Saturday, February 18, 2012

Unpicking stitches

Oh, joy.   One of my favorite activities - especially when I am in a rush to finish a piece.  I seem to remember posting a bunch of strips I pieced from hand-printed fabrics - ah, yes, on Feb 8. Well, I threw them at the wall and am now quilting what stuck.  But nothing is easy.
I have a deadline, which I will not make. I am lecturing to a guild on Sunday and was hoping to bring this little one with me.  Well, I can bring it unfinished.  First, I broke 3 needles this afternoon and discovered that the needle thingie had decided to move itself off center.  By the third needle, I figured it out and moved it back. Fine.

In the past year, because I am such a crappy free-motion quilter, I decided to skip that stuff altogether (at least for now).  "Aha," I thought, "straight stitching -- what could go wrong?"  So I've been doing straight stitching and it has made me so much more relaxed, I can't begin to tell you.  On this small quilt, the lines are very straight. Except that I discovered that toward the end, they were straight but slanted (if you know what I mean).  Don't know where I went wrong and I may 1) never know and 2)never be able to correct it. But meantime, I am unpicking a few rows to see if I can minimize the angle.

Before I sign off, I have to send you over to read Margaret and Helen.  I just about fell off my chair reading Helen's post tonight, I was laughing so hard. She is hilarious; unfortunately, the subject is far from funny - it is scary.  But you have to read it!

13 comments:

imquilternity said...

I have read Margaret and Helen for several years now and absolutely l-o-v-e them! Wish I could think like that, let alone write like that.

Sally Westcott said...

Thanks for the link Rayna! From outside America, it is a refresshing view!

Hugz

Karoda said...

Margaret and Helen always crack me up! and I feel your pain over the un-stitching...at times, I'd rather make the quilt over from scratch than un-stitch.

martha said...

Love Margaret and Helen. thanks for the link!

HollyM said...

I hate ripping! I had to do it on my piece the other day when I caught a piece of the front folded into the stitching. I hate that.
I read the Margaret and Helen piece and I agree; it's funny but scary. I had no idea there was a campaign against Ellen going on right now. I thought things had moved past all that.

Janelle said...

My straight lines never turn out straight, which is why I don't do traditional style quilting. I'm still working on getting my free motion stitches to look even. It makes me happy, so I keep trying. It is funny how textile artists all have different likes even though we all love the tactile experience of working with fabrics.

Lisa Kerpoe said...

Maybe the universe is trying to tell you that you need a day off!

Have a great time at the quilt guild meeting. I'm sure even the unfinished version of your quilt will be fabulous!

Rhonda said...

thanks for introducing me to the Margaret and Helen page -- great post! And so nice to finally find your blog and seeing your very inspiring work!

Beverly said...

Unpicking is no fun! Curl up with a nice cup of tea or coffee, and hopefully it will go quickly.

I've been readig Margaret and Helen for a couple of years now, they are both hilarious and on the money. Love them!

Debbie said...

Are the diagonal lines really such a bad thing? Really can't tell without seeing the whole piece. Thanks for sending us to Margaret and Helen. Very entertaining!

Terry Jarrard-Dimond said...

I totally understand. Recently I began quilting a piece I really like but it was an experimental piece and I decided to quilt it on my small machine. Unfortunately I was also using a new type of fabric for the back. I sewed and ripped until I completely lost interest in the entire thing. It's in my closet and will never be finished. I plan to cut away the fabric that hasn't been ruined and try it somewhere else.

Best wishes on your talk today!

KAM said...

I have learned that with my disposition I have to "embrace" the process of unpicking stitches...when something is too wonky that is where my eye goes every time I look at the piece on the design wall....and it pulls me from the happy process of creating. So, I get comfy and unpick - then when I move forward there isn't that tension that an off kilter place in my work sets off in me...still do not like it, but an essential piece of creating for me..
..I know that whatever you are bringing to the guild meeting will be wonderful and appreciated by those attending the meeting.
Margaret and Helen...oh yes, they are so ON to the issues of the day. They wake me up to issues, make me laugh and encourage me to support causes in which I believe.
Thanks for the reminder to visit them...and always thanks for your blog updates. Kristin

Vivian Helena said...

I was rushing to finish Karen's challenge... and was going to put swirls on it. Neither machine liked what I was doing.. might have been the thread, because it was not the same top and bottom... I had to pick out, and did straight lines both directions, some close, some further, with variegated threads. I like it better now, so lesson learned.. Will post the finished piece today on my blog... vivian