Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Indecision

DSCF0266a

I am plagued by indecision.  Plan A was to tie this quilt, using crewel wool, because every time I have used embroidery floss, it all comes out in a few washes and I end up machine quilting the whole thing anyway. First, I tested all the various yarny-looking crewel fibers I have lying around to make sure they were wool.  I held a flame to the ends of the yarn to see if it would melt [don’t do this at home unless you are prepared to quickly and safely extinguish any accidental fires] and people?  It stank, a lot.  Burning hair.  Ugh.  The dog left the room.   I tested each unlabeled skein this way, and the acrylic ones melted, leaving a hard ball of black plastic at the end.  Wool will burn, but the blackened tip crumbles away into ash.  Anyway, once I had the actual wools all sorted out,  I started tying, and immediately I began to wonder if they looked like they were coming out already.

DSCF0265a

I tied a few more, but the paranoia got to me, and I switched to Plan B, which was to hand quilt this monster (I know, right?) sashiko-style, using pearl cotton.

DSCF0276a

This moved along very quickly, and I got almost a quarter of the way through the quilt in one evening, but then…I started second-guessing it. 

DSCF0281a

Too wobbly.  Too close together.  Too…I don’t know, too quilty.  I don’t want this thing to look like an ill-constructed washboard.  I stitched a few more rows, further apart this time, to see if that made me like it any better, but then I began to worry about the wool batting and whether it would survive the laundry if I quilted too far apart.  So now, I’m thinking of going back to Plan A, and in the meantime, I’m just crocheting the striped blanket and watching Hatfields and McCoys [OMG, Bill Paxton, have you lost your mind?  Kevin Costner is trying to be nice!  And I doubt that was even your pig, so get over it.]

What to do?

25 comments:

  1. The quilt looks lovely as is, maybe you could finish one way then quilt the other way so it makes a grid???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was thinking that might help, yes. :)

      Delete
  2. Beautiful quilt Kristen, you certainly have a lot of patience!

    Hope you are having a sunny week, we are basking in sunshine this week over here in the UK.

    Fleur xx

    ReplyDelete
  3. Damn you're fast! Seems like you just cut that quilt out! I'm putting off pinning my quilt because I dread getting down on the floor (might not be able to get back up). On to your quiltiness...How about machine tying? Check out the lap duvet instructions at Purl Bee. It's easy, but alas, doesn't have the cute tying threads. Also, I found out with my last quilt that wool batting can be quilted up to 10 inches apart, so you can space out your stitches quite a bit.(I don't like the washboard effect either). Good luck, your quilt looks awesome!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Machine tying! Hadn't thought of that; must check it out. I'm feeling very encouraged now, with your news about the 10" spacing. Thanks!

      Delete
  4. Kristen, I am commenting in my sleep deprived state after watching the Hatfields & McCoys until 2a.m.!!! :) I have had success tying quilts with embroidery floss....I tie each knot 4 times though and alternate the direction I tie each time. I prefer using the 6 strand floss....I think it ties tighter. The quilt looks good no matter how you end up finishing it . :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks much--my embroidery knots have always come loose, wah! I know there must be a way, but I have yet to encounter it.

      Delete
    2. I hope I can explain this so it makes sense:

      start to tie a knot, but loop the end through 2 times, then pull taut, (doing this 2 times) the knot is all but indestructible


      I found this video on YouTube


      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PeaIyAyg_cs

      it shows the technique well, but in the comments there seems to be some discussion about how she describes it/what the knot is called

      all I know is, I tied a bandana quilt with this knot over 20 years ago and it is still going strong after many, Many washings

      Delete
    3. Beckie, this is great! It looks like I'm going to be tying. You guys are all awesome. Thank you so much. :)

      Delete
  5. My Mom taught me a way to tie that never comes undone, wish I could show you. I agree about the Hatfield's & McCoys-they were so awnry!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dang, I wish you could show me, too! :)

      Delete
    2. Could you try and describe it??

      Delete
    3. video it and upload to youtube! You will get a stack of hits!! xxx

      Delete
  6. Well . . . once the quilt is washed it will look wonderfully puffy and the stitching will be perfect. Lots of work to pull it all out. My first boy received a baby quilt tied with yarn (40+ years ago) and the first time I washed and dried it all the ties formed little balls that made it look so cute. The little balls were still there and still holding when that favorite blankie finally came apart in small shreds (8 or so years later). I've never had any luck with embroidery thread either, I'm not sure what the secret is. I'm sure whatever you decide on will be just right.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am most encouraged by this! I was thinking the wool ties would happily go on and felt, which would keep them in place forever. :)

      Delete
  7. I love the quilt...no matter how you end up quilting it. But I really LOVE your comment on Hatfield & McCoys! I watched part one last night while crocheting away. And I agree, BP has gone a bit berserk!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The way they just up and shoot whoever crosses them! Man. Hardcore. I love Kevin Costner, so I always side with him. ;)

      Delete
  8. I like the patchwork so much, I think any way you finally decide on it going to look good! I haven't actually made a completed quilt yet so I'm can't give advice, I like the tying look though lately, I want to try one in the fall or sooner!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I am sure which way you choose to go it will come out very nice! I have to confess though.. I laughed when the dog left the room!! :) Shari

    ReplyDelete
  10. I have a quilt that my Grandmother made and hand tied with floss. It is over 30 years old and has been washed several times. None of the ties have come undone. I remember her using a square knot but I think she wrapped the loop twice. I wish she were here so I could ask her. Your quilt is beautiful, so no matter what you choose to do, it will be nice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Debbie, I think your grandma was in on the secret--this method seems to be the consensus, and I am giving it a shot. Thanks very much! :)

      Delete
  11. I share your indecisiveness. I like all your plans too. But I like that you are trying different styles, even if you end up where you started. No matter what, it is looking good. xx Fi

    ReplyDelete
  12. It is becoming so lovely. I took today a cup of coffee and looked over your blog. You make wonderful things. I like your style very much. You are an inspiration for me. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Lucy, this is lovely to hear. :)

      Delete
  13. Kristen, it looks so nice! J.

    ReplyDelete