When you make as many quilts as I do, there are bound to be mistakes. Some mistakes are little, some not so little.
Little mistakes are the ones that are easy to fix. They are the ones that require a little unsewing and restitching and all is well.
Bigger mistakes aren’t that simple.
This past week, I made a big mistake. I was making multiple units like this but not in the traditional way.
I wasn’t cutting half-square triangles and a square. I was sewing rectangles and squares together and then cutting to get the triangles. We’ll explain the technique in the Easy Lesson in the August/September 2016 issue of Quilters Newsletter. I’ll show you the completed quilt later but for now I’ll just tell you I needed 81 of this unit with the 2 small triangles, 1 large triangle and a square.
I usually sew assembly-line style. I cut all the patches needed for a quilt and stack them in piles. I sew all the A patches to the B patches for the whole quilt, then I add all of the C patches for the whole quilt, etc. Somehow that works better for me than doing just a few blocks at a time. So I sewed and cut many of the units I needed for my quilt top, 56 of the 81 units to be exact. Then I went to the ironing board to press and found that 20 of those 56 units were wrong, and not just a little wrong. I’d cut on the diagonal through the square instead of the rectangle so now I had a unit with 3 different sizes of triangles and a rectangle with the point cut off. Twenty of those strange looking things … 20!
After a few minutes of being disgusted at myself for not noticing my mistake until the pressing stage when it was too late to change anything, I started thinking about how to fix my mistake.
I thought about using the strange blocks on the front of the quilt and tried a few on the design wall but that really changed the overall look of the quilt. The mix of the units sewn correctly and the units sewn incorrectly just didn’t look good to me.
I decided to make a new design on the back of the quilt. So here are those strange little units in a chevron design.
It’s not awful. I don’t hate it. In fact, I think it is a good beginning for a quilt back.
And here’s a part that makes me smile. I can imagine someone years and years from now saying, “I’ve never seen this block before. It’s very unusual.” Do you think they’ll be enough of a detective and look at it long enough to see that it’s not an inventive new block but rather an old block that I made wrong?
As a quick aside, I was looking at the QNNtv website, at videos under the Quilters Newsletter TV, The Quilter’s Community heading and remembered some of the really good things we have there. We talk about machine quilting and hand quilting, techniques for traditional quilters and art quilters, just about anything you’d like to learn. Check it out.
Or if you’d like to brush up on the basics, check out the My First Quilt videos with my friend Sara Gallegos.
And remember, for Quilters Newsletter’s giveaways, quilting news, tips, techniques and more, visit us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, QNNtv.com and our website. Plus, see more Web Seminars on QuiltAndSewShop.com and classes, courses and workshops on Craft Daily.com and CraftOnlineUniversity.com.