Linky Party

Quilting Blunders

My friend Bernie from Needle and Foot is hosting a linkup this week and encouraging us all to share real “behind the seams” truths and quilting blunders. She is right that in this age of social media it can be easy to fall into a trap and think that everyone else does things easier, or right the first time, or that it just magically works out better for everyone else. I definitely encourage you to visit Bernie this week and maybe you can link up a story as well or simply share in the comments stories.

I make little blunders and have mishaps all the time. One of the blunders I talk about when I am teaching was in the fabric selection for my Spiraling Petals quilt. When I made the fabric selection, I used my Kona Cotton card and then verified with swatches from my computer screen. When the fabric arrived, though, it was obvious that my two lighter fabrics were too close in value.

Fabric for Spiraling Petals - Kona Cotton in Pearl Pink, Pink, Bubble Gum, and Pomegranate

Fabric for Spiraling Petals – Kona Cotton in Pearl Pink, Pink, Bubble Gum, and Pomegranate

Converting a photo of my fabrics to greyscale, you can see that the change in value from the first to the second fabric is very small and that the change in value from the second to the third is much larger. Oops. I was working with a short deadline, so I forged ahead and pieced the quilt top. (Note: I recommend using Medium Pink instead of Pink!)

Spiraling Petals - Pieced Top

Spiraling Petals – Pieced Top

Once the quilt top was pieced, I was really worried. For a quilt design that is all about value, it’s almost impossible to see the difference between the two most used fabrics in the quilt top. EEk!

Spiraling Petals - Quilting Detail

Spiraling Petals – Quilting Detail

My solution was to use very dense quilting to help me achieve value separation. In the lightest value fabric, I used white thread and micro-quilted tiny loops.

Spiraling Petals - View of Backing

Spiraling Petals – View of Backing

One of the benefits of all the quilting I added is that the back of the quilt is pretty darn stunning in its own right, too!

Spiraling Petals

Spiraling Petals

And although I would *definitely* recommend using different fabrics (Pearl Pink, Medium Pink, Bubble Gum, and Pomegranate, to be exact), I learned so much from making Spiraling Petals that I really love it.

Things I learned:

  1. Everything is fixable. Or at least, sometimes you can quilt the value into a quilt, anyway. 😉
  2. I cut my color card apart as a result of making this quilt and it has made fabric selection so much easier to have the swatches free to move beside one another.

Linking up with Needle and Foot.

24 thoughts on “Quilting Blunders

  1. Terrific post. I have also “quilted value” into the occasional area that didn’t pan out how I wanted, although not as expertly as you. Your quilt turned out to be wonderful despite the shaky start.

  2. Cindy Pieters says:

    If we are honest, then we can all admit to having made an error or two along the way.

  3. vmccagg says:

    I really like this quilt and would never had known that you had not designed it this exact way! As for mistakes, I make many, my quilts go to family as gifts. I try my best on every block and quilt that I make and that is all that I can do. My seam ripper is my most used tool I’m afraid.

  4. quilting value you into the quilt is a great idea!

  5. Great way to save a low contrast section!

  6. Using a thread color to help define the value is a great idea. I had a similar experience when I made your Burst Mini recently, using only what I had in my stash. My light and medium were pretty close, but it worked out okay.

  7. Jean WImm says:

    Any errors and there are many I make are just opportunities to be more creative and it is amazing what comes out of it.

  8. Clever ‘fix’ for your problem. Not sure I would have been able to solve it in the same way.

  9. Suzanne says:

    There are no quilt police! (except where competition quilts are concerned, that is.)

    When I first looked at the colors as you laid them next to one another I thought it would work out just fine. Then I saw the greyscale picture and understood. I would have been dumb enough to go out and spend more money for a better color, duh. Your solution is a brilliant way to fix it. It’s a good lesson for those of us who are newer to quilting and thank you for it.

    Your spirals are so neat and well lined up. I expect that you mark your quilt before stitching? Do you mark just rows or a complete grid? Thanks in advance for your answer.

  10. Suzanne says:

    P.S. I make lots of blunders too! Such as the times I’ve pieced things together wrong side to right side. And I’m not always good with spatial relationships and have been known to sew bits together upside down, on the right edge instead of left, etc. Phew! My seam ripper gets plenty of use.

  11. This is such an interesting solution. One I never would have thought of. Thanks so much for sharing this. It worked great (tho I bet the dense quilting took forever!) and yes, it made the back just stunning.

  12. Your solution was perfect and really helped it to work. I think it is so easy to make the mistake when not comparing the fabric in person. You recovered nicely!

  13. Whoops! Poor you. This is similar to the reason why I don’t do mystery quilts. What if I do all that work and then hate the end result because of a poor fabric choice on my part?

    I’m glad you were able to compensate with the quilting. And I’m really glad you still like the quilt!

  14. Tracie says:

    Poor fabric choices are my biggest blunder! I finally realized that I needed to use more solids to calm my quilts. Contrast is difficult too. Your solution was genius! Thanks for sharing it to help all of us.

  15. Patty says:

    Great quilt – quite interesting to see how the quilting made the difference. And thanks for the heads up on the link-up – fun stuff!

  16. Good recovery! That’s what really counts, being able to adapt and be flexible. I’ll bet the texture on this one is just fabulous as you run your hand over it 🙂

  17. Wow! Two great tips I had never heard before. Quilting in value and cutting apart a color card to better able to compare colors. THANKS YVONNE! What a great idea Bernie had! 🙂

  18. I love how you saved this quilt. Have you considered making it again in different colours?

  19. Elizabeth E. says:

    Clever and beautiful fix to a knotty problem of value. That’s such a great quilt, and to think that you faced some obstacles while making it never crossed my mind. Thanks for sharing.

  20. I know this quilt! It is so beautiful, and such a learning example to boot! Thanks for sharing how you were able to turn an oops into an ahhh!

  21. Mari says:

    I love pink and think this is a great iteration of your quilt. I wouldn’t change any of those colors. Spectacular quilting, by the way!

  22. Izzy says:

    I love this quilt and using the quilting to “fix” the value was brilliant! 🙂

  23. Your fix worked beautifully, the quilting is stunning and really helped with the values.

  24. Lisa J. says:

    I’m glad that you ended up loving Your quilt and that you have shared with us how you fixed the blunder.

I really appreciate the time and thought you take to comment, and I look forward to conversing with you. :)