My Biggest Quilting Failure

by Megan Ellinger

Today is August 1 which means there are just EIGHT more days of summer vacation.  EIGHT.  I can smell the school supplies and new shoes which means I'm finally going to be able to get back to work around here!

It was a busy summer but mostly I just tried to keep myself and the kids cool.  We played in the garden, grew a bunch of stuff, canned a zillion jars of pickles, and made apple butter from our very own apple trees.  This isn't tiny orchard quilts for no reason!  We have 13 or so fruit trees scattered around the yard and I have plans to squeeze in a few more things this fall (hello, cherries!!).

The quilty parts of my summer mostly involved a few new patterns as well as some quilt show entries.  My original pink version of Blackberry is headed off to Charleston Quiltweek.  I won't be attending but wave at it for me if you are!

This quilt was quite a process.  As usual, I did most of my designing in Electric Quilt 8 and then all of the assembly diagrams in adobe illustrator.  By the time I'm sewing the "final" quilt, I have most of the pattern finished with just a few diagrams and instructions to clean up.

Blackberry wasn't any different.  I had my quilt top finished and testers were working away on their versions while I quilted my sample.  When I was about halfway done quilting, I was working away on the pattern and...hit a snag.  Let's call it that.  A snag.  That sounds more pleasant than a flaming pile of woe.

This diagram.  It nearly killed me.  I was arranging the diagram did I quilt this shape again?  For the life of me, I couldn't remember.  Thankfully, I'm addicted to Instagram, so I was sure I had a photo somewhere.

It took me a minute but then it hit me like a cooler of gatorade if dumping gatorade was what you did when your team lost in an embarrassing way.  I couldn't remember how I quilted that shape because I never had quilted that shape.  It simply didn't exist on my quilt.  Because I'd assembled the top WRONG.

Instead of the nice bubbly shape in my diagram, I had this weird completely non-bubbly shape. I pondered my options but there was no going back.  The top was already halfway quilted and several testers had already finished, so I was committed to the original diagrams.  


I'd like to say I handled this flub with grace but I'm not even going to try to lie about it.  Thankfully, I had time to finish quilting it and then sew like I've never sewn before and make another version of the quilt for the pattern cover.  

It has a happy ending though--my son grabbed up the blue version and the fancy pink version is off to a show where no one will know it is my biggest quilting failure.