Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Gathering Baskets

I'm incredibly proud of my triangles.  They were sewn together one at time--the same way they were cut out...one at a time.  The project didn't start out successfully.  I have never had any luck sewing triangles together without a shortcut or extra fabric.  But I wanted the quilt blocks worse so I'd attempted once more.

I worked really hard at getting the triangles to simply line up evenly.  I was completely impressed with myself when I got it accomplished.  It wasn't easy.  For every three seams I sewed, I had to un-sew one.  I say un-sew because there was a time I was a ripper--- You know what I'm talking about.  You 're angry because the seam didn't turn out like you want and you grab the pieces and 'Yank' them apart.  If you're lucky-- the fabric doesn't tear.


Over and over again I said --"The seam ripper is my friend....the seam ripper is my friend.."
I continued to work.The triangle rows eventually became what I call "a test block".  I had even cut extra triangles for just that purpose.  When I sewed the rows together --it looked like this..
At first  I said 'Good enough...'  then I looked at it more closely--It was pitiful... 
It wasn't even decent enough to call it a "humility" block... You know like the Amish put in quilts to keep them humble.  A confession:  I've been known to be a fit thrower.  I get so angry at the wasted time that I've even been a 'fit pitcher"  hurling quilt blocks across the room because they are a patchwork mess.  

I didn't do that this time.  I really want a Lynda Hall quilt....I layed the wonky block on the floor in front of my workout machine and as I cranked out miles I studied the block.  The rows looked perfect until they were sewn together.  Then it clicked. 

Protect the seam allowances...  that is what I wasn't doing.  I gave it another shot.  Over and aver again I repeated...  Protect your seam allowances...Protect your seam allowances.  It worked.  

My goal was 2 blocks a month-- in 6 months I will have a quilt.  Well, I figured it out and have 4 blocks completed---plus the wonky one--That I just might frame to remind myself that fits don't make quilts -- not giving up does...



7 comments:

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

I always find it hard to do those triangles evenly - I don't like paper piecing though so keep trying it like you do

KC Quilter said...

Great post! Very inspiring.

Gypsy Quilter said...

Dear unstitchin' friend, may I suggest spray starching your fabric, then sew along each side of a diagonal on a larger square to get your triangle units. There are other speed techniques, but this one works well for me. Trimming up and sewing together is sooo much simpler if the starch keeps the bias edges from going wonky. Signed, Seem Ripr

anne bebbington said...

I so feel your pain Mel - I just can't do HSTs without cutting them bigger and trimming to size - what a pain in the neck process - but these baskets are so cute it has to be worth the work

Karen said...

Wonderful block! I thought my sister wrote this post, she is a fit thrower too. I'm always telling her to take it easy with the seam ripper. She may as well cut the stitches out with scissors for all the holes she ends up with.

Kindred Quilts said...

How did I miss this post? Boy, can I relate to your frustration! I'm learning that a little extra time and an ounce more of patience can make those seams work into place like they should... on all pieced blocks in my case, not just triangles! And isn't it a proud moment when you can give yourself a high five for a job well done? Your basket blocks are wonderful!

Beth Arrieta said...

I'm so impressed and envious. I so want to sew HST and then sew them into basket blocks correctly so badly I can taste it.however, I started making a quilt called Rachel's Baskets years ago( I'm ashamed to say how many years) and have given up multiple times. Just can't get those triangles right. You inspire me to give another go. I'm new to your blog and am not sure what you mean when you say"protect the seam". Could you explain?