Thursday, June 28, 2018

Killed it :: And Not In A Good Way!

After all these years of quilting you'd think the 'don't rush' lesson would be seared in to my brain by now.  It should be something I don't have to remind myself to do and should be second nature!  Wish that were true!

Was it really back in February when I went on our guild retreat?!  (Retreat Packing) Seems like a lifetime ago.  Besides a couple large quilt projects that I brought along, I also included some small paper pieced projects to break up the tedium. 
7 1/2" x 7 1/2"
I made a pink 'J' using the Geometric Alphabet from Quiet Play.  It was hanging quietly on my design wall for months.  Just waiting and waiting and waiting.  I had just finished quilting a large quilt the other day and with a bit of time on my hands I thought I could knock this out once and for all.



Because it was small, and you would think it would be a quick quilting finish, I decided to free motion quilt and use these threads.  I've had them for years and frankly just looking at them was good enough for me.  But in my moment of weakness I decided I'd use the shiny pink and the metallic silver for something different.  It was going to be quick...right?!

First I'll say this, the pink thread was not a problem.  It worked like just as it should.  I did use a 50wt thread in the bobbin which was about the only thing I did right.  The metallic thread was horrible!  I've knew enough to about metallic thread to adjust the tension, but even that didn't help me!



I used the pink thread first and flew through the sections with that I wanted pink.  At that point I was thinking that I had it nailed!  I'd be done in no time now!

Then the metallic nightmare began.  I'd start free motion quilting and it would break.  At the beginning I was trying to do things properly by picking out the stitches and starting again.  I quickly grew frustrated and threw that idea out the window!



Break, start again, break, start again...I finally just snipped the thread where it broke and kept going.  I didn't care that it may unravel.  I didn't care that it wasn't going to be perfect or properly done.  It was a tiny quilt that would live in my sewing room and was for my pleasure only!  

By the time I was near the end, what skill I had in FMQ had greatly declined!  I was so glad it was over by the end!  I don't care what anyone says...I will never use metallic thread again...it's going in the trash!



Thankfully I used a fabric where you can't see the quilting!  That's usually the best place to see quilting detail and I'm always happy to show it!



For those who use metallic thread successfully, I'm in awe!  It just didn't work for me!  I feel like I've been traumatized from the experience!  

  

Other than that, I love my 'J'!  I'm totally good with the imperfections.  I wonder if I'll look at it and have flashbacks!  PTSD?!  Well, that's a little too dramatic!

Have you been ever been frustrated by a project to the point of not caring how it turned out?  Or did you take a deep breath and made it work?

If this was a large project (and not metallic thread) and I was having issues, I most certainly would have adjusted what needed to be adjusted, ripped out what needed to be ripped out and made it work.  I didn't feel the need to do that with something that was small and seemingly inconsequential.  

I could have never shared this screw up and no one would have known how I let quality control go by the wayside.  But sometimes things don't go quite as we planned and you have to either adjust, give up or do the best you can and work with what you have.


LINKING:

26 comments :

  1. As they say, "Finished is better than perfect." It looks great where it counts. :)

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    1. I thought about that many times while fighting with this block! Some days things just don’t go as planned!

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  2. Well I for one am happy that you are sharing the project that frustrated you. As a fairly beginner fmq I feel I am always in a position of having to just keep what is happening and forge ahead, or I would never get anything finished. I'm glad that you like your J. in the end.

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    1. There is always a point where frustration gets the best of us! That darn thread did that an more! I’ll always struggle with FMQ…metallic thread or not…it’s not something I’ve ever been comfortable with or most likely never will be!

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  3. I have used the metallic thread only once and that was for a hand quilting embellishment in one area only and I threw it away too!! Same reason it would shred and break and that was with a hand embroidery needle - I don't know why some like it. I have also had trouble with the clean nylon thread that some use for wall hangings by machine when using fusing on tiny pieces of fabric - I don't remember the correct name for it - I want to practice that one though and get it right.

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  4. The best laid plans....but the end result looks good to me!

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  5. Yeah, I have definitely avoided trying metallic thread because I worry it will take a long time to find all the settings (needle, tension, speed, etc.) that would make it work well for me and my machine. I applaud you for giving it a go and hopefully now you have a finish you can enjoy and not linger over the frustration.

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  6. The only metallic threads that I have had good luck with are the Superior Threads metallic. I threw out all my others. Another hint is to use a large eyed needle. I also run beads of liquid silicone (Sewers Aid) down the spool before stitching.

