When we put up our Christmas tree this weekend, some sap dripped onto my new tree skirt. I washed it and machine dried it... only to have the skirt slightly damaged by some bleeding fabric and weak seams.
I LOVE reading blogs. The community, the friendships, inspiration and encouragement - it's truly precious to me. But, do you ever get the feeling that you're the only one who makes mistakes? I do. It's easy to see how it happens. We all like to photograph our work in the best light, from the most flattering angles, at the spot where the quilting looks the best... Ok, or is it just me? I mean, I can believe that there are practically perfect sewists out there. In fact, I can make a mental list. But then, really, even they make mistakes, right?
Well, I'm not perfect. Far from it (and obviously I'm just talking sewing here, I'm not going for an epistle). I can tell you that I need a whole lot more practice at the sewing machine and with my needle. But this week I've had a few too many confrontations with my shortcomings.
Fabric bleed. Apparently I forgot to prewash the backing corduroy for my Spiderweb Christmas Tree Skirt. This is the worst spot. I don't really feel that it's noticeable since very few of us get up close and personal with the underside of a Christmas tree. Course, it is on the front.
Pucker. In the same wash as the tree skirt was my Hide & Seek Spectrum Baby Quilt. It just needed it's final washing. Fortunately, it didn't get any red splotches. It came out of the dryer all crinkly, as quilts will (even though I prewash and machine dry all parts of my quilts). The process amplified a pucker that was created while quilting. Next time I will definitely use more pins.
Weak Seams. This is the most disturbing. I had to wash Aria's Fairytale Patchwork Quilt recently for the 3rd or so time. One of the children found a hole in the quilt top along the seam soon thereafter. When I went to repair it, I noticed that several (and one was too many) of the seams were coming open. Only the Far Far Away gauze and Little Folks voile were effected. The sturdier quilting cotton seams showed no wear. It's not as if the stitches actually came undone. Instead the fabric frayed away. What did I do wrong? I wonder if a 1/4" seam allowance was not generous enough or if the fact that I only sparingly hand-quilted it just didn't give it enough strength to withstand normal pulling. Ugh. So, my solution was to zigzag quilt around most of the gauze and voile squares to close up opening seams and reinforce the others. I'll confess, that was not a happy sewing morning.
Alright, so there you go. I kinda feel like a failure. They are little failures and it's embarrassing to put them out here, but it's real. Now, I'll work on putting these things behind me and honing my skills. I really, really, REALLY want to be a precise sewist. So, hey, here's to improvement!