Last night an unmitigated quilting disaster struck.
I can't believe how devastated I felt. For those of you who have seen the film or read the book "Julie and Julia", think Julie Powell lying on the kitchen floor after her aspic falls apart . . thinking she will never be able to complete her quest to cook her way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking. That was me.
Scene: 10 pm, Donna's dining room. The dining room table and all chairs have been pushed and piled to one side to make room for what is about the transpire.
Characters: Donna, her loving and supportive husband, and one mofo string quit top. Donna has just spent two hours piecing her so easy (ha ha) quilt backing, which has been laboriously taped to the floor. The batting has been cut and smoothed to within an inch of its life. It's the moment of truth. Donna lays the much anticipated, much loved, and much cursed string quilt top down to get it ready for basting.
Donna: it won't smooth out.
Husband: Here, I'll pull on this edge.
Donna: Now, look - it's bunching over there.
Husband: Maybe if I pull over here.
Donna: It's not working! Look how wrinkled the sashing looks!!
Husband: Did you mean for it to be puckered like that?
Donna (to herself!) Not helpful! Not supportive! (to husband) No! I don't know what's going on! Maybe I need to take the sashing off and square off the string part (as i should have done!) before reattaching.
With that I got to work ripping out the sashing and at 10:45 I ironed the quilt top nice and smooth. Only it wasn't. What followed was a meltdown of epic proportions. Maybe it was fatigue, maybe it was hormones, maybe I was just so darn frustrated that I had put so much time and effort into this quilt and IT WASN'T WORKING . . .but I was pretty much a puddle on the floor, à la Julie Powell, with no phone call coming through with a famous quilter wanting to come to my house and watch me sew (good thing, I think).
'Cause, see, the sashing wasn't the problem, the blocks are the problem. After a night's sleep (sort of - the baby woke up twice and it was laaate before I crawled into bed), I had a flurry of emails back and forth to Sara, and it's been decided what I need to do.
Burn the sucker.
No, just kidding. When Sara comes to Ottawa to visit next month, our joint sewing project will be dubbed Operation Rescue String Quilt. The mission: we will rip all the blocks apart, square each and every block off, re-sew them into a top, add the binding and I should be good to go.
Sara has advised me to fold it up nice and neat and put it in a safe place until she arrives. Perhaps Operation Rescue String Quilt is not the most scintillating sewing project we could have tackled together, but there'll be wine, some fine dessert I shall make, and 9.5 years of in-person catching up to do.Here the batting, backing, and quilt top sit, all folded and awaiting some help from afar!