I should take out an ad in the newspaper (am I the only one who still reads a newspaper?) but since I'm a 21st century kind of gal, I'll use this forum to announce that I have finally finished the "quilt from hell".
I can't remember exactly when I started this beast, but I know it's been several months. I decided I would make a new quilt for my bed--one that actually covered up the sheets so they didn't hang out on the sides. Then I came up with the bright idea that it should be something really special--not "quick and easy" or "down and dirty", but something that might someday be considered an heirloom. Of course that would mean that I was dead and gone, but that's okay, too.
I had seen a beautiful quilt at Sunday Best Quiltworks in Ellerslie, GA, made by Teresa Singleton. The patterns were based on Italian floor tiles--gorgeous. She assured me it was not that difficult, so I bought the book. My first mistake was to choose a quilt pattern from the book that was not the one Teresa had made. I hadn't taken into account that patterns published by reputable companies sometimes contain errors and/or omissions. Let's just say my life with this quilt got a lot easier once I found the "corrections" page of the author's website.
The center of the quilt is a mariner's compass, which had to be paper pieced. Not a problem, I've done that before. Unfortunately the pattern gave me a 20.5" square and the quilt required 22.625". Once I had found a "fix" for that problem, I discovered that the borders I had already cut to pattern specs were too long. It was during that stage of ripping my hair out that I found the above-mentioned website with the corrections--big relief.
It was also necessary that I enlarge the original pattern by adding about 30 inches to both the width and length. That meant making an additional 250+ paper-pieced, square in a square blocks (2" finished) to go with the 240+ I had already made. Oh joy! At this point I did seriously consider scrapping the whole project and maybe converting it to a wall hanging, but I am a very stubborn person (my Mom could tell you stories about that).
I finished piecing the top and lay it on my bed. I wasn't sure I even liked it, but by this time, it had become a struggle between me and this demon quilt. I began to quilt. At 102" square, that was no small feat. I have an HQ Sweet Sixteen quilting machine, which is a sit-down machine like my regular sewing machine, just with a wider throat to fit the quilt through. I went back and forth between it and my Bernina machine and completed the quilting in about 3 weeks. Sewing the binding on was a cinch and I was absolutely thrilled to put the final stitch in that baby on Thursday, August 16, 2012 at about 6 p.m.