Tuesday, 30 June 2015

FAL Finish: The Small Quilt With The Annoyingly Wavy Border Which Drove Me Batty Every Time I Looked At It


My current FAL list had a new item on it this time, which feels quite unusual as I seem to roll over the same projects quarter after quarter: a small quilt/wall hanging which I made when I hadn't been quilting long (the label says I finished it in 2008) and which hung above my stairs.   It's the second quilt I made and is the first one which was machine pieced:

Wall hanging

The problem with it smacked me between the eyes every time I looked at it (which was at least a dozen times a day!) and slowly but surely drove me batty(/battier).  I'm sure you've already spotted it but, just in case you haven't, I'll tell you: the border was wavy, the corners weren't square and it didn't hang right due to a combination of the aforementioned waviness and me taking notice of a blog post about 'I don't make hanging sleeves for quilts, I put hanging triangles in the corners'.  As someone who detests making hanging sleeves (even back at the beginning of this hobby!), this really appealed to me.  What I didn't know is that (corner) hanging triangles only really work if you're hanging a very small quilt.  I had to tack a partial sleeve between the triangles so that the weight of the quilt was more evenly distributed and pin a few tucks into the hanging triangles so that the weight of the quilt (which isn't significant) didn't drag the quilt out of shape.  I was only partially successful but I hung it up and called it done, faults and all.

The day came (somewhere around November last year) when I couldn't stand it for a moment longer.  I contemplated throwing out the quilt or donating it to the dogs' home but then realised that I was still rather fond of it, just not the wavy borders and not-square corners.  It was then I decided that a touch of surgery would be in order and that listing it on my FAL list would give me the impetus I needed to get the scalpel out.  (Not literally but only because I don't have one.  If I did, I definitely would have used it, I'm sure!)

I washed and dried it (it had been hanging on the wall since 2008 with just the occasional shake/hoover to get rid of the dust!) and then unpicked the binding and set it aside to re-use later.  Then came a few days of dithering over whether to remove both borders or just the wavy navy one.  In the end I cut off the navy border and had a good look at it with just the narrow aqua border before deciding that I wanted to have the blocks going to the edge of the quilt (even though it does make the binding a touch harder as there are points which could be lost) and got the unpicker back out.  At this stage it started to look a little sad but there was a glimmer of hope in there somewhere:

Surgery...

I sorted the binding (pressed it open, starched it and then re-pressed it in half) and stitched it on, being careful with the points.  I decided that blocking would up my chances of it hanging flat(tish) on the wall and so got to work.   Usually, I pin the item out when it's dry and then lay a well-wrung cloth over (this is my preferred method of blocking fabric and yarn items) but decided that the quilt needed to be washed again now the wavy borders had been removed as they were probably pulling the blocks out of line and a wash would help get rid of that distortion, and if it was going to be wet then I may as well block while wet!

Wall hanging - blocking

And then re-hung it on the wall (after a friend's husband chopped 6" off the dowel for me):

Wall hanging - back on the wall!

It's taken me a while to get used to the smaller quilt up there but it's much better than it was and it's far better than an empty wall.  I even managed to incorporate the original label on the back so it has two finish dates: 2008 (on the label) and 2015 (on the binding)!

The finishes link-up for this quarter is now open, so I'm linking up with Adrianne:

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side


We're having a mini heatwave (and yes, I'm complaining about it!  I don't complain about it being really cold or raining for a solid fortnight in January, I save it for the summer!) and Archie is torn between enjoying the sunshine (mainly on the front garden, which means I can't be away from the front window for more than a couple of minutes in case he takes it upon himself to wander onto the road or next door's garden) and doing the dog equivalent of sitting inside with all the windows open and the curtains closed:

It's too hot!!
It's too hot!!
He does like the back garden as well, just not as much as the front!  (You never get people passing the back garden so there's no one to watch out for and no reason to stand guard.  And why else would you want to be in the garden?!)

Hello, Mrs Bee!
Hello, Mrs Bee!
The feverfew in the background had an argument with itself and has decided to get a divorce (from itself) - once it's flowered I'll sort it out but it seemed a shame to lop off the fallen bit when it was full of flowers!

This is one of his favourite places to lay in the back garden as he can see up the path and through the gaps in the gate to the road out the front.  If he's in the back and he's not on this spot then he'll be stood at the gate, either with his nose poked through a gap or trying to see if it will open with the application of a paw and some serious staring...

Enjoying the sunshine
You don't need to take a photo of almost the entire garden...

The garden is taking shape, if you ignore the blue trug of pebbles and the blocks seemingly scattered round - they're marking out where I'm getting another raised bed (the ground there is dreadful and 'poorly draining' doesn't quite go far enough as a description so the only solution is a raised bed), once the landscaper gets back to me with a quote and has a gap in his diary.  I'm hoping it will be built by the autumn (I have plants to put in it!) but I'm not in a huge rush.  (Although if he said he could do it tomorrow, I'd snap his hand off!)
That's better: you don't need a photo of the garden, I'm the star turn...
...because I'm the star turn: you just need a photo of me!  Honestly, you just can't get the staff these days *tuts*

Thanks for popping in, I hope you're doing well with your FAL list - don't forget to link up all your finishes before the linky closes (on 6th July at 11pm PST.  I think that's 7am on 7th July for us in the UK but I'm not completely certain so you're probably better off linking up before the deadline is imminent!)

I'm off to lie down in a darkened room - shout me when it starts to rain, will you?!!


13 comments:

  1. it is RIDICULOUSLY boiling here today. Katie (and me, actually) has no idea what to do with herself. Other than lie about looking hot, that is.

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  2. garden is looking gorgeous!

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  3. Yeah yeah. Too hot, blah blah blah. *g* Not sure I recall what sun looks like! Your garden is beautiful! And how much more modern does that quilt look without borders? Nice job.

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  4. The quilt is fab, and Archie is just adorable 😊

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  5. Well done! I love the revamped quilt. It looks fantastically flat and the piecing really stands out without the borders.
    Hard to imagine being too hot when we're in the midst of icy winter here in NZ

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  6. The quilt looks better for it's trim and the roses are really doing well! Archie as always is handsome and stately as only he can be!

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  7. I don't like the hot weather either! But I love your quilt! Well done for putting the work in to making it how you want it to be! Hope you find somewhere cool to hang out whilst the sun is still doing it's thing!

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  8. The revisited quilt was lovely, but looks really fab now! Bit warm innit??? Xx

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  9. You were remarkably dedicated to do this much reconstruction on your quilt, but sometimes we just have to tackle the thing that is making us crazy. Great job and congrats on ticking it off your FAL list.

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  10. I had a couple quilts with the same problem when I first started quilting but I gave them away. Lol. I hope people used them and didn't notice. Hehe yours turned out fab in the end. I prefer it without borders.

    Visiting as a member of the official 2015 Finish-Along cheerleading squad.

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  11. Love all your finishes, especially Mr FPP, although poor Archie being fooled by the empty food ball...

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  12. I love your wall hanging! My favorite colours and it has a more modern look without the borders. Archie is adorable and your garden is fantastic! (Visiting from Q2 FAL)

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  13. Oh Lordy . . you redid a quilt?
    You must be bonkers. Is that UK heat getting to you?
    Darhlink . . its gets so much hotter down here . . and there's no way you'll find me going so ga-ga, as to redo an inch of any binding.
    Mind you, the "new" quilt is definitely inspired. Much better without those borders. Lovely.

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