Sunday, January 10, 2016

One step forward and two back...

I'm trying to keep content this winter by working on a quilt for my parents.  A nice soothing project to make time go by.  Unfortunately, for every step I take forward, I take two back.  Soothing is not the word I would use to describe this quilt.

I hate picking out the material and patterns.  I just enjoy the repetitiveness of the sewing. This time was different.  I found the perfect material that reminded me of my parents ranch.  There was a quilt on the wall that provided the perfect platform to showcase the panels.  It looked like a simple pattern.   From there it was easy to find material that included barbed wire, flying geese, leaves, and grass.   My father collects barbed wire and one of my fondest memories of home is the geese flying from the river to the fields.  Everything just fell into place.  Little did I know that the part that is normally the easiest for me (piecing the pattern together) would end up being the hardest.
The nice lady at the fabric store warned me that the flying geese material would be my bane and to be super careful when I cut it out.  I thought I was, but when I completed the flying geese blocks with the flying geese material I realized too late that something was wrong.  My husband figured it out.  The pattern now had to be completely reversed.  This was not as easy as it sounds.  

The pattern is very complicated.  It looks repetitive, but isn't.  The panels make piecing difficult.  I laid the quilt out on the bed downstairs, but somehow by the time I take a portion upstairs things get switched around.  Those darn light colored triangle blocks kept getting turned around.  I bet I had to re-do about 5 of them.

Many ripped seams later it was done.
At least that is what I thought.  My husband took a photo of me holding the 'finished' top. That is when I saw it.  Can you see the mistake in the pattern?  Again with the ripping.  I fixed the wayward block and thought I was down the home stretch.  Just add the border, batting, and backing.  Any dummy can do that.  Then I would finally get to my favorite part: quilting. Drat, no such luck.  I am short of border material and didn't allow enough material for the mitered corners.  More ripping.  I'm getting quite good at it.

Did you find the mistake?  On the right side two of the flying geese blocks are facing the same way instead of alternating.

I am very happy with the way the top turned out.  It is by far one of the most complicated quilts I have ever done.  Because of that, I have a feeling it will take the full two years to complete.  I am not off to the best start that is for sure.  I will keep you updated on my steps forward and the steps back.  Until then, the sun sets on another winter day.
Have you ever worked on a project where you went backwards faster than forwards?  


  1. A lot of work, but a lovely pattern. My oldest is taking this up starting with a small quilt for her son.I am helpless with sewing, but enjoy the art of quilting.

  2. The philosophy of purposely leaving a mistake in hand-made projects exists in many different cultures, with as many different reasons given. Perhaps you could adopt that concept, at least for this one gorgeous quilt. Your parents will not love it any less!

  3. I think it is a lovely quilt. I am that way with pinwheels. My grandson wants a Minecraft quilt. I am pretty sure I can do it with squares, I think it is awesome. Quilting is always like that for me, I spend way more time with a seam ripper than I do at the sewing machine.

  4. Lovely blog, wonderfull picture banner, best for 2016

  5. i think you are doing an awesome job. i made a quit for my dad and after it was all done realized it was too long. added a whole extra row of blocks. he loved it anyway. have fun finishing it,

  6. looks really nice. I made a quilt for my dad one time for his semi. After it was done I realized that I had added a whole extra row of blocks. He loved it anyway. Wynn and I now have it on our bed. Love having it. Hope you and Kelly had a good Christmas. Diane and W

  7. Special quilt. I have done my fair share of ripping-out, and I've left my fair share of imperfections in quilts. It's the love behind it that's most important. Keep up the good work. It's looking great!

  8. Bonnie, I can't tell you the amount of times I've spent ripping things apart! (And I've never made a quilt!) I think this is gorgeous, and like you, I enjoy the repetitive work much more than the planning part. I'm trying to make a stained glass quilt panel for my friend, I make her one each year, just a little 6" x 6" suncatchery thing, and I'm having a terrible time getting the pattern right. You've done a fantastic job on this wonderful heirloom.

  9. Dear Bonnie wow that is one lovely quilt. I had a dreadful time at school with the Needlework Teacher because I was slow - if I did not keep up with the rest of the class she used to take it home and do what was needed so there were bits I did not know as a result. In the end it put me off crafting. A good friend who I worked with Margaret was always bring craft stuff in to do and it was thanks to her that I started with the sewing and crafting again. She told me that each piece you work will be unique and there will be mistakes - no one is perfect but each mistake makes that work distinguishable as yours and each time you do something you learn that much more. What I do think your parents will treasure is all the love and time you have put in to make an heirloom to keep them warm and snuggle under. Each square each section each flying geese block have all been stitched with love. What better way to give of yourself and show you really care. I have never made quilt yet. I am in the process of accumulating old mens shirts with lots of fabric in them to make throw quilt for the single room. I thought if I started out with recycled fabric first I could make mistakes on that and get used to handling and letting the fabric speak to me before being let loose on more expensive fabric. I tend to collect things together a bit at a time until I have everything to hand and that way on its not as expensive on the pocket. You have done very well with the jewellery for a first timer. Take care. Pattypan x


Sit on my porch and let's chat. Due to the amount of spam I am closing my comments to Anonymous users. Sorry.