Monday, September 25, 2017

The Error of My Ways

I would dearly love to have a quilt go together with no problems.  Is it possible?  I guess it would be if I did a really simple one without complicated piecing and color arranging, but I am not drawn to simplicity.  You get to listen to me vent as I try to solve the problems.  Sorry!  It does help to clarify the difficulties by writing about them.

I am making 36 square blocks with the same pattern. Each block is made of two half-square triangles, but each of those triangles is made with 14 pieces.  The finished blocks will each be 7 inches square (not counting seam allowance).  Three of the 14 pieces that make up a triangle vary in color in order to produce a complex design.  Below is the part of the design that threw me a curve this week and forced a bit of ripping and redoing.

Graphic of four blocks on point.
Note the four triangles with check marks.  They have to go the right way to create a bit of structure to the center of the quilt.   The checked black triangles must all be north and south, while the red ones must be in the east and west positions.  Those checked triangles are each a corner of a different block.  It really makes a difference when you look at the total design.  The graphic above shows one of four exact groupings that occur symmetrically in the quilt.  I am sorry, but I am not going to divulge the complete design so you just have to take my word for it.

Two of those four checked triangles were going the right way and two were oriented the wrong way - grrrrrrr!  I  had switched black for red and red for black.  A secondary design had vanished.  Some required the rip-and-redo treatment.  The others hadn't been sewn yet, and were only glued so they were really quick and easy.

I am so glad I discovered the goof before I went any further, and it only took about an hour to re-establish order.

TIP:  This is where a design wall is helpful.  I walk into my sewing room frequently and look at my work on the wall, analyze design and color choices, and find mistakes.  My wall is cheap.  I hung a flannel-backed tablecloth flannel side out, and it works great.

Off topic TIP:
I found a website with a solution that might help some of you.  It tells you a simple way to clean a cutting mat if it begins to hug fuzz in the cuts.  Here is a great fix.

Sew some happy seams this week.  I wish you easy fixes if you run afoul of perfection.


  1. Nice. I always seem to decide on on that 5000 pcs jigsaw puzzle that we threw in the closet to forget. That's what I call these blocks and quilts with many both large and small pieces. If you think about it some of the blocks we choose are more of a puzzle.
    But if you are like me, you love the challenge.Recently I created a quilt with nothing but flying geese, I strive with the challenge. My current project has over 3400 pcs. But I am loving every hateful minute of it.

    1. You clearly understand where I am coming from! At the moment I have 1,120 pieces, but that doesn't count borders, etc. I figure it will only be about 52-54 inches square. The main challenge is getting the points properly set.

  2. Wow...this sounds way confusing. That's why I paper piece :)

    1. The problem began when I mis-colored those pieces on the design. I might have forgotten also, and put them together without the whole design in mind. Don't know. Paper piecing might have helped if I printed the pattern with color, which I usually do. It might have been harder to fix with paper piecing. Again, don't know. At any rate, it is fixed now and looks good.

  3. taking a photo and studying it on computer screen is another useful way of seeing "the wrong ones"

  4. Beaucoup de complexité Aie aie !!!!