Friday, June 18, 2010

From Bad Luck Quilt to a Blue Ribbon

Yea! My quilt entry in the Omaha Quilter's Guild show won a blue ribbon.

This is a red and green applique quilt, 4 blocks, a coxcomb design. I did the applique with machine blanket stitch and quilted it on my sewing machine. It is 82 X 82 inches. I saw an antique quilt on the International Quilt Study Center website from the 1840 - 1860 time period that I really liked. It was the inspiration for this quilt. I have been working on this quilt for several years and it has a rather unlucky history (or as I have referred to it often to my quilt friends, the quilt from hell).

This is the second set of fabric for this quilt, lesson one - purchase fabric for applique that is dyed front and back. The first red was just dyed on the front, white on the back, and it would get white "runs" just like a stocking while doing the needle turn applique. First year sitting in the closet.

Second lesson learned - be careful when designing patterns yourself that they are truly symmetrical. I completely hand appliqued one whole block and when I hung it up it the four points were slightly tilted. Another year in the closet.

Lesson three and the very most difficult - quilt markings not washing out. With new fabric, tweaked pattern, and a switch to machine applique I finished the top and it turned out wonderful. I planned my quilting and worked very hard on it. Time to wash out the blue ultimate pounce pad feather pattern markings and they would not wash out!!! EEK this had never happened to me before, I had used the product before and could not figure out what happened. (I have since had trouble with a second quilt and this product not washing out -I will no longer use it.) I washed this quilt a dozen times, I used every suggestion I could find NOTHING worked. Another year in the closet.

Along came a final suggestion for removing quilt markings, hydrogen peroxide, I tried it and again nothing, I could still see the markings, so I washed the quilt - because it now smelled like a hospital-tossed it in the dryer, and back in the closet for a few more months.

Just before Christmas a friend wanted to see this quilt I could not get the marks out of and when I pulled it out of the closet and looked at it - miracles of miracles - the marking were gone I had never looked at it after the last washing. So, Yea, a quilt entry for this summers show. I added a little more quilting in the border and put the binding on.

Now here is where it became the quilt from hell. After the binding was on I dampened it and was going to lay it out and pin it on the carpet to sort of block it nice and square. In crawling around stretching and pinning I poked my knee on a pin and got blood all over the quilt - ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!! I did not notice this until I had spots of blood over two sides of the quilt. Back into the washing machine it goes.

When the quilt came out of the washer my husband had set up some wood tables and old counter top so I would not have to crawl around the floor. We stretched the quilt out on the table top and since I could now not pin it flat into carpet, we used large binder clips from the office store and clipped it to the edges of the table. We went to bed that night to let it dry, it was looking good.

Next morning I got up, removed the clips and NOT AGAIN!, REALLY? ARE YOU KIDDING ME!...the clips had left rust marks on the quilt. I absolutely gave up thinking this quilt is just not meant to be shown. It almost went in the trash, but DH to the rescue again, he found on the internet that lemon juice removes rust from fabric. He went to the store, bought three lemons and we went to work on markings on this quilt yet again. The lemons did take the rust marks out, but all the edges of the quilt were yellow from the lemon juice so into the washer it goes for one final time.

After several years and lessons learned, I did not give up on this quilt, and the blue ribbon is the result. YEA!!

Happy Stitching All...



  1. So glad that you persevered, it's beautiful and I think you deserve a blue ribbon for staying power alone :o)

  2. That is an amazing quilt with an amazing story!! Good for you for persisting!!

  3. Cheri,

    I am so very happy for you. It is heart wrenching when a plan has so many bumps in the road. Lessons learned, though they are usually the toughest to swallow. Happy dance for you, the quilt is perfect and it won a ribbon. So, may you be blessed with many many quilts that come out perfectly from this point on.


  4. Gorgeous quilt! Incredible story-glad you never gave up...all that washing really made the quilting even more beautiful!