Monday, November 10, 2014

Double Crossed and a longarming problem

I went to a retreat at the beginning of September, and decided to start a quilt I had been planning for over a year.  The pattern is Double Crossed by Amy Smart who blogs at Diary of a Quilter. I had long ago bought and stacked the fabrics I hoped to use for this project.

Then I had second thoughts: should I use a different pattern?  Several attractive patterns came to mind. Should I change out some of the fabrics? Finally I decided to go with my original plan and packed it all with me.

Here is the finished quilt:

Along the way I added a light grey, another dark turquoise, and that salmon colour that is from the new Zen Chic line. Opinion at the retreat was divided on that fabric, but I'm glad I put it in.

After arriving home I made enough more squares to put the top together, pieced the back and got it ready for the longarmer, since the top was now about 86" x 94".

Here's my back, completely directional, and with my pieced blocks inserted.

A closeup of the fabrics, the sashing is actually a pretty dot, not plain white.

And here's what went wrong at the longarmer. She placed the length of the top across the width of the backing.

It's taken me at least a week to put things right again, to the point that I'm happy with it again. I had added unrelated fabric strips on both sides of the back that were planned to be cut off again as they were within the 4" extra each side. They were now quilted in and part of the quilt. I had to sew on strips to cover those pieces and quilt over it again. The quilt front was placed right at the bottom of the backing, and in places came down further than the backing. I didn't want to trim my blocks, so I added a thin strip on the bottom of the back to cover the shortfall. Worst of all, there was a large piece of unused backing at the top. If I cut it off, the quilt would be very wide and too short. I would also be cutting off most of a block of my pieced back. So I made more blocks for the front. 13 more blocks in case you are wondering. I also put a 6 " strip of patterned fabric at the very top since I didn't have enough variety of fabrics to make another row of 13 blocks. I also had to join more batting. And then I quilted it all.

Finally I was able to trim and bind it all and see how it turned out:
Well, the quilt is now bigger than I planned, but a comfortable size for a queen size bed. Even for a king: one of my daughters has put in a request for it.

My quilting was all on the edges, so not too much of a pain, and it blends in quite well.

I wish I didn't have a top border, when there are no other borders, but folding the top down covers that, and I love looking at a bit of my back anyway.

The extra I added to the back at the bottom can be seen if you are looking closely, but really, do I?

Lesson learned - no more cheaping out with an inexperienced longarmer. I'm booked to take a class, and from now on I hope to do all my quilting myself. Smaller things were already done on my home machine. Larger quilts will be done by me by renting time on a long arm. And any future quilt disasters will be my responsibility and no one else's!

Linking to: TGIFF at Quilt Matters
                   Link a Finish Friday at Richard and Tanya Quilts

Till next time



  1. Oh, that SUCKS! (Wait, I mean, the quilt is pretty. Very nice!) But ugh in the longarm. I recently screwed up one of mine the same way, but...I'm not a professional, charging people for it.

  2. oh wow!! That sounds like a lot of work! But it turned out beautifully..good job. And good plan for the future :)

  3. I'm impressed! You really rescued this beauty!

  4. Such a beautiful quilt! So sorry about the goof on the part of the longarmer. At least you were able to fix it and it looks great!

    ~ Jess ~
    Everything Is Coming Up Rosie

  5. Wonderful quilt! Good luck with quilting your own quilts, there's something satisfying about completing the entire process!

  6. Oh no, that's so unfortunate! You rescued it beautifully though. Way to go!

  7. Looks great, glad you were able to make it work for you! Good luck learning to do it yourself.

  8. This is such a nice quilt - what a bummer about the mess-up. Seriously! Kudos to you for going to the work to rescue it. Love that backing, and I zoomed in and can't tell at all where you had to add to it. Nice job. :)

  9. Just an FYI, when you send a quilt to be quilted, it really makes it much easier on us (the LA quilter) if you will mark the top of the quilt and the top of the backing. I'll bet she put the long side of your top on the rails to make it so that she had fewer times to roll the quilt and had a larger area to quilt. Just pin a note to each that says "top" and we'll get it right! Your quilt is beautiful and you did a fabulous job of fixing what went wrong.


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