QOTD - What was your most difficult quilt?

loisflanJuly 22, 2014

Was there a quilt that drove you crazy? Thousands of pieces? Complicated pattern to follow? Let's hear about it and see a picture, if possible.

I think that my most difficult project was the table runner I made for my sister. I had to learn the technique of curved piecing and FMQ. I think the first leaf block I made took me four hours. The others, more like 1.5 hours each. The dense FMQ took forever. The pattern was also not very accurate, and I had to adjust the measurements to make it all fit together. She loved it though, and that's what counts.

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ritaweeda

Mine was the Bordered Diamonds pattern by Kaffe Fassett. Diamonds set on point with sashings all around each one. But it's the most gorgeous quilt I've made. (Will never make another one.) The next one (I can't stop here!) was the very first quilt I ever made, Grandma's Fan, didn't know a thing and here I'm sewing curved seams. It's a wonder I ever made another one. Good topic! Can't wait to see the others.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 3:59PM
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quiltnhen

loisf,
Definitely a great result!

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 5:35PM
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K8Orlando

Lois, I love that table runner - the efforts were worth it.

Rita, I'm a big fan of Kaffe fabrics and patterns. That one is gorgeous and I would love to tackle it some day, but the amount of work scares me off!

The toughest quilt I've ever made was the FIRST bed size quilt I ever made. I had made a couple baby quilts for friends using simple 4" squares and one wallhanging using simple HSTs. Then I decided to tackle a Mariner's Compass medallion quilt. If I had known you all then, I could have gotten some advice and known there were patterns to purchase! But I didn't know you and didn't know anything about quilting. I got out graph paper and a ruler, and dived in! I fussed with it forever to get the pieces to fit. Then I made a disastrous try at quilting it. I still have it and still love it but I'll never show anyone a close up picture!

I honestly don't remember how I put it together, but it wasn't like I do a Mariner's Compass today. It was much closer to engineering than to sewing!

It's just this giant 4 foot compass, surrounded by cheap muslin, with an inner border of a Jinny Beyer fabric, then a piano key border. The back is a wrinkled mess.

Now that I'm a better free motion quilter I may go back and add more quilting one day.

Kate

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 7:48PM
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nanajayne

There have been so many I can't recall them all but probably Sylvia's Bridal Quilt was the most challenging because I found many of the directions not as well done as others. The blocks were smaller then I was used to and all of them different......plus PPI am not fond of. http://i183.photobucket.com/albums/x223/nanajaynecarol/SBQ0.jpg

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 11:56PM
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ritaweeda

Kate, I think you did a wonderful job with that, I'd be proud of it. That's one of my favorite patterns but I doubt I'd ever try to tackle it, even the more modern ones. Another is the Feathered Star, love it but not enough to deal with all those HST's. I just finished a top with a butt-load of them and it's not my favorite thing to do. BTW, although I used Kaffe's pattern to make the quilt, I wasn't able to afford to use his fabrics. I used from my own stash, but very colorful and turned out great. I love his fabrics but they are pricey and even if I could afford them I would only use a couple as focal points, I wouldn't do the whole quilt in his fabrics exclusively.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 6:01AM
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wanda_va

I had two that were really difficult. Both were paper-pieced, with zillions of pieces. The "Twisted Log Cabin" was especially difficult and time-consuming because every single piece had to be in the correct place, or the whole design would be thrown off. It hasn't been quilted yet; I'm waiting until I'm more proficient on the long-arm.

"Illuminata" had so many tiny pieces--especially in the border.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 9:10AM
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SunnyDJ

Mine was a "Hockey player" made from a pattern I sent for from one of the quilting catalogs....By the time I was finished, it was named the "quilt from h***" and I ended up throwing the pattern away...But, my grandson was thrilled and it did turn out nice.......

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 10:46AM
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msmeow

Gee, Wanda, why don't you take on a challenging project?! LOL Those are both stunning! Congratulations on finishing them.

