First Quilt of 2016 | The Tension Quilt


I have finally finished the first quilt of the year! I also discovered something good this week. I am the new renaissance. That’s how good it is. 

Blogging while in the bath. Yep. That’s how good it is. I’m doing it right now. I have a face mask smeared on my face infact. I’m naked and free and writing about quilts. How good is it? As good as it gets, I fear.

The flat that I live in does not have a shower. I thought, actually I was told by the estate agent, that I could simply attach a shower head to the bath taps but that did not work out because the water pressure is way too low on the hot tap. So baths it is and will forever be. It was really nice at first, and then it sucked massively, and now I don’t give it a second thought.

What does your bath have to do with quilting? You ask.

Well, I say, baths are very good for washing away any bad emotions about the horrible quilts that you might have been working on and working on but they kept on going wrong at you and you would keep trying because deep down you really loved the quilt that kept on breaking threads for no apparent reason and because you couldn’t figure out why you would get upset so you blame everything except the sewing machine because it is like a sister to you and you don’t want to be angry at her but then eventually your frustration builds and you shout at your sewing machine before giving it the silent treatment for a few days then you go back and work on the horrible quilt until it is done and out of your life. That is the power of a bath.


I had that type of bath a couple of days ago after finishing what I’ve been referring to in my head as the Tension Quilt among other less appropriate names. I actually wrote a post about this quilt called A Frustrating Quilt | Tension is Building + Threads are Breaking! It’s all in the title really: this quilt was super annoying. All the things that you don’t like happening happened while quilting this quilt. Tension problems, thread breaking, I ran out of spray baste so I kept on sewing into safety pins because I am not used to them being there… I could keep going, but I had my bath. All the tension has been washed away. The quilt has been quilted out of my life and onto my bed. I love it.


The quilt top was improv pieced from a bunch of scraps back in August just before I moved from Brighton to Manchester. I have been working on it on and off since the beginning of January. For a few weeks I was severely put off working on it due to the stressful issues it brought about on the threads I was using. I am glad it is over. I mean finished. What a lovely quilt it turned out to be! I admit the quilting is pretty messy and jumpy, but you know at least it exists in the world. Better to be done than perfect. I also made my first label for a quilt for myself, as previously I have only ever labelled quilts I have given as gifts. I used the alphabet stitch on my machine to do it; it’s always nice to play around with that setting! I did not give it an official title, I just decided to write the places it was made in, the year and my name. I wish I had put the month now…next time I guess!

Thankyou to all the lovely people who gave me some great advice through the comments on my first post on this quilt. You all helped a ton and I learnt about a lot of scary things that could go wrong but thankfully were not the cause for this quilt. I never fully got to the bottom to what the issue was, except that the other day I found a random piece of metal in the sewing machine. It was either a bit of needle or a bit of safety pin, but I’m maybe 90% certain that it could have quite possibly been the culprit. I was never very good at Cluedo. And it is too late now anyway because I have already had my bath and need not dwell on it. But what I do need to do is wash my face mask off, as it has gone all crumbly.

Shared with Crazy Mom Quilts and Can I get a Whoop Whoop?


23 thoughts on “First Quilt of 2016 | The Tension Quilt

  1. Oh, Hannah! That turned out beautiful 🙂 I had to laugh when you said you were writing in your bath. It’s been a long time since I’ve had an actual bath (I do take showers) and you have me craving a good soak in a bubble bath, with a nice glass of wine and a book.

  2. This is fabulous, one of the best ungridded quilts I’ve seen. Great use of color, value, balance of shapes and weight, just really good. I’ll have to read your other posts on making the top. I’m so glad you persevered through quilting it regardless of the breakage.

    I just finished one with massive tension problems, too. I didn’t have breaking, I had looping. UGH. But got through it. whew…

    And yes! the bath! I had a bathtub, long ago and far away. We were able to attach a shower head to the faucet, but still showers were sitting rather than standing, and I did find that I loved a good hot bath. A good way to deal with tension, for sure.

    1. Thank you so much Melanie, I really appreciate your kind words. I’m happy with it, I think I just felt relief at first but now I’m enjoying it’s company! I have had looping problems too on another quilt – that is way worse than breaking, especially when it happens on the underside and you don’t notice. Terrible business this stuff sometimes! 🙂 Yes, the people below me have sitting showers, then the people below them on the ground floor are blessed with normal showers. So as you move up the house the ability to shower diminishes! Thanks for leaving a comment 🙂 Hannah

  3. Beautiful. Worth it. Love the colors.
    Now I have to get back to that really frustrating quilt that I had to rip out 3 times already and now I think it is going.
    Wish me luck. There is a 3 year old who is getting older every day without her horses quilt.

    1. Thank you Linda, I’m really glad I waded my way through it! I wish you all the luck in the world with the horses quilt – that sounds awesome. May I recommend Rescue Remedy? 🙂

  4. I. Love. This. Quilt. Your quilt is beautiful. The quilting makes all the difference, the contrast is great. Your setting is so start, and awesome, and I like the picture of you hugging the hanging quilt. The winter dreariness makes the colors really strut. And I get the issues. I think making a quilt is like the best and worst relationship, fighting and making up, and commitment. I would feel so proud if I made that quilt. Lucky you. Aren’t you glad you didn’t quit before the miracle happened?

    1. Thank you Jane! I am so glad I powered through in the end, it was definitely a quilt that I would I would see waiting for me at the machine and I would drag my feet to it. I’m just about to sew up your cowboy block – we are in Hive 5 for Stash Bee together! Thank you for your lovely words 🙂

  5. Oh I just love your quilt…and your post. So much truth in soaking and washing our tensions down the drain. I hope you have lovely dreams under your beautiful quilt.

    1. Thank you Karen! It is such a good feeling to have it on my bed. On the topic of dreams: I’m well known for having excruciatingly mundane ones. For example, last night I had a dream that I bought too much milk and couldn’t fit it in the fridge. There was also some worry that I wouldn’t be able to drink it all before it expired. So boring, right? I’m definitely more creative while awake. 🙂 Thanks for commenting, Hannah

    1. I’m glad you think it’s perfect, I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t agree 🙂 I’m pretty darn happy with this little guy, but I tell you now, NO MORE SPIRALS. Not for a while anyway. Thanks for commenting! 🙂 Hannah

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s