07 April 2016


I earned the Queen of the Last Minute title for finishing this quilt right under the wire. Deadline for the Ravelry winter 2016 WIP challenge was 10 p.m. MST March 31. I hadn't been sleeping well for about two weeks and I finally had time to quilt, so I decided to put that frustrating tossing and turning to good use and darn near pulled a classic college all-nighter on the 30th.

I'd had a real mental block against this quilt because it's the one I was working on when my sewing machine bit the dust last year. It wasn't the quilt's fault. Nevertheless, because that's what I was working on when it happened, I had a real hard time getting going on this one again.

It needed only about 50 more lines of straight quilting, then a few churn dash designs. Yet still, I just couldn't get motivated until the end of the month came along, I couldn't sleep, and I had finished only one quilt the entire quarter. My goal was one each month, if I could.

While I was working on this quilt... ALL NIGHT LONG... I became angrier and angrier with it. The extra loft batting (leftover from multiple other projects) was a real booger to push through the neck of my domestic machine. I'd started on one edge and had worked nearly to the opposite edge, machine quilting densely for the first project in my life, and the rolled-up quilt just wouldn't squeeze under the neck anymore.

I decided to turn it around and quilt in the opposite direction. I thought I could better control the tension and the movement of the fabric. For the first time, I was confident of my machine-quilting skills.

Super Cute Backing!

It didn't work. After just one line of quilting, the fabric on the underside pulled and crept and made unsightly bubbles, although I didn't have any creases. I was devastated. I pulled out the seam ripper and earnestly tried to pluck out the stitches, but they were too small, and I couldn't remove them without destroying the fabric.

At this point, I fully hated the quilt. I never wanted to see it again. I knew if I didn't finish the quilting right then and there, in that sitting, I'd never finish it. I ultimately would end up throwing it out. I couldn't give it away. No one would love it. Everyone would laugh at it.

So on I pressed, trying my best to even out the fabric layers and keep any more unsightly ripples from occurring.

I finished the quilting just before the sun came up, and I vowed to finish the binding by 9:30 p.m. after work so at least I could get credit for finishing one more quilt during the quarter.

I'd contemplated changing the name of the quilt to 101 Cheetahs after I found the cute backing fabric. While quilting, I thought 101 Mistakes would be a more appropriate name. Oh, how I hated this quilt!

When I got home from work on the 31st and walked by the quilt, I was struck by the design and the "pop" of the colorful cheetah stripes. I looked at the quilt on both sides again, and yes, there are mistakes, but it's still a nice quilt. The design is pretty darned cool. During the quilting process, I'd fixed as many problems as I could, including the backing being nearly an inch too short where I'd begun quilting from the opposite direction. I didn't know how to fix such mistakes; I just did whatever I could to try to minimize the damage. I had drafted those churn dash blocks from scratch, the first time I'd done my own drafting in decades, and I'll be darned if I was going to cut a portion of them off because the backing was now too short!

I finished the binding at 9:06 p.m. and turned in the project on Ravelry. No other finishes happened in the next 45 minutes, so I'm Queen of the Last Minute, and now, even though Skinned is not perfect, it's done, and I actually like it now. Everything but the cheetah backing is leftovers from other projects. Even the blacks don't match because they came from about eight different projects. I'm so happy this quilt is not on my WIP list anymore. Considering all the challenging circumstances, it didn't turn out half bad. Maybe someone somewhere will love it one day because it's handmade.

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict.


  1. Good job of pushing on through. Sometimes even if it is annoying all the more gratifying when done.

    1. Thanks, Pat! this one took some serious pushing, but it did indeed finally cross the finish line!

  2. Hey, Queen of the Last Minute, it's turned out wonderful! Both front and back are awesome.

    1. You are way too kind, Lizard! Thank you for making my day!

  3. Here's to finishing it and for the full-on hatefulness to be ebbing a little! I'm sorry this one put up such a fight, but congrats on getting closure on it. It is really is nice; you probably will see that more as you get a little space from the frustrations that occurred during its creation.

  4. Thank you, Afton. Your words bring much comfort. It is becoming prettier every day, so maybe one day I will be grateful for the whole experience...


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