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April 13th, 2014

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05:49 pm - Some day
Some day I will have enough fabric to easily complete a quilt and everything will fit together with no issues and it will not be a matter of scrounging and recutting and reshaping.

This was not that week, especially between 3 and 6 a.m. this morning when I couldn't sleep.

I haven't really finished much in the way of quilting lately. The cutting of scores of kits for charity quilts is taking up more time and the few tops I put together for it aren't often worth photographing. However the sewing expo was in town recently and I found a few worthwhile quilt classes to take so some items have come out of that.

Including today's proverbial straw on the camel's back.

The class was supposedly to make a pillow based on the Dynamite quilt pattern, using the Hex & More ruler. I picked out a bunch of pink polka dot fabrics and cut them according to the kit, not intending to make the pillow but to make quilt blocks.

The first issue was that the class session wasn't long enough at all. I was the only one who had a finished block by the end, and that's just because I am a real speed sewer and had extensive quilting experience so I knew how to use templates and rulers and press and get an accurate seam. The beginners were wallowing.

Secondly, the instructor had ordered rulers but they didn't arrive so we were relying on rotary cutting with file-folder templates that we had to share. You can imagine the state of the templates after a couple of newbies used them. Unfortunately, these are blocks of entirely 60 degree angles so accuracy is pretty essential.

Oh well.

Anyway, I got the first block done in class (in the photo, the entire "flower" space outlined in white). So here and there over the next week I got another block or two done, alternating between fabrics as much as I could despite working with remnants as I always do. I really couldn't believe how quickly I was running out of the white background fabrics, both white dots that I carefully alternated in the same pattern all around. And I wasn't thrilled with the rather unimaginative end result of the fabrics in the blocks, but whatever. Working on a quilt that you don't like the pattern for isn't fun, but I'd rather have it done than sitting around in pieces taking up space.

 photo IMG_4323_zps9ddc862d.jpg

We try to do the charity quilts as closely as possible to a 40"x60" size because that's proportionately pleasing and only needs one standard fabric width for the backing, and making things easy is a priority. So I measured my blocks and figured out I needed only an additional 7.5" finished to make a charity quilt width with two blocks side by side, and the length was just about on target with a stacked setting.

Ok, so which fabric to do the fillers, cutting 3" strips to outline each block.....one that wasn't too close to the borderor too much used in the blocks... good. Except that there wasn't enough fabric to outline all the blocks, she found out after putting 3" strips on half of the blocks. *facepalm*

After much agonized refiguring, I decided to keep the strips connecting the blocks horizontally at the 3" cut width, but to trim the other sides to half that width. It worked well for the purpose of making the quilt closer to the target 60" length to tell the truth, but what a pain to cut down all the already attached strips and try to figure out how to make the corrections and sew the new borders on with the previous seams making them look rather jagged. (sigh)

So now I had three very odd shaped rows and nothing to connect them.

Enter last night's insomnia. Which I spent creating the insets that surround each of the blocks.

The original intention was to use the dark pink that is in the center vertical insets around the edges too. Did we have enough fabric to do it? OF COURSE NOT. So I figured out the shapes to make the dark pink insets then searched for another fabric to do the sides and had SO MUCH FUN doing entirely inset seams.

Yes, given the utter mess the project became -- and the recognition that this would never, ever, ever, ever be considered for entry into any kind of thing where people who have a clue about quilting would have any reason to judge it -- the finished product is not too bad. The seams and insets are acceptable and most of the points are good and so on. And with as many 60* angles as it had, it's remarkably flat. And it will be a nice charity quilt. I cut the dark pink as a binding and I'm sure at some point we'll find a backing fabric for it.

I still don't like it at all though. Bleah. I'm so glad it's done. I hope someone else will quilt it. Sadly I'm also not fond of the ruler. I'll try using it on some other projects to see if I change my mind.

(2 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:April 14th, 2014 09:14 pm (UTC)
ROFL Been there done that. But your result is very nice!
[User Picture]
Date:April 16th, 2014 03:55 pm (UTC)
Now doesn't that sound like fun. I don't really like pink, and I'm not much of a one for old-fashioned quilts, so it's not my cup of tea either. But it looks fine, and you deserve a round of applause for getting through it and working through all the problems. I'm sure someone will adore it.

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