Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Sometimes Quilting Makes Me Laugh

Vicki from Field Trips in Fiber challenged us to post about our oldest UFO.  I knew which one it was; I just didn't know where it was. I was afraid it was in the attic, but first I searched every closet and under every bed. It is cold outside and I really didn't want to climb up in the cold and breezy attic, but by the time I had searched all over the house, I was determined to find it. And I did.

When I pulled it out the bag, I nearly died laughing.

It is a Jacob's Ladder pattern, and I actually used a pattern for it.   I checked out the same book again (why I kept checking out that book, I have no idea) that said the Courthouse Steps pattern was the easiest pattern for a beginner. I wanted to see how to put the blocks together. By then, I thought I knew everything I needed to know to make a quilt top. I was so very, very wrong. The second quilt they recommended for beginners was Jacob's Ladder. I think the one in the book was for a twin size, and I bought the amount of fabric based on their instructions. The instructions in the book didn't go into detail about how to join blocks together, such as matching seams. I know, I know, that should be obvious even to a non-quilter, but it wasn't to me. So not only were the blocks not square, they were often offset by a quarter inch. Still, I put a few rows together and pressed the seams open (no instructions on which way to press either). At that point, I either thought it looked fantastic, or I was just overly ambitious, but I decided to make it a king size. So I made more blocks, formed them into rows, and sewed these rows perpendicular to the previously completed rows to make it wider. I think it was then that I realized my rows weren't that straight, or flat, and the blocks had some serious overlap, and I bagged it until I knew more about quilting. And then I forgot about it.  I began it in February 2004, so that makes it my oldest UFO.

Eventually, I took a few quilting classes and learned the basics - things I thought I already knew and much, much more. And I continued to ignore the green and white mess in a bag in the closet. Until this year, that is when the desire to finish ALL my UFO's overcame my desire to forget about that quilt.

Obviously, it needs a major overhaul. No way am I going to put enough effort into this to complete a king size quilt. Plus, the fact that I only bought enough fabric to make a twin size and couldn't get any more now. I just hope I can salvage enough of it to make it a lap quilt for the Quilts for the Elderly project.

So here it is, the sad looking Jacob's Ladder. Contain yourself.

JacobsLadder


There was also a bag of four patch blocks, but not enough fabric to make any of the half square triangles. I must have lost count while I was making them. Maybe I can make something else out of them.

FourPatchBlocks

12 comments:

  1. Well - this isn't really a compliment since I don't quilt, but it IS heartfelt - I think it looks nice. I like it.

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  2. Stop being so hard in yourself and this first quilt. No one produces "perfect" items when they are learning. Heck, I still don't create perfect quilts with perfect points and blocks, but I continue to sew and finish quilts. Often the recipient doesn't notice the quirks that I can see. Be proud of your first quilt(s).

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  3. LOL, yes, it was heartfelt. And it was a learning experience too I guess. Marti

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  4. It's not horrible, but you should see it close up and from the back. It's pretty funny actually. I still look at my very first quilt, which we are still using, and wonder how I managed to get it together and quilt it since all the pieces were cut with scissors and I didn't use rulers or templates. I'll try to take a picture of that one and post it on this thread today. Marti

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  5. The picture doesn't really look that bad. Kind of reminds me of the saying, "If you can't see it from a galloping horse, don't worry." I'd just pull six blocks off of the bottom and make one more 5-block column to attach to the side. Use the last block as part of your label on the back. I think it looks just fine, and a child or nursing home resident isn't likely to complain about seams not matching if I can't see them in the picture! Use your four patches as a strip across the back or otherwise tying into the leftover block. Or send it to me and I'll do that!

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  6. To make it for a kid, just finish the quilt, back it in something fairly neutral, and then run it through the washing machine with a package of pink of purple or blue or green dye. Yellow and black might be a bit much for a kid!

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  7. Aw, we all start somewhere. Good start!

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  8. That's what I thought too. I'll probably have to take blocks off in the same zig zag pattern as they were put on, but I think there are enough good ones to make a lap quilt. Marti

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  9. I have GOT to learn how to use our new camera instead of this old point and shoot. The quilt is actually green and white but in my dim living room with yellow walls, it does look yellow. Marti

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  10. It's amazing I kept with it isn't it? I remember when I went to my first quilt show. After seeing all the gorgeous quilts, I thought maybe I should just quit. Except I wanted quilts for my beds and couldn't afford decent ones, so I kept at it. Still not great, but I enjoy it anyway.

    Thanks for visiting! Marti

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  11. I think you can make this into a charity quilt quite easily. Looking at the picture, I only see three spots that need a tweak. I'd follow Brenda's idea for reworking it. Love your story about teaching yourself to quilt. I also decided to teach myself about four years ago. Still so much to learn!

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  12. When I started, I didn't know there was any other option. I always wished I had had a quilting mom or grandma so I could have gotten an early start. Marti

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