Cursed Projects

Ever had a cursed project? I’ve been working on one for about a year now. Just as I think I’m in the clear, a new disaster befalls me. At this point, I’m only still working on it out of sheer pigheadedness.

This is – or will be – Tula Pink’s “Family Portrait” quilt. This free pattern is designed to show off Tula Pink’s De La Luna line of fabric, which is fantastico.

The first problem I ran into was that I kept cutting the fabric incorrectly. This is hard to avoid when the pattern calls for 22 different fabrics (labeled A through V), including five prints in three different colorways each, and a sixth print in five different colorways. Sample cutting instruction:

“Fabrics G-I, N, and O, cut from each: (1) 61⁄4” x WOF (15.87cm x WOF); sub-cut (6) 61⁄4” (15.87cm) squares, cut twice diagonally into (24) QST”


“Fabrics J and K, cut from each: (1) 57⁄8” x WOF (14.92cm x WOF); sub-cut (6) 57⁄8” (14.92cm) squares, cut once diagonally into (12) HST”

If I could go back in time, I would make a swatch board, cut a big swatch from each fabric and label it, so that I could easily reference which fabric is which. I would also rewrite and expand the pattern in my notes, because I kept mixing up the instructions which led to me doing things like (e.g.) cutting fabric G into 5 7/8″ squares and then into QST.

And then there’s the piecing. So many bias edges! Just piecing this sucker was a huge challenge for me as a relatively new quilter. I made many mistakes.

Let’s see, what else? Oh yes, I discovered that I hadn’t ordered enough fabric to fussy cut it correctly. The pattern calls for 1 yard of each of the “cameo portrait” print (named Possessed). But two yards each is more realistic. Especially since it’s so easy to mis-cut when you’re fussy cutting like that.

I got so frustrated with this project that when we moved last October, I boxed it up and told it to sit in the corner and think about what you’ve done for almost six months.

Fast-forward to last month. I’m strong! I’m ready! I can face this project again! I unpack it, order more of the fabric I need (having at this point purchased almost twice the amount of fabric required) and set off again. And I’m doing great! Until I run out of black.

Can you substitute one black fabric for another? I tried. I did not like the results. I ripped them out and ordered more.

Then it was finally time for the quilting. I decided to do it right, which would require four different quilting thread colors. Accidentally ordered two spools of Aurifil in black – the big spools – I probably have a lifetime supply of black thread now. Ordered a maroon which turned out to be red, thus had to order another, maroon-ier maroon. I have now ordered six large spools of Aurifil for a quilt that only needed four. Par for the course, for this project!

Finally I’m ready for the binding. Can you believe it? I’m so close!

I reach into the project tub and feel… wetness. What’s this?

Someone peed in the fabric tote.

I asked Marshall… he denies it. (But then again, he would, wouldn’t he?) However, circumstantial evidence points to Mr. Fluffypants, the community cat who visits us twice a day. I accidentally left him inside overnight, and we do have two clean litterboxes in the house, but… well, that’s probably on me, too, I guess.

My fluffy cat friend
Dat butt

He’s a pretty sweet cat, though. And he’s my cat’s best friend. He’s so fluffy! And I’m the human, I’m the one who’s responsible. I’m not mad at him. (I’m a little mad.)

So here I am, ordering another yard of fabric for the binding. I’m just glad it’s still available for sale. Wish me luck, friends!