This morning I told you about all the work I got done on the mystery quilt. This evening I’m going to tell you all about my frustrations with the baby quilt I worked on for Jasper, Kayla and Spencer’s new little guy…who by the way, is doing really well.
Anyway…every since Linda gifted us this book, Parallel Lines by Pamela Goecke Dinndorf, I have been in love with a particular quilt in the book.
I’ve been in love with this quilt….
I started collecting white and black striped 100% cotton shirts. Then I got the idea to make this quilt for me and keep the scraps for a baby quilt for Kayla’s baby. At the time I was going to make a crumb quilt for the baby. Well, when Kayla was here over Christmas, she changed her mind and asked for one of these quilts. I thought “Cool. This will be much easier and less time consuming”. Boy was I WRONG.
I decided that the quilt needed to come together this weekend. I hate having project hanging over my head. I knew I’d be going to see the baby sometime here in the few weeks and hoped to have the quilt finished so I could take it with. Look at this..it’s an easy quilt I thought. This will take no time at all…Boy was I WRONG.
So the week before I cut out the rectangle blocks. Simple…right? Yes, they were…or so I thought. On Saturday I figured out I had sewn all of them in a 4 x 4 configuration vs the 5 x 3 configuration so seam ripper time it was. I should have taken that as an omen that things were going to go terribly…but I didn’t. I happily ripped it and resewed the blocks. No problem.
So then I went on and decided to do the hour glass blocks. I made copies of the pieces and added my quarter inch seam like the book suggested….and there was me, happily taking pictures so I could blog about it for you all and let you know what a fun quilt it was to make. (I was so naive.)
I cut the pieces out was ready to start cutting the blocks out and suddenly I realized, ALL OF THE PIECES NEEDED TO BE FUSSY CUT!!
See how the lines of the fabric go all the way across the block??
Have I ever told you that I HATE fussy cutting. Passionately hate it would be more accurate. But…then I told myself. This is for your grandbaby. You can do this…so I did.
I was working on the hour glass block..this one.
I got the block cut out remembering that I had to have one fabric vertical and the other horizontal. I sewed the block together. Oh my. It was way to big.
I checked and reread the measurements.
Hmmm. The book was written in French. It has an English translation. Maybe it’s a typo and the pieces weren’t supposed to have a seam allowance on them. Hmm. Okay. I’ll try that. I cut the block out made the block using the pattern piece with no seam allowance lines. Nope. Didn’t work. I was so frustrated. So I called Kelli.
I sent her pictures. We chatted. I measured and she advised.
I am a decent piecer. My seam allowances aren’t terrible. This shouldn’t be a problem. So I took the block apart. I was going to trim the blocks down but decided rather than do that, I’d just sew them with a 3/8″ seam allowance. That felt weird. But I did it and it worked. So, I called Kelli, cheered together over our success and figuring out the pattern and I cut out two more blocks. AHH. I had all the pieces sewn together for one block and realized I cut both the black and the white fabric horizontally. Oh my. I cut and made the next two blocks for a total of three blocks.
So my stats with this quilt so far…
-I had made 4 rectangle blocks. Each had to be ripped and resewn.
-I made 2 1/2 wrong blocks of the quarter square triangle block. I figured it out on the third block and made two more.
So onto the skinny triangle block.
I got my pieces cut out…I made notes on the pieces as to how many of each I needed to cut.
I was as careful as I could be doing the fussy cutting.
I knew now that I had to sew with 3/8″ seams so away I went only to discover that AHHH. My block was to small. What the heck?? What was going on with these instructions. I can understand that they could off one way or the other by why was the difference not standard through all of the blocks. I was so frustrated.
I ended up cutting out another block. Again I was so careful to fussy cut. Again I was so careful to make sure I have vertical and horizontal cuts of the fabric. Oh my. This easy quilt was so stressful.
I sewed it together. This time I used scant 1/4″ seams. I worked. Or so I thought. The block was the right width but now the length was off. AHH!! The block was 15″ long. What was happening?? Did no one test this pattern in English? I was miserable.
I called Kelli. She said, “Just don’t make it mom-Kayla will understand”. No. I was this far. I could figure it out.
So I ripped the rows of the block apart. I trimmed the block 1/4″ from the top point of the triangles. I sewed them together. Oh my. The block was acceptable in size. It was about 1/4″ to big but I decided, acceptable. I could fudge that somehow.
I looked at the block. Oh my.
The lines don’t go across the best but, hey, at this point I think it’s the best I could do. Then I looked closer. The fabric of the black triangle on the bottom row to the left is in reverse. Did I really care? At this point, not really. That second row…not the best. But did a really care? Oh my. I’m doing my best and seriously, I’m a decent piecer. What the heck was it with this quilt??!!
I made a second block and it turned out okay but I did have to sew with a scant 1/4″ seam and did have to trim the rows down.
To make two of these blocks, it took one entirely wrong block, the above block that I had to rip and fix..and one block that was right. Oh my.
I was getting closer but looked at the directions and about gave up. Look….They wanted me to construct the block like this….
then sew them together like this…. That looked okay.
It looked okay until I looked at the picture of the finished block. LOOK. See the white center diamonds??? All of those seams needed to match.
How in the (bleep) was I ever going to make that happen?? Seriously. In every one of these blocks the seam allowance has been something different. How was I ever going to fussy cut that right to make those seams match. This was ridiculous. Completely ridiculous.
I called Kelli. I was so close to being in tears. I figured out those last blocks only to get to this block which was going to do me in. I was sure of it.
Kelli and I talked about the block for an extended period of time. I decided that I was going to just cut diamonds for the center two white diamonds in the block. I wouldn’t cut and construct the block like the pattern suggested. Then I wouldn’t have to match the pattern of the fabric. I would cut triangles for the white part along the top and bottom of the block. I would cut big diamonds for the middle white sides. I could cut oversized quarter diamonds for the corners. I could trim it all down in the end.
….and I would try 1/4″ for a seam allowance….
I trimmed it up to size….and the size even worked which leads me to believe that it wouldn’t have worked size wise if I had pieced it the way the instructions suggested.
The only thing…the lines aren’t lined up …and oops. The black fabric was supposed to be vertical. Sorry…I don’t care enough anymore to redo it. This one is just going to be like this.
I ended up making another block using the same method for cutting out and sewing together and it worked okay too.
The blocks are done. The quilt top isn’t together yet. I have to cut sashing and sew the pieces together. This is not a quilt I enjoyed making at all. I had originally planned to make one for my living room too. THAT WILL NOT BE HAPPENING. I refuse to go through this much pain to make another set of blocks. That was not enjoyable. It was not rewarding. I will not be proud of the finished product. The only thing I am proud of…I persevered-with a lot of moral support from Kelli and Georgia via the phone to make the blocks.
I recommend this pattern to no one. Now after reading this long post, you can see why I didn’t include this with the morning post. Oh my. I still don’t know if something was lost in translation of the pattern. As I said, the author is French. The book was written in French and then translated. They work in the metric system, Americans don’t. Is it that…I don’t know.
Note in the photo below…in the first paragraph under “level 2″…”round to 1/2″. Make any necessary adjustments”.
I really hope that the author didn’t cover herself for errors with the “make any necessary adjustments” phrase. Oh my.
A blog reader Linda sent us this book as she knows I love working with shirts. Please don’t feel bad about my terrible experience. I am sure even with all the mistakes I made, Kayla and Jasper will love the quilt.
If anyone has purchased this book, please only cut and make one block first to check the seam allowance to make sure everything jives. I did go several times online to see if there were any corrections to the book. I couldn’t find any.
Check back next week…hopefully I’ll be close to a finish.