05 May, 2009

"Let's Talk" Tuesday...

There used to be a column in a magazine I read once upon a time (cannot remember!) entitled "Was My Face Red", it ran short stories submitted by readers of their most embarrassing moments, today's topic is just that.

What is your most embarrassing quilting story? Does it still turn your face red to remember?

I have two stories, both make me laugh now, thinking back; but they were extremely embarrassing at the time. I was teaching a basic quilt making class at our local technical college, approximately a thirty minute drive from our home. I arrived at the school and opened the trunk of the car to get out my teaching bag when I realized that I had left it, back at the house, on the floor of the garage! I had placed it there when I removed the folding chairs from the trunk to make room, and never picked it back up. I could do little else, at that time, but go inside and unlock the classroom, take the roll and leave my students for an hour (of a three hour class) while I returned back home to retrieve the lesson plan, hand-outs, and my teaching aids. That was seventeen years ago, if my memory serves me correctly, I believe I gave them a project to work on while I was gone. I hope so. The second embarrassing situation happened to me only three years ago. I had agreed to donate a quilt to our church's silent auction to benefit charity. I had completed the top and already submitted the dimensions, description of the quilt and a photograph for a brochure. I was up against a deadline (that's always the case!) and still needed to quilt it but I felt confident that I could do it in time, even if it came right down to the wire. Then, I had a last minute, brilliant(!), thought; to add a narrow inner border for an additional pop of color! I had just read an article about piecing in narrow borders using a larger seam allowance and trimming it out afterward; without a second thought I did it, trimmed it back, flipped it over to admire it, and was shocked to discover that I had chopped off every single star point on the outside edges! I had destroyed it, and there was no time (or any more of the same fabric) to create another. I went ahead and quilted it. I decided to machine quilt 1/4" inside each and every point and I made those quilting lines perfect, I pivoted right before where the star point should have been and created sharp angles with contrasting thread. It was all that I could do. I don't think anyone at the auction noticed, but to me there could just as easily have been neon lights above each chopped point bringing attention to them, it was that glaring! Amazingly, that same quilt garnered a second place ribbon at North Carolina Quilt Symposium the following year, apparently my quilting remedy went a long way to healing those amputated points; go figure.

...and "sew", let's talk...
What's your most embarrassing quilting story?

Life is Good!


11 comments:

*karendianne. said...

Very cute stories reflective of your life. Thank you for sharing!!! I haven't been quilting long enough and I'm home bound a lot more than the normal gal so it's hard to consider a story. But, I'll reflect and see what I can come up with.

Quilt Memories said...

What a great topic....I find it hard to believe you made any kind of mistake with a quilt, but am amused too.I'm sure both incidents were very frusterating at the time,but it's good to be able to laugh about them now. See ya soon.

Kimberly Mason said...

This was 20 years ago, I was taking a two day class from Roberta Horton were you were required to bring a major portion of your stash (in those days, stashes - on average - were MUCH smaller than they are today!). I was also a smoker - I smoked in my house, but (mostly) while standing over the very powerful cooktop vent. When I got to class and got set up in the classroom packed full to the brim, my stash started to nearly RADIATE this horrible, embarrassing, humiliating stale smoke smell. Ugh!

Zlaty said...

Very clever topic........ as always!

Happy sewing!

Karen Newman Fridy said...

well, the time on my first retreat that I sewed an entire length of a border on WITH NO THREAD in the machine was pretty embarrasing...it's one thing to run out of bobbin and not realize it, but to forget to thread the machine? yeesh!

I fully blame it on the lack of sleep!

debbie said...

I love your honesty and openness on this subject. It, plus the fact that you can laugh at the situations is a wonderful part of your personality. I also like your solution to the missing points.
I don't have any embarrasing moments, because if I turned red everytime I goofed up I'd look sunburned most of the time,lol. I'm just happy when I manage to finish something! I just found this video/song on utube. It's called done is better than perfect. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxYHbULLi8U
Thanks for sharing :o)
blessings,
debbie

Colleen formerly of South Africa said...

Enjoyed catching up on your blog. I have done leaders and enders but never thought of using larger blocks.... duh! I so will do this .... as we are making charity quilts for the sheriff's dept. to keep in their cars...and give to small children while they are being helped. Thanks so much for sharing that tip.

Teresa said...

You sure are a quick thinker - and I am sure they all thought that you had created a new design element with those enhanced stars!

One (of many) of my embarrassing moments goes along with my being such a klutz. It was the second meeting of the quilt club I started and I was explaining what a rotary cutter was and how to use it. This was back in the 90's and most of my friends that were coming to make me happy, had never sewn before and did not even know what a rotary cutter was. So I explained how you should always click the blade back down...do not leave it out as you could easily cut yourself....and in saying that, I sliced my finger very deeply and bled and bled and bled. I think they got the message! What I won't do for my friends.

di said...

My moment of fame was at a sit and sew. I was working on hand quilting and quilted my quilt to my shirt! I still shake my head over that one!

The Calico Cat said...

I'm not smart enough to know that I should be embarrassed about "stuff."

Salem Stitcher said...

Not long after I first started quilting (back when I did everything by hand), I made a little snails trail wallhanging for an auction for a Jaycees fundraiser. I told my friend to bid on it if no one else started the bid. No one did and he ended up buying it for $25. I was mortified that no one thought I wallhanging was worth buying even for a good cause. Now I know that they just didn't appreciate handmade and I'm reall careful about where I donate my quilts now.

Another embarrassing quilt moment...tripping over my skrt walking up the steps to the stage at the guild meeting and falling in front of the entire membership. Nothing to do but get up, throw my arms in the air and yell "TADA!"