Love this thread...I've been thinking about what my most difficult quilt was...will let you know when I decide. :)

Donna

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 10:52AM
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K8Orlando

Maybe I should have included the two I've started but haven't made much progress on. One is a hand applique project and the other is Dear Jane. If I ever finish either one I'll tell you how hard it was!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 12:33PM
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quiltnhen

Wanda, those are spectacular.

My most difficult has not been completed. I drafted a twisted log cabin and made about 9 squares with a ridiculous number of tiny pieces. Now they're in their own special drawer with like colored scraps ready for me to complete. It's only been 12 years. Maybe this year???

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 1:01PM
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quiltnhen

Kate, you seem to have a special affinity for Mariner's compass. That looks great!
LindaB/CA

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 1:02PM
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K8Orlando

Wanda - both of those are spectacular!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 4:04PM
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littlehelen_gw

Wanda, Both of your quilts are spectacular! And Lois...love that table runner!

All of these coupled with the Mariner's compass and I have to say ... Duh I don't believe I've tackled my most difficult quilt ..Yet!

My most difficult point in quilting, which my friends can attest to, is deciding on a pattern or design, but I've not tackled anything of the caliber I see pictured here.
Well done ladies!
V.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 7:16PM
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jackier123

Mine was the Double Wedding Ring. This quilt is a super sized King as it was a gift for my nephew's wedding and he is about 6' 6". I don't foresee myself doing another one. LOL

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 9:24PM
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K8Orlando

Jackie, I was wondering if you would post that one! It's really beautiful and I remember you ceaselessly making those ring pieces at Retreat. Obviously it was worth all the work you put into it!

Kate

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 10:42PM
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loisflan

Wanda and Jackie, how did you ever have the courage to start those quilts? They are overwhelmingly beautiful, and just plain overwhelming. Wow!

And Kate, making the Mariner's Compass without a pattern? You are a brave woman.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 11:32PM
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polardreams

WOW is all I can say! You all did a fantastic job. I started piecing a fan quilt at retreat a few years ago and it has been difficult because I have fallen out of love with it and it has become a huge pile of beautiful Oriental prints that still need to be completed! Some day the mood will strike me and I will get back to it.

Sue

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 11:59PM
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msmeow

Very beautiful quilts, everyone!

Lois, when I'm working on a challenging quilt I think of it as one block at a time. :) If I get frustrated or a little bored with it, I'll put it away for a while and do something else. I like to do challenging quilts, but I don't think I'd start one where I had a deadline to finish it. LOL

I guess this would be my most challenging quilt:

It's 5 ft tall and 10 ft long (don't ask my DH about hanging it LOL). It's my own design - I drew all the applique patterns, and it's hand appliqued. It took a very long time to paper piece all those pineapple blocks, and I discovered that braid borders are a BEAR because all the edges are bias!

Here is the label:

So, you can see I took a lot of breaks from this one! Some were just because I needed a break, and some were to figure out what was next.

Donna

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 8:08AM
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quiltnhen

You all do such amazing work. These are beautiful!
LindaB/CA

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 10:53PM
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FlamingO in AR

Wow, Wanda! Those are both stunning and breathtaking. Everyone's quilts are lovely and inspiring!

This was one of my first forays into paper piecing. It's a Wheel of Fortune pattern, done in a miniature quilt. A lot of ripping out and re-stitching and cussing went into this, I will admit! I made it for a swap and sent it off to live in NM. I liked it so much, I made another in rainbow colors and sent it to the UK, another swap. Less cussing, that time. LOL I cut out enough of that fabric to make myself one,but haven't gotten to it yet.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 8:46AM
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K8Orlando

FlamingO - that's really an attractive quilt! I'm a paper piecing fan and would seriously consider tackling this pattern. Wheel of Fortune... going to look it up now!

Kate

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 9:05AM
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fran1523

I was going to say my Shakespeare in the Park quilt but it can barely compare with some of yours. Let's just say it was the biggest quilt I ever finished and I use it every day.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 9:16AM
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quiltnhen

Flaming0,

Love it!

