Frustrations and a Simple Solution

Some quilts just fly together. Little effort. They almost create themselves. This one was not one of them. In fact, it was downright frustrating.

Designing the quilt went well and I knew exactly what fabric I wanted to use for the flower petals and leaves. However, that fabric didn't match well with any of my existing background fabric. The pink and green made the backgrounds look yellow.

In my stash was a piece of greyish white fabric that worked perfectly, but was too small. Off to the store to find something similar so I could keep going.

Getting all the flower petals on fairly symmetrically was my main focus. The Teflon pressing paper worked really well for that. I ironed the flowers on the background and set off to sewing. 

Recently I switched to cotton batting hoping that would help with free-motion quilting (which I haven't tried yet). Instead, my thread kept skipping and knotting on this quilt. Sigh. 

I persevered and got one flower entirely done. Then I looked over to my left and saw all the petals sitting there. I had forgotten to iron them under the flowers! Since the quilt pattern I designed included them, I needed to fit them in for the picture. Sigh. 

Pull out the seam ripper and rip the edges of four dark pink petals. Since I cut the leaves the same size as the flower petals, intending to iron them on first, I had to cut them down so I could slip them under the edges of the petals.

The second flower had all the inner pink pieces appliqued, but not the darker pink, so the cut leaves were able to slip under the dark pink petal edges just fine. Thus, one flower has three petals and the other two - I just didn't feel like ripping out another petal to add a third leaf.

After ironing the leaves and ironing the petals back down, I re-sewed all the dark pink edges and ran out of thread. Sigh again.

This process took me about a couple of weeks because I was too frustrated to work on it for any length of time. Additionally, I needed to go get some thread to finish the second flower. I also needed to deal with the mess of threads on the back of the quilt. 

Here is where the simple solution comes in. I was watching a video the other week about machine quilting. I have done this for years with a walking foot but was interested to see if I could learn anything new. While I didn't learn anything new about using the walking foot, she showed how she buries her thread ends - with a cheater needle. What?!? I have been sewing since I was ten and had no idea there was such a thing. They are also known as a self-threading needle and have and open end to just pop the thread into the needle top instead of threading it through an eye.

This needle will save me an enormous amount of time and energy, eliminating the frustrating task of threading a needle over and over to bury all my thread ends. Since my eyesight is getting worse these past few years, it will be especially helpful to use this. I am definitely picking some up!

If you would like to make the pattern, or using the applique template for your own design, my pattern can be found in my Etsy shop.