Tuesday, March 31, 2009

...Or, I could just give them a nice vase.

I have written about the wedding ring quilt I was making for my brother-in-law's wedding present. Plans for that are officially now on hold.

The longarmer just brought it back; well, it didn't stay, it went back with her to be finished. I am not happy, to say the least. The plan was to stitch in the ditch around the inside and outside of the rings, and do a motif in the center area and the melon shaped wedge between the rings, and then to do a meandering vine with leaves inside each ring. She forgot (!) to do the vine in the rings or the motif in the melon shapes. The motifs in the centers of the circles were ok, but the stitching in the ditch looked sloppy. I wanted to cry, but I just pointed out the rest of the quilting that needed to be done as specified, and she folded it up and took it back.

In fairness, she has had family health issues to contend with, but I would rather she had just said "Sorry, I can't" than how it has turned out. There are other things, too. The quilt has a scalloped edge, and she sewed a straight piece on the sides to hold it in the frame (although my mother has hand quilted scalloped designs and didn't see where it was necessary) so I will have to pick out all of that stitching and remove the stabilizing piece before I bind it. After all the holdups, I didn't expect to get it done by the wedding this Saturday, but now, I'm not sure what I will do.

The quilt just doesn't look good enough. I have a couple of quilts that I made in the past I am considering giving them instead of this one. I have several quilts that aren't bound because there are areas of quilting that the thread tension messed up and caused globs of thread on the top of the quilt. I never knew what was going on, exactly, because it was totally unlike the work of the longarmer I used then. That lady lives in Kentucky near my mom, and had done some lovely panto quilting for me before. Then, I gave her several tops at one time and this happened on all of them. I think they were really quilted by her daughter, who wasn't as experienced, but she didn't admit it. My plan was to pick out the bad stitching and redo it (free motion) on my sewing machine. In actuality, they were folded up and stored in the bottom of a chest because I was so disgusted.

One of the quilts doesn't have a large area to be fixed, and is a nice mixture of masculine and feminine. It is teal, gold, ecru and brown, and I posted a photo once (eleventh photo, second quilt from the left). It's not a wedding ring quilt, but it's pretty and well made and otherwise well quilted. I had almost decided to mail them the quilt after they get home from the honeymoon for security reasons, anyway, so I would have time to fix this one and bind it. It made me nervous to think about leaving the quilt in a package on the gift table. (Once you've had a quilt stolen, you get skittish about these things. And, anyway, I wasn't sure when they would get around to opening gifts taken to the reception.)

Right now I'm so aggravated I can't think straight. Please, readers, look at that photo and tell me if it's good enough for a wedding present. The other possibility is to give them the quilt in the 9th picture on that post; it's never been used, just sits in my display cabinet. I admit to selfishness; it's one of my favorite quilts.

I need to go walk around the block or something and clear my head.


paula, the quilter said...

Use the 11th photo, second from the left quilt as the gift. The bride and groom probably would not understand the significance of the wedding ring quilt pattern anyway and will love that other quilt.

Suzan said...

I agree with Paula...though when I looked at the 9th quilt I melted just a little bit. No wonder that is a favorite of yours - beautiful!

The teal and brown is very pretty and will be a lovely wedding gift. Stop fretting and enjoy the rest of your evening.

(First born child - I am very bossy!)

Kathryn said...

Hmmm. I would definately concur with taking a walk and parking the idea for a day or two to gain some perspective. You know the recipients - do you have a idea in your mind of how they would use/prefer the quilt? I can see how the teal one would work very well for a couple. While I adore the Australian pattern, it is probably too feminine for a lot of men.

The Calico Cat said...

I think any of those would make a lovely wedding gift.

I really like the triangle start quilt... :o)

otterdaughter said...

Go ahead with the one in the 11th photo. It's beautiful and anyone would be lucky to receive it.

Unless your recipients are quilt show judges or super snooty quilters themselves, they will never notice the things that drive you crazy about a quilt.

There are no quilt police! Enjoy the creative process and let them have a quilt they will enjoy using.

Linda_J said...

I am sorry that you are having such problems with this quilt especially since you worked so hard to get it completed in time.

Any quilt in your collection would surely work for the happy couple since you are disappointed with the quilting results. But think on it for a few days and see if you keep coming back to the 11th photo, 2nd from left.

Morah said...

OMG! How exasperating! I once left a quilt with a longarmer for a month before my quilting date. On my quilt date, two weeks before I absolutly HAD to have it, she called to very unkindly tell me she couldn't do my quilt as it was too big. We had gone over size ect. when I dropped it off. By the time you read this you you'll be back from the wedding and have a clearer idea of which to give them. Whichever you choose, they are very lucky receipients!

Tanya said...

How frustrating for you. I suppose finding a long armer that you trust and does excellent work would be a challenge. And after you go to all the work to make the quilt, how heart breaking. I'd say go ahead with the 11th photo quilt too. You never really know what a person is going to like or not like. If you give them your favorite and find they don't use it then you will be disappointed again.