The spray basting fiasco was just one in a series of set backs. The quilt is made using a Jelly Roll of Joy by Kate Spain. I loved it when I saw the whole range lined up on the shelves of my LQS and knew I'd be making something with it, but what really sold me was the chevron print and how fabulous it would look as binding. I picked a pattern from the book Jelly Roll Dreams by Pam and Nicky Lintott that would mean I didn't have to cut up the Jelly Roll too much and lose the lovely big bold prints. Of course, because I didn't cut the Jelly Roll up as much as some patterns require, you don't lose much fabric to seam allowances. Meaning the final quilt is ENORMOUS! And I didn't buy nearly enough of the sashing fabric. But it took me a year to find this out and once fabric is a year old and you're looking for such a useful print as the red I had picked, I was sure I wouldn't find any. I was in luck though - after a desperate search of the internet I actually found a UK shop with it still in stock. This set back meant the quilt wasn't finished for last Christmas.
Two weeks ago I finally pulled the quilt out of exile, unpicked the minimal quilting I had done, rebasted it with safety pins, free motion quilted the sashing and this week added the binding.
But the quilt still smelled of wet sheep. Today was dry and blustery, so after a bit of googling on how to treat wool wadding I concluded that machine wash on a low heat and line dry was the way to go. Boy was I wrong. I took it out of the washing machine and it was a disaster. The wadding had shrunk so much that the unquilted parts were baggy - too baggy to go unnoticed. And the wadding had bearded through the fabric - not just where I had stitched through the holes created by the needle/thread, but everywhere. Everywhere.
We stuck it on the line, and examined the disaster.
The shrinkage on the long side was 7" - that's nearly 8% shrinkage. I'm gutted. I'd really fallen back in love with this quilt over the last few days and was looking forward to snuggling with it. Also that's about £150 down the drain in fabric. That's a lot of money for me. So now I have to decide. Once I've thrown the quilt in the bin (I truly believe it is unsalvagable) do I buy another jelly roll, and some more of the border and binding fabric which are still available (just) and some Kona red to replace the sashing (this fabric isn't available any more), or do I just move on. Forget about it. Put it down to experience. Never ever buy wool wadding again.
In hindsight I shouldn't have rebasted it with wool wadding (I was already dubious). But I did, because I'd paid money for the wool wadding (and on the silver lining side, if I hadn't used the wool wadding on this I might have used it on a quilt that had considerably more work and more importance). If I had quilted all over and not left the stripey sections unquilted, I would have been fine, because there wouldn't have been noticeable baggy bits. But it still doesn't resolve the horrific bearding that has happened.
This is my first real quilt fail, and I am so grumpy tonight. Any suggestions that might make this better are welcome, but I'm not hopeful. Someone on instagram suggested opening the seam and stuffing the baggy bits trapunto style, but I'd need to do it back and front. And there's still the bearding. I'm linking this post up for the Finish Along at the end of Q4, because it is finished. It's just not usable.
And you know what - it still stinks!