LindaB/CA

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 10:15PM
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FlamingO in AR

Thanks so much, Linda and Kate! Kate, I'm not much of a "pinner" when I piece things, but this little quilt converted me. :) Pinning and sewing super slow, that kept this out of the trash. LOL

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 8:51AM
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lindaoh_gw

My most difficult were the 2 queen size double wedding ring quilts. The first quilt was a wedding quilt for DD that they received for their second anniversary. The second was for our 40th anniversary. The colors in this quilt are perfect for our bedroom in the new house.
I have no desire to ever make this pattern again!
Linda OH

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 7:25PM
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calliope

Some amazing quilts you gals have done. Way out of my league. My most difficult one was the first piece-work I ever did. Tumbling blocks .....yes.......the one with all the Y-seams. It was one of those 'fools rush in' projects. Nobody told me that was not a beginner's quilt. If I had known I prolly wouldn't have pulled it off. It wasn't constructed beautifully, but it did get done before my mother passed away. She loved it and my daughter, to whom I gave it, used it to the point of thread-bare. What more could you ask of a quilt?

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 9:58PM
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loisflan

FlamingO, I love your Wheel of Fortune quilt. I'm not usually a pink person, but I love your choice of fabrics. I've already printed out the instructions for the block. It would make a great baby quilt, and what a wonderful way to use up scraps. I think your quilting is perfect for the quilt too.

Linda, I can't imagine making one, let alone two, double wedding ring quilts. Nice going. And Calliope, that is a sweet story of your tumbler quilt.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 11:39AM
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FlamingO in AR

Thanks, Lois! Here's a peek at the rainbow colored one- I'm not sure which one I like better, this or the pink/red/orange one!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 7:37AM
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wanda_va

Flamey, I really like the first one, but I love the second one! I love quilts with bright colors. Paper piecing is so much fun...except that it wastes a lot of fabric. It makes such precise work. I have a bunch of paper piecing patterns that are waiting their turn!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 9:04AM
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jennifer_in_va

I, too, love paper piecing, and have many patterns/kits that I'll do...

But to answer the original question, I'm not sure I've done my 'most difficult' quilt. Some had challenges, but I wouldn't consider any of them too difficult (for me).

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 10:15AM
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msmeow

Wanda, PP doesn't waste much fabric if you cut the pieces very close to the size they need to be. :) I took a class where the teacher said to pre-cut rectangles that were far too big for the space they needed to cover. I ended up with a bunch of long triangles that were pretty useless, and a bunch of extra rectangles that weren't needed. I was pretty peeved about wasting all that fabric.

Donna

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 1:13PM
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loisflan

FlamingO, thanks for posting your second Wheel of Fortune. I love that idea of rainbow colors. I've got tons of bright scraps I can use. Now I just have to keep focused on my current projects and not jump right into making your pattern. Focus, focus...

Wanda, Donna is correct about cutting pieces closer to the size you need. Sometimes I screw up and cut it just the opposite of what I need (that's what's great about PPing with batiks or solids - no right and wrong sides), but most of the time it works just fine.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 2:58PM
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nannykins

I have been thinking about this for quite a bit and have decided that I am probably with Jennifer in that I really haven't made my most difficult quilt yet. Every one has some little challenge or learning curve but overall the patterns I choose are doable.
The hardest one that comes to mind was a Jewel Box that I did for DD.
The making wasn't hard but after a few years, one particular fabric started fraying. So I took it home and took the whole thing apart, replaced the frayed squares and triangles, sewed the blocks back together. That was five years ago. There it sits. I just can't get up the steam to finish it. And it stares at me every time I go in the laundry room, mocking me! Bad quilt!
Theresa

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 4:00PM
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quiltingfox

I have not made my most difficult quilt yet, but the hardest 12" block I have made so far was the flying geese block posted for one of the Lottos and I only made the 1 block of it and the other block fabric I had cut I mailed to a friend.

Best to you,
Sandra

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 4:06PM
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