Quilt Wrangling

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I haven’t had a lot to share lately, because I’ve been on a cooling off period after my last round of disasters. I just haven’t felt like sewing. I was always one of those “smart” kids growing up who didn’t fail – I hate failure – and it’s hard for me to get back on the horse afterwards.

I decided I’d switch gears and pick back up trying to quilt my HST monster. This quilt is huge – approximately 90 x 108. And of course my perfectionism is coming out and I HATE the quilting job I’m doing on it. Sometimes it is really frustrating being your own worst critic.

HST quilt wrangling

If I assessed it objectively, it really isn’t THAT bad. The lines are uneven in spots, and some lines are worse than others, but overall it isn’t terrible. I’m using the edge of my walking foot as a guide and going down one side and back up the other of each row and column seam. I’m about 2/3 done on the horizontal axis so far.

HST quilt wrangling

This is where the wrangling comes in. I have tried about four different methods today of wrangling the quilt through my tiny harp space. First I had the extension table on and was just forcing the quilt through the harp, but it kept getting stuck, either on the table or on the harp. Every time the quilt gets stuck or I have to maneuver it, the line goes crooked.

Then I took the table off and rolled the quilt, securing the ends with rubber bands. This helped, but the middle kept unrolling and creating bulk.

HST quilt wrangling

Most recently I’ve taken to safety pinning the roll to the quilt, which again, seems to be helping keep it under control, but the rolls are more rigid now and are getting stuck on the edge of my dining room table.

HST quilt wrangling
I’m very frustrated and considering not quilting the other direction – just making do with “horizontal” lines. According to the batting packaging this would be OK (I’m using Quilter’s Dream Wool batting which says it can be quilted up to 8″ apart.) It does feel like giving up or cheating though.

Do any of you have suggestions on how to quilt wrangle? Getting a machine with a bigger harp space and getting a longarmer to finish this quilt are both out of the question. A longarmer might be a possibility for another quilt I’m working on as a Christmas present to myself (Lucky Stars BOM), but for the majority of my projects I’m going to have to be my own quilter.

After that whiny post, here’s a picture of my cat Jewel to cheer us all up!


carlaQuilt Wrangling