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  7. Sometimes you just have to give it up. Finished is better than perfect, and what not. I guess the trade off is your sanity or perfection? I prefer sanity every time!!!

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  8. At least you finished it Jayne! And from here it looks perfectly fine. I'm sure I would have given up and gone back to cotton thread after the first couple of breaks. Thanks for posting the problems you had with it - life's too short to only learn from our own mistakes!

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  9. There are some threads that just don't play nicely with my machine. In fact, the first year I had my "nice" machine Aurifil was the absolute worst. Everyone else raved and my tension was never right. Surprisingly, a couple of years later I switched who I had clean my machine. I don't know what he did differently (or what I did differently) but the personality of my machine totally improved. Things that it was supposed to do naturally it all of a sudden did naturally. So yes - I've had moments where I thought, "UGH" but thankfully everything eventually worked out. My machine and I are friends!

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  10. Hi Jayne, I love your project. Very pretty. Is anything ever really perfect anyway? But I've read about a tool called 'Thread Director' that Shabby Fabrics has. People say it works wonders using it for metallic thread sewing. They have video about it, too.

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  11. Jayne, your J is beautiful!!! Sorry about your issues, but man, you recovered nicely!!! Get that J on the wall and enjoy!!!!!

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  12. Unfortunately, I’ve had “several” projects with thread breakage... I guess that means I sew a lot... but on another note, your “J” totally inspires me to make the first letter of our grand-daughter’s Initial, she loves little mug-rug size quilts, age 23 mo.

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  13. It's a very cute 'J' quilt. We all have mishaps like that, we learn and move on:) I mean you can't always have a perfect piece, LOL

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  14. Same story here...only it worked through half the project. Then had to stop sewing for dinner and next time I started was the same as yours. Adjusted tension, wound new bobbing, put in new needle...everything. Stitch, break, stitch break...then it started breaking needles and then my machine didn't want to sew. Off to the shop and out with the metallic!!

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  15. I have had projects that frustrate me and I put them in time out, but with thread - it is different what else could you do but persevere. you did great.

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  16. It is a beautiful piece for your studio wall! And yes, you could've just posted the finished piece and we wouldn't have known about your frustrations. Thank you for sharing, because we've all had such frustrations and it's good to know we're not alone. Your finished mini is sew cute!!!

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  17. Hi Jayne,
    For me, lots of times things go sideways . . . and I still share it. It happens. Sometimes I may pick out the offending area, like I did today. Straight line stitching that went WAY beyond crooked, but FMQ is supposed to be quite possible wonky. {{Hugs}} Enjoy your J. You did a fabulous job piecing it and that's what I would look at. I think your quilting looks great, too - I can't see any broken threads. Happy Friday! ~smile~ Roseanne

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  18. Thank goodness it was a small project. That said, it came out just lovely. I’d never know by looking at it there were problems.

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  19. It looks beautiful to me! I ran a metallic thread through my ling arm once and I think it wore burrs in a lot of my metal guides. I started having thread breakage on my regular threads. I finally installed all new guides and things worked fine. But it was sure frustrating for a bit.

    And thanks for reminding me I bought that alphabet too. It is a great mini quilt for your studio.

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  20. I'm so sorry that you had such a frustrating time. The mini quilt is adorable. I've never used metallic thread. I may be a little afraid of it.

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  21. I have yet to find a machine that successfully stitches anything with metallic thread - same story as you, break-rethread-repeat! I've kept the spools of thread though and use them for fibre art - not for the stitching but scatter them over the snippets and under the sulky and then stitch away and get the glitter effect without any of the frustration! Fibre art textile collage is my new favourite fun thing to do - inbetween all the quilting.

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  22. I've definitely had some tantrum moments while quilting, where I just grit my teeth and shoved the quilt thru without caring how it turned out! And even a time when I threw all my fabric on the floor in frustration. Ahem. Sometimes only the crows feet and gray hair indicate any maturity...

    I'm glad your mini is finished and usable! It looks quite nice to the casual observer, but I'm glad you shared your journey :)

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  23. Sorry to hear of the troubles. It's a great little project.

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  24. I think each of us has some quilty bug-a-boo; it takes courage and humility to admit it publicly. Thank you that you did; NO ONE is perfect, and I have your attitude too about it's just for me and I like it as is, warts and all! I rarely rip out quilting; if people expect perfection, get it computer-quilted is what I say. Thanks for linking up with TGIFF.

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