Thanks for the great title, Em. My baby quilt had a baby bump. But, I'm making it go away.
Before I could make it go away, I had to understand how I created it.
The space between every two stitches has tension. The longer the stitch, the more tension. Sometimes when I'm free motion quilting a line, my stitches get kind of long when I get too relaxed and start to move my arms faster than my foot is making the machine go.
The tension between the two stitches causes them to want to get closer together, which reduces the distance between them. It's an imperceptible change. At least for every stitch, it's imperceptible. But, if you spread that across five hundred stitches taken in a side and echo that 6 times, you get a whole lot of free motion stitches, all trying to pull together, just a tiny bit. Let's call that "quilting shrinkage". Quilting shrinkage made the outside edge of the quilt smaller than it started, and to accomodate that, the center of the quilt pulled inward, causing a hump. A hump about the size of an old fashioned hubcap (and causing the quilter to want to cry). If the quilt had been evenly quilted all over the surface, the shrinkage would have been spread out and there wouldn't have been a hump. But, remember, I only quilted in the blue, so it amounted to me circling the quilt with FMQ stitches, over and over and over again, each time making the outside edge of the quilt just a tiny bit smaller.
So, this morning, I started pulling out quilting. Not the hard stuff; the flying geese triangles. They took too long. I'm just taking out the echo quilting. And, the more of it that I pulled, the flatter the quilt got. I could almost feel the quilt relaxing in my hands.
You can barely see the hump now. But, it's still there. It's bigger. Instead of being about 12 inches in diameter, now it's about 20 inches in diameter. But, the bigger around, the flatter it gets.
This is the very center of the quilt and it was practically a pyramid yesterday. Now, it's nearly flat.
I'll keep pulling out the echo quilting until the quilt gets flat again. Who knows, I might need to pull it all out.
But, then I'm going to put it back in again because it looked real cool.
And, no, I'm not crazy. I'm going to use a technique I learned in a class last year that should allow me to have uneven quilting; some parts quilted heavily, and other parts barely quilted at all. And, it should allow me to do that without creating a new "baby bump".