Thursday, July 9, 2015

Back to Square One

Uuuuuuuuugh. I have been making a lot of mistakes lately.

First there's the non-progress on my Anna Maria Horner Greatest Hits scrap quilt. Back in February I picked up some gray-ish/taupe-ish fabric for sashing. I cut it up and sashed the quilt. And then it sat. For months. (It is still sitting.) I never got around to adding the top and bottom sashing and finally realized why: because it is UGLY. Not only is the gray/taupe solid a bad color choice, the width of the sashing is all wrong -- way too wide. So now I need to rip it out and start over. This time I'm tempted to just sew the scrap columns together without sashing... Or, sash it with Kona Snow, 2 1/2 inches wide? Another color? I'm open to ideas; what do you think?

Before I ruined it with ugly sashing. 

OK, so then I managed to finish the Priory Square quilt top using the Boxed In pattern from the book Beyond Borders by Julie Herman of Jaybird Quilts. It looks fantastic. However... there were a lot of piecing errors, and most of them due to my laziness with regards to a 1/4 inch seam. Amateur hour, I know. Fortunately, I was able to square the quilt up and the solid sashing throughout hides my mistakes.

All the pretty boxes!

I wish I could say I learned my lesson with that quilt. Nope. I moved on to expand the Cotton + Steel plus quilt I started many moons ago. I took the perfect square and added columns. And when I tried sewing the new columns to the old square, the seams didn't line up. Not even close. Yep. Now, I do use a guide and while my seams may not always be perfect scant 1/4 inches, usually things DO line up. However, in this case, I used my new machine (Kim Gordon) to piece the new columns... and I had used my old machine (Kitty) to piece the original square. Different machines, different guides. I just wasn't thinking.

The original baby-sized square with pretty seams.

I got verrrrrry familiar with my seam ripper this past week. I wanted to forge ahead with the project and disregard the mistakes. I tried to get comfortable with that path. But--and I think this is a sign of growth--I couldn't do it. So I ripped out the entire new section, but I kept the original square and will finish it off into a baby quilt. Which is what it was originally going to be anyway. And, because I can't get this color story out of my head and I don't want all of those squares to go to waste, I not only retrimmed the new section, I cut out the squares to remake the old section. Once I get it all stitched up I'll still only be halfway done with the new, larger quilt, but I think it'll be worth it in the end.

Whew. I wish I could say those were the only mistakes I've made, but there have been others. "Learning opportunities." Uh huh. I'm learning a lot. Hey, I'm happy to report that in between making errors learning opportunities I finally took the time to figure out the needle positions for a perfect 1/4 seam on Kim Gordon. (Side bar: isn't it annoying that a 1/4 inch foot doesn't make a 1/4 seam without some adjusting?!) SUCCESS!

On that note, here's my Quarter 3 Finish List. I've got the DCMQG sewing retreat in August and hope to get some quality stitching, so here's hoping there are a few finishes!

Priory Square quilt (above) -- piecing done; needs to be basted and quilted
Cotton + Steel (baby) plus quilt -- time to baste and quilt that baby!
Cotton + Steel plus quilt (the re-do) -- piecing in progress
AMH greatest hits scrap quilt -- let's not talk about it.

Project Piles:
Natural History twin quilt for M -- pattern picked
AMH mixed up king quilt
Doe strip quilt

Linking up to On the Windy Side for the 2015 Finish Along Q3!


  1. Jeez, that is a lot of frustrating sewing! Sounds like you are making good progress in spite of all of this. As for the AMH scrappy quilt, I like the idea of Knoa Snow sashing. That is one gorgeous set of scrappy columns and it will be gorgeous when you finish it. Looking forward to seeing it down the road!

    1. Seriously, Bernie! But it's all for the best. A year ago I would have plowed ahead with a crappy quilt. I do love those scraps and just hope I can resolve how to finish it soon.

  2. Oh yes, we've all had plenty of those "learning opportunities" I've found. I also find that I need to sew a scant seam all the time because I press to the side which takes up more of your fabric than you realise sometimes. I love the colour scheme on your plus quilt, so fresh!

    Sorry I have no suggestions for the AMH quilt - I just loaded a quilt on my longarm with grey/taupe sashing that I love, but it was the right choice for that quilt. I've got an AMH quilt in my Finish list, but I have chosen more of an oyster colour for the background. I think white is too cold and stark with those saturated colours, but that's just me.

    1. Thanks, Cassandra! I agree re. white: it's why I chose the gray/taupe originally... I think I might have to get a color card and audition more colors. I recently saw a quilt with mint sashing that was really pretty. It was a good reminder that there are more colors than white and gray!