The rough with the smooth

We could be talking about my shins here, but mercifully we’re not. The Triple Irish Chain is now being quilted, with varying success. Sometimes the gulf between my ability to piece and my ability to actually quilt is quite depressing. As I’ve already mentioned, I only started machine piecing and quilting last year, after about 15 years of paper piecing by hand. Whilst my machine piecing skills seem to have come together quite quickly, the machine quilting is *sighs* NOT. I can’t pretend I find machine quilting all that interesting. I can only straight line quilt, which can induce torpor in the most experienced of quilters, as a result I tend to under-quilt. So I decided that the Triple Chain needed a more densely quilted approach, which is fine, but the results are mixed to say the least. It may be that I put too many safety pins in the quilt during the basting process but my walking foot does not like them one little bit. It skips stitches and I fear I will have to go over some lines again. It may of course be that my walking foot hates me, not a problem mentioned in the manual, but after a while you can’t help wondering…


So to keep me from plunging into a dark valley of despondency I’ve started some paper piecing again. In my last post I got all excited about the octagons in Natural Patchwork, and well, just couldn’t wait to have a go. It’s easy to forget just how soothing patchwork by hand can be. I stick a West Wing box set on the DVD player grab my scraps bag and a few sheets of printed out octagons and, well, three very comfy hours later I’ve produced these…


Paper piecing like this isn’t really the kind of thing I approach with any defined project in mind. It may turn into a quilt, or a some cushion covers, or a sewing machine cover or any number of things, it’s the process rather than the project that’s the draw. Unlike when I make things by machine, which are all planned projects with a definite destination in mind. I think in future, to soothe my ruffled quilting ego, I’m going to have to ensure I have a hand-sewing project on the go as well as a machine sewn one. For those days when Jan (the sewing machine) and I just can’t seem to get along at all.

Thanks for reading,


One thought on “The rough with the smooth

  1. I think I mentioned that my machine quilting ability is fairly limited too? I much prefer hand quilting (although I have successfully machine quilted part of my britquilt swap number – much smaller though…) I suspect that if I want to get at all serious about machine quilting I will need a new machine, which is def. not on the cards right now! Love the little paper pieced octagons, I’ve not tried that shape yet. Now, let’s see if this will let me post this comment, I had trouble last time…
    R xx

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