The Cloths of Heaven 20: dismissing obstacles

A friend (Hello, Miss C!) has an enviable approach to problem solving. Presented with an obstacle or difficulty, her response is “Excellent!”, and she proceeds to solve the problem with gusto.

I wouldn’t go that far, but faced with the need to work in subdued light and finding myself 6 frustrating inches /15cm short of the length of batting I needed, I worked around the problem instead of allowing it to defeat me. There’s a ‘proper’ way to do things, and then there’s the other way.  If you have to work in semi-darkness and you’ve run out of batting tape for joining two pieces seamlessly, you improvise, and spend a peaceful half hour going the old school route, slowly joining the pieces of batting with needle and thread, using herringbone stitch. There was no way I could face bright tropical sunshine at that point, so going to the quilt shop for more tape was out of the question.

Purists would also probably throw up their hands in horror at how I’ve achieved my quilt sandwich for the sides of The Cloths of Heaven, as well. The rest of you would shrug and say, “well, at least it’s done”. But faced with my slightly fragile convalescent self and a job I don’t love at the best of times, I took a big fat short cut. I defy you to tell the difference when the thing is done.

Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 8.28.21 pmI am clearly fully recovered; I offer as evidence two fully sandwiched and pinned long panels, one sandwiched and pinned short panel and one fully quilted short panel! Yes, OK, I worked in semi darkness, so the lines may not be ruler-straight, but as we all know (all together now…) Finished Is Better Than Perfect!

I shall complete both the shorter sides first, and join them to the left and right side of the centre panel with sashing strips. Then I shall quilt the two longer sides (which incorporate the 4 corner panels), and join those to the other two sides with more sashing. There will be a slight difference, in that sashing will only run horizontally, but I’m OK with that. The sashing strip will (should!) be only half an inch wide.

Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 8.28.40 pmMy plan is to use the lovely fine purple print I’m using for the backing of these panels to sash with, assuming I have enough left over. I still haven’t quite decided on the fabric for the border. I haven’t found a print yet that I like enough, which also incorporates enough of the colours. The search continues; more fabric shopping, oh dear…

There will be a brief hiatus in The Cloths of Heaven posting while I and the rest of the F2F group complete an urgent project.  I hope to have something to report in my usual mid-month progress report.



37 thoughts on “The Cloths of Heaven 20: dismissing obstacles

  1. claire93 says:

    your panels are looking magnificent, and I am also a firm believer that finished is better than perfect. To be honest, if home-made quilts were perfect, they would have no soul. No man or woman is perfect, and yet we love each other regardless of those imperfections.
    I have to say – I love the purple backing fabric!

  2. I’ve never used batting tape, but I’ve found a handful of other ways to join segments. There is, IMO, no one right way. They all have their place. So good on you for going ahead rather than letting that stop you!

    • katechiconi says:

      I like to keep the tape handy in case I’ve miscalculated the length or width of the piece I have vs the size I need (a frequent occurrence…). It’s very easy to use and produces a good bond between the two pieces without adding thickness.

      • I usually use polyester batting. The tape is ironed on, isn’t it? Would not work for me if that is the case. But whip-stitching or zigzagging or doubling the edges or snugging up next to or using a bit of basting spray — all those work well depending on the need.

      • katechiconi says:

        I always use cotton or bamboo batting, I like the drape and the comparatively low loft – my quilting isn’t good enough to want higher loft to show it off!

  3. tialys says:

    I’d never even heard of batting tape until today so I’d have gone down the herringbone stitch road too. But now I know!

  4. A for achievement! and B for bravo!

    I’ve never heard of batting tape – if I ever join batting it is by butting the edges together and then machine zigzag across the join with the widest and longest stich length and very loose tension. It seems to work, and is very quick to do.

    I love your ready-sandwiched panels, so lovely and bright.

  5. After your first mention of the batting tape, I went out to buy some and love it. I always use a cotton batting now that I know better. 🙂 I sincerely agree with Claire93. Perfect takes the soul out of a project. Even machine manufactured products have flaws so I stopped striving for perfection and strive for my best at that moment. I’m impressed with how much you have achieved in the low light. The purple is stunning. I would be buying bolts of it.:) It’s all coming together and it will be absolutely amazing! Keep taking care of yourself. Those quilts need you so they can happen. All problems are just opportunities waiting. I agree with Miss C. 🙂

    • katechiconi says:

      That’s a very true comment – the quilts DO need me to make them come to life! I’ll never make a perfect one, but I will continue to try and get better and better at it :-). My mother had it right: “Perfectie is voor de Lieve Heer” (perfection is for the Almighty)… I strive for simply my best.

      • Your mother had it right. Mine will never be perfect either. I go for Gutenough. 🙂 If they can’t see the flaws, that’s gutenough. Read this with a German accent, please. I’ve been up all night again. 😦

  6. Grannymar says:

    You did all that in semi-darkness? It looks wonderful from here. Hope you back on track and not pushing against the grain too soon. I am thinking the batting tape could have many uses, so I will be adding it to my crafty shopping list. One of the wonderful things I like about blogging is the knowledge I gather from my round of blog reading. Thanks for sharing so much with us.

  7. knitnkwilt says:

    Glad I’m not the only one not to have known about batting tape. Herringbone stitch has been my approach too. Then I quilt a little more carefully where I know the join is. Enjoying watching progress (and your stick-to-it-iveness–but having a deadline does help that!)

  8. Only brilliant people find workable shortcuts 🙂

  9. dezertsuz says:

    Okay, I accept fully recovered! =) I read about the batting tape not too long ago, and I haven’t needed it yet, but I did spot some at JoAnn’s. Good to know where things are.

  10. If it works and it helps you to keep your sanity and health in order, it is a great method.

  11. katechiconi says:

    My thoughts exactly! Who gets to decide the ‘right way’ anyway?

  12. Franken-batting is what I call it! 😜 It’s ALIVE… It’s ALIVE…. NAH, YOU MAKE IT COME ALIVE,

  13. I love this post, and all the comments. So glad to hear you’re feeling better, love seeing the progress on all your wonderful quilts. These are amazing. Perfect enough. (I’ve been known to say “well isn’t that special” when of course it’s anything but. Your friend’s “excellent” is so much better!)

    • katechiconi says:

      She’s a very positive person! I’m so happy you’re enjoying the quilty progress. I’ll be picking it up again shortly, but first a few other things need to be done…

  14. rutigt says:

    I often sew batting pieces together. No one has ever noticed it when I´ve done so 🙂 As long as they hold together while I´m quilting, it is ok I think!!

  15. mtetar says:

    Very nice work.
    Blessings Always, Mtetar

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