Don't pretend everything is dandy when I know it really isn't.  
3. Take the time to do it right, even if it means buying and extra half yard of fabric or spending a little time with the seam ripper.  

$10 in fabric and a couple of more hours and I would have had a nice quilt instead of one I'm kinda ashamed of.  
So, a not fabulous finish, but a really valuable learning experience.  
And that's a really good thing, too!


Dana Gaffney said...

I think you're being a little hard on yourself, the colors don't pop the way you'd like, but the quilt is still very pretty. Maybe just put it aside for a little while and revisit it.

vivian said...

I like it! It is very soothing!

sunny said...

Way too hard on yourself. Most people would not even notice the 'deficits' that you pointed out. Most people would be thrilled to have a nice cozy quilt to snuggle under. If it bothers you too much, use it as a beach blanket or picnic blanket? Be nice to yourself!!

LynCC said...

The colors are perfect for a beach blanket - it would be the most beautiful one out there! Yes, seriously - this is much prettier than you're feeling. That would be the gap between your prior envisioning of what you wanted and what happened. But even though it's different from your intent, it's very nice!

RobinLovesQuilting said...

Aw! I feel your pain! I second the others who've noted that it's certainly a nice quilt in its own way, and it's probably the shadow of your expectations that makes it "so hard to love" in your eyes.

But that said, every quilt teaches a lesson, and certainly it's good that you *had* that inner voice cluing you in ahead of time (I'm still working on that...). And if you weren't enjoying the process (which, it sounds like you weren't so much) why drag it out, right? There's plenty of other great fabric and fun projects, and at least this one isn't hiding in the back of your closet half-done making you feel guilty any more :-)

Apple Avenue Quilts said...

I think the quilt is lovely. You need to put it in a drawer for about six months and then pull it out again. I'll bet your much happier with it then. I know if you were intending to give it to me, I would be totally thrilled and I bet whoever you were intending to give it to would feel the same!

carol fun said...

Have to agree with everyone else... you are being way too hard on yourself. It is a lovely quilt. Every block doesn't need to have perfect contrast. In fact, I often find my favorite blocks have low contrast... it give the eye a place to rest and keeps it interesting! No need to be ashamed of this one... it is a lovely quilt!

Samplings from Spring Creek said...

Are you being to critical of your work? I know that feeling. I think the quilt is lovely--beautiful fabrics and over the top quilting. I think the recipient of the quilt would be quiet happy to receive such a nice gifts.

greeneggs said...

Yep, the previous commenters are right. It's a really lovely soft quilt. It probably doesn't meet your expectations, and I really identify with that 'I was expecting more from this quilt' feeling. Lessons learned. But you are being way too critical. This really is a lovely quilt. Not the quilt you planned, maybe, but a lovely quilt all the same.

Sarah Craig said...

It is a pretty quilt, Staci, but I know what you mean about listening to your inner voice. I also know what you mean about being glad to have finished a Swoon quilt! I felt the same way when I finished mine. Oh well, at least it's off our bucket lists!

margaret said...

personally Staci I like this a lot and |I do not usually like grey it makes me swoon!

Archie the wonder dog said...

I also think you're being hard on yourself and think that if you put the quilt in a cupboard for a while you will fall in love with it when you get it back out! Inner voices are usually shouting for a reason, though, so this reminder will benefit us all!

I am Just One Mom said...

I find this situation interesting because as I look at this quilt I see the variety, subtle color plays, and part of its charm is the not-always-popping-out-in-your-face patterns. So independent evaluations always find the high points and can minimize the importance of the low points; but not so when it is our own quilt.
I really love the Secret Garden aspect of the one block where the inner star disappears until you look for it. That is often the way of Beauty.
You do beautiful work. Thank you for sharing your angst as it has taught me be more generous with myself.

Mary said...

I really like it. I would be thrilled if I were the recipient and I bet there's lot of others who would be, too.