Hiccup! (And the fix)


See the fern?
It has been waiting to become.

Like a dozen other fabrics I've painted, dyed, or printed.
But this one has a real chance!


Now it's waiting for a weekend when my frame is free (and so am I). Not this weekend - I've loaded a client's quilt, ready for Monday - but soon!

My own work in progress.

Ever have the kind of hiccup that gets in the way of progress?
Yep. Me too.

The first two rows of quilting on this beauty looked great, so I relaxed and quilted the next two rows.

Client quilt - bayside panto.

Not good.
When I went to advance the quilt, I noticed a couple of spots in the third row where the tension was off.
Exasperating, but fixable.

When I checked the fourth row, the tension was crap in more places than not.
WTF??? (Feel free to insert fudge if you like, but that was not my descriptive word of choice!)
It was time to rip instead of fix.

It takes ten times longer to rip than to stitch.


This exact scenario has happened once before, and now I think I've nailed down the culprit.
Black thread.
Tightening the tension (both top and bobbin) fixed the issue, then and now.

I've read that black thread can be thinner than other colours of the same kind and weight, thanks to the extra processing needed to make it so dark.

I can't explain why it works for the first little while (when I watch my tension like a hawk), and then decides to slip (as soon as I take my eyes off it), but that seems to be a pattern . . . if twice can be considered a pattern.
It's a mystery.

Thank goodness for flowers!

Zephyr lilies make me smile. :-)

And for meeting deadlines despite a little hiccup. *whew*

Client quilt - modern twist panto.

No deadline for this t-shirt quilt (below), but it feels great to be making progress in the studio again!

Client quilt - ripples panto.

House Update
Lots of rain.
The basement walls were poured one day when there was a break in the weather.
Puddles and beams.

Weeping tile and damp proofing are almost finished - it's slow work because of the rain.

Slumped dirt in the back corner of the hole where there should be a nice, crisp cliff. :-(

Wet dirt has slumped into the hole around the basement's exterior and has to be dug out by hand so things can proceed - makes me feel better about ripping stitches, I tell ya.

One pump has already burned out, and another one had to be brought in.
Maybe we should build an ark instead.

Oh! Today, floor beams appeared!
Our contractor is multitasking to keep from falling too far behind.

Guess what's in the forecast for tomorrow.
Notice it is not a question.

Time to change the subject.

Here's what's on the frame for Monday - cheerful!

Client quilt - ditching (and extra basting) in progress.

Have a wonderful weekend!!!

Try, Learn, & Grow!

P.S. If you'd like a quilt done in time for Christmas, please reserve your spot now. My calendar is starting to fill, and spots are limited!


  1. The fern is beautiful. Looking forward to see it finished. Do you carefully plan out the mix of squares, HTS and rectangles? Or does that kind of just happen? I really like the composition.

    Grrr on ripping out so much quilting. But good to know about black thread.

  2. Ooooh! I'm excited to see what you do with your fern quilt. It's looking fabulous so far! I like the mix of shapes and sizes.
    Seriously? black thread?! that just seems wrong.... sorry you had to spend valuable time seam ripping. Ugh. And I'm sorry rain is slowing your house progress : / (we rigged the router table so that one person can man it when using the groove bit. Oh my gosh - it's a damn full body workout, though! I am so sore! We've got 50 boards on the porch ceiling. Only 74 to go...)
    The quilt you've got loaded looks like it'll be a fun one! It's at least something colorful and cheery to look at while it's grey and wet outside.
    Maybe you can do some TCN this weekend :-)

  3. Digging out by hand? Ripping seams does sound peaceful in comparison! I hear you on tension only going wonky when you relax and let your guard down. Better to catch it before you unload the quilt, though!!

  4. I save WTF for situations exactly such as this. But your wrong- it must take twenty times as long to rip out than to stitch in. Thanks for the heads up on black thread. I would not have guessed.

  5. I save WTF for situations exactly such as this. But your wrong- it must take twenty times as long to rip out than to stitch in. Thanks for the heads up on black thread. I would not have guessed.

  6. I've had quite a few WTF moments recently...and I don't mean fudge. Hopefully I'll overcome mine too. I'm in LOVE with your fern print. It's stunning. I'm glad you've found a good home for it and can't wait to see the finished quilt. As always, I enjoy seeing your client quilts and your house is really moving along. If you get tired of the rain we could always use some on the East Coast.....please.

  7. Your fern is incredible , I have a love of ferns . Your clients quilts are lovely too and your quilting is fantastic even if you did have hiccups. Good luck with your house building , let's hope you get some dry weather so things can progress nicely.

  8. The fern fabric looks so pretty surrounded by patchwork.

  9. I have had that happen, quilted, rolled, then saw all loose on the bottom, then when I started with the seam ripper saw a wrinkle in the back. I spent two days unripping and had blisters on my elbows!


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