Thursday, November 17, 2011

Whack n Wonder - aka -

"Another Opportunity for Creativity"

The Quilt from Hell

I really do love quilting - but some are more fun than others. Last year I worked on a pattern that had a major mistake - leaving me short of material for the setting triangles. I was angry but my wise sister told me that quilters see these circumstances as "opportunities for creativity." My latest quilt has been such an opportunity right from the beginning!

My opportunity began I signed up for a class at my local quilt shop with 3 of my friends. A couple of weeks before the class was to begin we all headed to our very favorite shop in Trenton, FL to buy fabric. We had our supply lists in hand. Right away we should have suspected something was wrong because the list called for A LOT of material - 13 1/2 yards, not counting the backing, for a single-sized quilt! To make matters worse, my material had a smaller repeat - so I doubled the amount of the main fabric. The larger star blocks have a border and we were told to get a stripe - so I did. All my fabrics looked beautiful together in the pile and I couldn't wait for the class to begin!

Our pre-class instructions included making two plastic templates from the diagram in the book (one diamond and one triangle)and cutting "B" and "D" triangles. Since I had a triangle ruler, I used it to pre-cut the triangles instead of using the template. This turned out to be a good move on my part as the diagram was incorrect.

In class, we proceeded to cut strips for the diamonds - lots of strips and lots of diamonds. When I started asking questions about the diamonds - we were told to cut 66 "sets." At that point, I counted the 11 star blocks on the sample and asked why we needed so many since there are only 11 blocks with 11 sets of diamonds. My teacher looked dumbfounded - deer in the headlights dumbfounded. Long story short, she had totally miscalculated and now I had way too many cut strips - and not enough material to cut the larger strips for the "one-block wonder" diamonds. Good thing I had extra material - except she had miscalculated these triangles also and, again, I didn't need as many strips as she called for. Same with the stripped border.

Once I started putting the blocks together - I realized the stripped border was way too strong for the quilt. It jumped out and you missed the neat kaleidoscope stars and circles. Let me put it this way - if you laid a baby on the quilt, the poor child would throw up. An adult would have an instant migraine. Good thing I had all those extra strips!! I used them for borders. Now I had extra blocks - so I added two rows to the quilt making it wider than it is long. To correct this, I added an extra border to the top and bottom (yep, using even more of the extra strips). Now it's square. Using the main fabric for the borders instantly settled it down - maybe too much. I don't like that I used the same fabric both places but at least I didn't waste it.

This quilt is a long way from being my favorite - but it's OK. The fabrics that looked so beautiful in the pile did not go together any where near as well as I thought they would. Even though the yellow was the exact yellow in the main fabric - it is too bright for the purple stripe. I should have stuck to one color instead of using both the yellow and green. I still have blue that I haven't even used. I don't think I'll put another border on it - and I'm not sure I have enough backing fabric. I'll probably use the stripe cut on the bias for the binding - but we'll see.

I welcome suggestions and discussion. Oh, by the way, our teacher? The poor dear was taking pain medicine that was way too strong - and she literally couldn't think straight. She felt terrible when she realized her mistake - but I told her it was just another opportunity for creativity!

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