Passing Down Crazy

Because Sometimes the Best Thing You Can Give Your Kid is an Addiction…To Yarn

Worst! Project! Ever!


On January 21, 2011 I started this project.  A girlfriend and I got together and covered clothesline with fabric.  Looking back, that should have been a clue that this was a lousy project.

Clothesline?  Fabric?  Really?

On Friday, my girlfriend came over and we were going to make these bags.  She bailed out early in the game because she went through two sewing machines, trying to find one that would stitch the pieces together.  She was smart enough to knit instead.

I, on the other hand, kept going.  By the time our sewing day was over, I had all the rope sewn together and it looked like this.

That’s really gorgeous, isn’t it?

Every step in the process got more miserable.  I had to put binding on all those edges next.  Then all the binding was handstitched.  Yes, I was stitching into clothesline.

Then it was time to put the #%!@ thing together.  I never swear.  Ok, not very often.  Oh….shut up!  At this point, I was ready to purchase a Rosetta Stone Chinese program just so I could learn some new swear words.

It got worse.

I had to put the sides together.  They were supposed to be hand stitched.  I stitched from the inside.  It looked awful.  I tried pearl cotton on the outside.  It was just as bad.  (By this time, this blasted project was ruining my beautiful Saturday morning.)

I finally stuck the thing in the Bernina and zigzagged the first side seam.  It worked great. On the first seam.  Then I broke a needle, after I’d already broken one or two on previous steps.  So I switched to the big dog Pfaff and managed to stitch the other three side seams.  All told, I broke five needles on this dumb thing.

And then there was the top binding.  As you can see on the photo above, to the left of the button is a really bad spot.  I have to fix that.  I can’t just leave it.  I was ready to superglue the binding to the top because it was so hard to hand stitch down.  I was so sick of it by this point, I decided to order handles for the stupid thing so I didn’t have to make them.

Isn’t it gorgeous?  Don’t fall for it!  You’ll regret it.  The ONLY reason it’s finished is that on top of being crazy, I’m one of the biggest bullheads you’ll ever meet.

And my girlfriend…I’m buying her clothesline covered fabric and turning it into placemats.

This last photo is just to show you that I’m now done with the whiniest post ever, because I still have this little girl to hang out with on a Monday morning.

My next project is the chair pads to go with the black and lime green table.  Thanks for all your advice!  Just wait to see what your ideas inspired!


Author: mariajhmom

I'm a wife, mom, quilter, knitter, and spinner. I blog at

14 thoughts on “Worst! Project! Ever!

  1. It’s beautiful!! And your post made me feel so much better about paying the kind of money I paid this summer to buy one at an artist’s fair. I see that I was paying for a case of needles and a whole lot of aggravation. ( But I love mine, too!) Placemats will be great!

  2. I think that it is absolutely beautiful and I would have been tempted to make one until I read further down into the post. I definitely would never make it through that project! Yes, call me a wimp. I do like your suggestion about purchasing Rosetta Stone for Chinese. I could use a few new words myself!!

  3. Oh Wow (!) … It certainly ended up beautiful. I have the clothesline and a Bernina 830. Are you saying that it is going to be really difficult? Also I have some softer rope and if it is that difficult with the clothesline, I will just have to try that softer stuff! – it is called cotton filler cord and is not as stiff as clothesline (rope). Sure is pretty though! You cannot miss with batiks!

  4. I have a similar kit — I fell for it at the Long Beach quilt show 2 years ago —– have not been crazy enough to start it —– now I know for sure that I should just spend that time knitting!!!


  5. Yep, I stitched up the first yard, broke 3 needles … so I quit and used the fabric elsewhere and used the clothesline as clothesline.

  6. What a beautiful bag! So sorry about all the trouble you had. Wow, I might have attempted this myself after seeing the end result. But….I….think…I’ll….stick….to…spinning….and…..knitting. I don’t have that kind of patience…or know enough swear words. I’d have to make some up.

  7. That is an amazing bag!! The colors are the best. I’m sorry it was so stressful, but it looks great!

  8. Your bag is beautiful. I was in the local quilt shop, and the owner was working on a bucket bag made the same way. Her bag was also beautiful, but she was swearing like a sailor on shore leave. Being the big wuss that I am, I think I’ll steer clear of trying to get any kind of rope to feed through my sewing machine.

  9. Oh Maria, thank you for sharing this as I have not one, not two, but THREE of these batik/clothesline patterns waiting to be created … including the cutest casserole carrier which will never see the light of day! My thought is that if YOU hated the making, so would I. Breaking needles? No thank you!
    Still, your bag is delicious and I bought that same colorway.
    You are amazing for your tenacity! (and sewing skills!)

  10. your bag truly is beautiful! with those colors i would be tempted to tackle the project. i love color too!
    i have been sewing for 45 years and sold sewing machines for 10years. it’s all about the size and type of sewing machine needle used. i bet a sized 18 leather needle would have handled it. =]

  11. I have never heard of fabric covered clothesline (I had visions of an old Hills Hoist fabric-bombed hehe) but I think I will stay clear of it. I know too many swear words as it is!

    I absolutely love the result though! What a gorgeous bright cheerful bag!

  12. Maria, my quilt buds and I gathered this week to work on the clothesline that we bought several years ago and never got around to. Coincidence! Although only one of us actually committed to working on the rope (instead of other projects that needed attention), she made hers in the shape of a coiled basket to see how the whole thing worked. She didn’t have any trouble at all with needles breaking, but she wasn’t putting binding on it or trying to join edges. I wonder if you used 100% cotton clothesline or if that would make a difference? I’ve noticed that there is an alternative way to achieve the same look using batting instead of clothesline that might be more forgiving to needles. There is also someone online who is making coiled items using just the clothesline–maybe dyeing it for variety. So sorry for your frustration! I shared your blog entry with the girls but needed to explain that this wasn’t a typical side of you. You are always so positive! Regardless of your #$%^, your bag turned out beautiful.

    • Yep! I did use 100% cotton clothesline. Putting the fabric on it and sewing the clothesline together wasn’t a big deal. Sewing the sides together was almost impossible as was the top binding. I bought my girlfriends stuff from her and I’m making placemats for my daughter. They should be really cool and not nearly as hard! And yes, I’m over it and back to working on projects I love! Maria

      > Date: Fri, 12 Oct 2012 16:17:27 +0000 > To: >

  13. It is gorgeous! So glad it was you putting it together instead of me. I would have needed more chocolate.

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