Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Meet My New Best Friend

We've spent some quality time together the past day, and we've made plans for the next few as well, though hopefully we won't be spending as many hours together as we did last night. I wouldn't want the hubs to get jealous about all the time Mr. Ripper and I are spending in the studio locked in embrace.

After four hours of cutting, I got the 63 8.5" squares and the 63 10" squares cut for both rag quilts, and the 8.5" squares cut into pieces for one quilt. Tired of cutting, I decided to piece the wonky shapes together.

Easier said than done. While they may look like they fit together, it's an entirely different  story when you seam them together with a half inch seam. They don't exactly line up.

And it doesn't make It any easier when you've got printed instructions that say to trim them to a size that is larger than they actually sewed together. We rip, we sew, we rip, we sew.

Did I mention that this is a RAG quilt? Well that implies that the pieces have been sewn together wrong sides together, with the seams out (to be fringed later). Have you ever made a rag quilt? If so, then you have some idea of how hard it is to sew seams with wrong sides together. Most of my ripping wasn't the result of pieces that just didn't fit together properly, no, most of the ripping out was because I kept sewing with the right sides together. So hard a concept this is for me to grasp that even after I ripped out the seam, I actually put right sides together and stitched it wrong once again.

By 2 a.m. I had enough. The one page instructions just weren't cutting it, my blocks were half an inch short of the trim size before I even trimmed.  Reading the instructions for the forty seventh time, I noticed that it referred to laying the pieced blocks on top of the 9" solid blocks.....WAIT A MINUTE.....the instructions called for me to cut  8.5" solid blocks.Where did 9" come from?  Now I was on to something.

A web search turned up Sandy Brawner,  the pattern designer's email and I sent off a desperate plea for help. By 9 a.m. she sent me an email telling me she was going to investigate, and by 3 pm I had a revised pdf file instructing me to trim my blocks to 8.5", and were a little clearer on how to piece the three parts together. Do we love quilters, or what?!  I've gotta believe that if I were making a sequined evening gown and ran into a little snag that Bob Macke wouldn't be so accessible. The community of quilters is amazingly helpful to those of us trying to learn. Special thanks to Sandy Brawner.

After a little last minute shopping run to the Gangs R Us Mall on the way home from work, I headed up to the studio and  gave the wonky piecing another go. Success!

Have Mercy! the blocks even TRIMMED out to 8.5". Of course, I still had to do a little (okay, a lot of) ripping-- it is just not in my genetic profile to seam wrong sides together.. But I was able to knock out 10 blocks until I fell under the grip of the Hallmark Channel's sappy Christmas movies..

Only 53 more blocks to piece and trim.

Here's hoping that the 2 a.m. Christmas movies coming up are all ones I've seen before. I really can't spend another day on 4 hours sleep.

1 comment:

  1. Well, I can say good for you for not giving up and sending an email! I might have just scrapped the rag idea and gone with a more traditional wonky block quilt. Geesh...


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