Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Another Dead End on Sedona Star

There are now some 800 quilt blogs that claim to have taken the "process pledge," where they commit to showing their works in process and occasional failures as well as completed quilts.  Are they all doing that?  I'm not sure, I haven't surveyed them all.  But I doubt it.  I am not even sure that people want to read all that.

But, loyal readers, you all know that I am now about 20 posts in on Sedona Star, and it has been all process and no completion, so I should probably add my blog to that list!  Today I have yet another dead end to share on Sedona Star:

These are some 1.25" practice dots (from Months 1 and 2) that I set up a while ago to practice my machine satin stitch.  Then back in May I thought it would be a great idea to do all the seam treatments by hand in chunky perle cottons.  This is the result.  Not what I was hoping for at all!

The dot on the left was embellished with #5 perle cotton, and the one on the right used #8.  The purpose of the experiment was to try out the template I made to mark out the star shape in the embroidery.  You can still see the white pencil dots.  But, I learned right away that it is impossible to get the needle threaded with the #5 perle through the fusible-backed applique!

I was just able to sew the #8 through the fusible, but it put a lot of strain on my hands.  And frankly, I am not happy with the result.  I could monkey around with the fusible and cut away the centres before I fuse them to the fabric so that only the edges are fused, but I just don't think it will be worth it.  The edges of the applique still show through the perle embroidery, and I really don't like that.

At one point I had considered combining machine and hand embroidery, but now I think I'll just stick with machine satin stitch on all the applique and leave it at that.  And the hand quilting plan is out the window too.

So for now, this really is the last Sedona Star post until the air conditioning gets turned off in the fall.  Now that all the indecision is (hopefully) behind me, I'm hoping that the months will fall like dominos once I get started again.  Fingers crossed!


  1. You are definitely showing us the process! I really think that writing about your decisions, successes and not-so-great ideas really do help all the rest of us, and inspires comments to help you on your journey to get this quilt finished. I'm all for machine stitching on quilts, just because I want to show my embroidery on smaller things that people (mostly me) will admire and appreciate. Quilts tend to get beat up too much for the embroidery to wear well.

    Good luck with the Sedona Star, and keep writing about it, it's all interesting and inspiring!

  2. Thank you, Cynthia, you are very encouraging! This morning I realize that talking about the process is my main reason for having a blog in the first place, because obviously I have a lot to say about it!

    If it helps or entertains anyone else, that's an even better bonus!

  3. Interesting what you have to say about hand embroidering the Sedona Star. I usually steer clear of fusible for several reasons. One of them is just the sheer drudgery of drawing the design on the fusible, fusing it onto the fabric, cutting out the fabric, fusing that in turn onto the main body of the quilt, and finally doing something to finish the edge of the applique. A lot of people seem to enjoy this process, but I am not one of them. I, too, have set the Star aside for awhile. I can totally understand your reason for doing so. I cannot imagine how hard it must be to hand embroider through the fusible.

  4. I expect that with a finer thread and finer needle the embroidery would not be a problem. But then, fine embroidery would get totally lost on a queen size quilt, so it would be wasted effort.

    I agree, Mary Ellen, it's a good time for a break!

  5. I enjoy reading about your projects. You will get there in the end and does it really matter how long it takes as long as you are enjoying the journey. I know that sometimes unless you have a very sharp fine needle it is a pain to buttonhole around fused shapes. My current project should have been all needleturn but I am not sure I would enjoy doing it so have fused everything and will do my usual small buttonhole around all the raw edges.


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