Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The drag racer's quilt finally made it to the finish line!!

It was an arduous process as I am not an experienced long armer but I muscled my way through this one.  I have quilted about 5 quilts on my mid arm and 10' table...  which I find is not nearly enough for me to be happy with the results of my quilting before taking on a project like this.

Playing with the layout
It started innocently enough...  I had bought it used and thought it would be a good way to test the waters...  if I liked it, I could consider getting a better machine.  If I didn't like it, I could try to sell it and not stand to lose much money.

I had set up my mid arm and table and knew that I needed to quilt a lot of quilts before I could even consider myself an amateur, after all, I had never even TRIED to use a long arm before getting this machine.

Border represents light tree
Even knowing that I needed a lot of practice, I was still considering the quilts I would like to complete once I got my skills established. 

One was a commissioned t-shirt quilt for a drag racing friend of ours.   However, our friend's 75th birthday was fast approaching so I stepped up the pace a bit and got the top pieced.  I was still practicing with the quilter at this point and was feeling like I was developing a 'relationship' with the machine.  We were working through some bugs, etc, and we on our way to slightly smoother sailing.

Ok, so it must be time to quilt this bad boy!   Up to this point, I had only done maybe 5 quilts with meandering and wonky flower patterns and had just gotten to the point that I could quilt and breathe at the same time - a major accomplishment. 

So what does one do when one gets to that point?

I decided to quilt flames as the design on this quilt.  What WAS I thinking?  Didn't I think a nice meandering pattern would be just as nice?   Noooooo.   

I was apparently feeling just a little bigger than my britches. 

Do you think that was far enough to push myself?  Noooooo.   Apparently, I thought I should use light gray thread to quilt said flames.....  on the black background fabric.   Seriously?!?!?!  Not only am I crazy for thinking I could quilt flames but I was extra crazy for quilting them in a color that would show the world, very clearly, where I made every tiny, or not so tiny, mistake.

Actually, the quilting started out pretty good but as soon as I took a break, I must have forgotten everything I ever knew regarding the stupid machine.  What?  the presser foot needs to be lowered for the stitch regulator to work?  Did I know that?

After many, many days of cursing, giving up, going back, shaking my head, wondering what I was thinking, ripping, resewing, vacuuming up said rippings, and repeating this whole process several times, I arrived at a product that I am not proud of, but I am not ashamed of either.

Coming from someone with perfectionist tendencies, that's pretty big!

The label says:
Driver: Vern Moats
Crew Chief:  Jerry Cohoon
Mechanic:  Jacki Cohoon
Happy 75th Birthday, Vern!!


  1. I think it looks great, and we are the hardest on ourselves, most people could not point out the mistakes. Im sure Vern couldnt, or Dad. Good job, it looks great!

    1. Thanks Sue! that means a lot to me!