Hanging by a Thread

27 Feb

Quite a while ago, I bought a very pretty set of quilt, dust ruffle, pillow shams, and curtains for our guest room. Most of the time the quilt is covered by the usual detritus of a sewing room, but a few weeks ago I decided to wash the thing. Once a decade, whether it needs it or not, is my motto. Well, when I pulled it off the bed, I realized it wasn’t actually quilted.  The top is stitched to a three inch wide green strip, which is sewn to a twelve inch wide strip of the same white floral fabric as the top. Those three rows of stitching are all that is holding the top, the batting, and the back together. If I had washed it all of the batting would have come apart and I’d have had one ugly lumpy mess.

The machine quilting I've been doing to make this monster washable

The machine quilting I’ve been doing to make this monster washable

So – I managed to stitch the green strip with big Xs, and have one row of plain stitching four inches from the edge of the white strip. I’ve also sewn around three of the big roses on the top of the quilt. A much more involved job than I anticipated, mostly because the blessed thing is so big.

I have done most of the straight stitching on the Xs using straight pins to mark the lines, but when it came to the long rows along the edges I decided to use a marker. I have a fabric pen, but the line fades so fast by the time I get to the end of the quilt it’s gone at the beginning. Tailor’s chalk doesn’t work on white fabric, so I grabbed a blue marker off the table. I had only gone three inches when the fabric sort of puckered under my hand, and as I moved the marker to smooth the cloth I discovered I’d grabbed a Sharpie – a permanent marker! – instead of the washable Crayola next to it.

I think I would have simply laid down and died, just flat on the floor, if I had ruined that blasted quilt at the last minute.

Still plugging along at it.

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