Sunday, 25 October 2015

The Pleasure Is In The Giving - or is it?

My father is fond of saying "the pleasure is in the giving" as he doles out his grandfatherly folded back pocket paper to his grateful grandchildren. It bought an ice cream when they were little, and probably a week's groceries, or beer money when they were students. Now he is older, I say, when I bring him a pint of milk or his Daily Telegraph, "the pleasure is in the giving".

Well, I thought of this when I was finishing this quilt.  And the pleasure was NOT in the giving.

The pleasure was in the getting rid of.

I hated making this quilt. I hated the cutting out, the sewing, the basting. The only thing I enjoyed was the binding, and probably only because it signalled the end.

There was blood, sweat and many tears in this quilt, and also a few broken needles. Most of the blood, all of the sweat and tears, and hopefully the needles washed out.

The quilt was a first birthday present for a little girl who was born very very premature. We are friends with her parents and wish her nothing but well, but I wish I had bought her a book!!

The fabric is just standard children's 100% cotton, cheap and cheerful, Rose and Hubble spotty cotton (I love it) and klona cream cotton. Should be cheap, cheerful and quick, and all from stash.

First I ran out of some the spotty and had to buy more pink. Then I ran out of fluffy stuff for the middle (its late, I'm tired and can't remember). That's it, wadding. I ran out of wadding. I pieced the wadding and it all puckered and snarled up at the join in the quilting. I pricked my finger and bled all over it. I broke a needle, twice, in the piecing. My machine snarled up and seized up. I got it serviced and then got oil on the top. And when I was quilting it, my tension kept playing up. I wanted to do narrow wavy/straight quilting in alternate pink and white rows through the cream Klona. Every three tows on average the tension went all loopy.

There were many, many tears. My husband has given hugs, cups of coffee, glasses of wine and has told me to buy me a new machine from Santa.

Yes, I was glad to see the back of this quilt.

Happy Birthday little one. Sorry your present was six weeks late.

So, more upbeat? The machine is working better, but its over 20 years old. Any suggestions for what I should get to suit a technophobe like me?

Oh, yes there was a little came into stash this week. A metre of this lovely Reel Time for Zen Chic bought from Cindy at Fluffy Sheep Quilting for the background of my Schnitzel and Boo mini quilt, as yet still mostly in my head.

Helen x
linking up with Sunday Stash #149 with MolliSparkles


  1. It is very prettying & will be loved!

  2. I feel your pain. I've made a few quilts that didn't want me to make them and yes, sometimes the pleasure is just getting them out of the house. I have a fairly basic Janome sewing machine and it's never let me down. My advice would be try and get to a shop/show that has a number of sewing machines. Try them all and see which one feels the best for you. It doesn't have to be an expensive one. My cousin has a £50 Singer from Lidl/Aldi and she loves it.

  3. The quilt is lovely, worth all the pain! Good news about Santa!

  4. I understand your frustration! The quilt looks lovely and I'm sure your wee friend will adore it :)
    As for machines, I am finding either very old or very new is the way to go. I currently have a big Janome (Janie) mostly for quilting and decorative stitches which runs great but needs prodessional cleaning and tune-ups twice a year ($75+ each!) an antique handcrank that makes the most beautiful straight stitch and only requires me to oil her every 3 hours of use (so daily) and a 1970's Brother that is temperamental with tension and needlebreaks. I have been doing a lot of chain piecing of units on the handcrank but find for piecing blocks it is too hard to match seams because I don't have enough hands! I think I will keep my eyes on the local kijiji, yard sale and classifieds for a gentky used machine to replace the Brother and hope for the best ;)

    Let's hope Santa makes an educated decision ;) he gave me Janie 4 years ago -maybe one will find its way under your tree too?

  5. It looks great Helen but it obviously was not all fun for you!
    I bought a Janome machine last February in B P Sew N Knit in Lisburn and I love it.
    V x

  6. Some quilts just know how to push all of our buttons, don't they?! I'm glad you were able to see this one through, and hurrah for supportive husbands to get us through sometimes. I hope that you get some great suggestions to help Santa with his research. I'd probably spend a lot of time looking at Janome's if I were in the market for a new machine...

  7. For some quilts there just isn't enough wine. After all of that I would be pretty glad to see it go too. But the little one will never know :)

  8. Well Helen: I'm glad you got your way through this one. You would never know looking at the sweet thing that it was such a demon in the making.

  9. Phew! Well done for not throwing it in the rag bag! It does look like a quilt that will be well loved by a child who'll be none the wiser to the trouble it caused you. As for sewing machines, my quilting friends are just about equally divided between Janome and Pfaff.

  10. Ah, poor you. Glad to hear you finished it though. Pretty quilt you made in the end!
    I love my Janome semi-industrial 1600pqc. Only thing is it does straight stitch and nothing else. If you are after anything more than that, I wouldn't recommend.

  11. We have a grandfather like that the quilt it looks beautiful despite everything. I love my Pfaff bought in the Singer Sewing Shop in Sandy Row and Cecil in the shop is very good at explaining and demonstrating.

  12. Aww, funny how some quilts just do this...and there is NOTHING to make a quilter rage more than tension issues. Glad this one is out of your house, but I'll bet the little one for whom it was made will adore it. It did turn out really sweet. Love the backing fabric; is it IKEA?

  13. It turned out great in the end! Love the zen chic fabric!


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