CHQuilts: I have to admit; quilting sometimes confounds me

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

I have to admit; quilting sometimes confounds me

I have been working on the project (at left) with the intention of hand piecing the entire quilt. I was rather excited to hand piece a whole quilt, as designer Jen Kingwell has intended. I have never done that before. 

Well, it hasn't quite worked out the way I wanted.

Kingwell's Pick a petal, a quilt project offered to star members of The Quilt Show, appealed to me because it was hand-pieced. There is nothing I love more than a quilt challenge. When there is a new lesson to be learned, as usual, I was all in!

Since I really love handwork, I hand pieced the center block and the two alternating blocks that surround it. I made 20 of the first block. That is the number of blocks in the quilt. I made one of the other blocks, which also requires 20 in all. 

Pick-a-petal block
However, when I measured the blocks I made, they fell short of their required 8 1/2-inch size. This did not make me happy. I surmised that the problem was in printing out the templates I used since I had been having problems with my printer. II believe the templates I made were ever so slightly off -- too small. 

I figured I could scrap the whole project and turn it into a table runner, or I could redo the blocks I had already done, or I could start from scratch. I dismissed that last idea rather quickly because of all the work and fabric involved. So, rather than let frustration get the best of me, I settled on a compromise. I took apart all of those outer curved seams and re-sewed them on the machine with a 1/8-inch seam. DON'T TELL THE QUILT POLICE! 

It was lots of work, but I managed to make the blocks the proper size.

I decided that it was far simpler to sew these pieces on the machine. It is also easier on my hands, which I can now save for hand-quilting and applique, both of which I love.

I am happy again. 

Far be it from me to not want to finish a quilt. 

This is the extent of my progress. There is lots of work left to do. But, it is now time to enjoy the process, which is why I make quilts. 

The lesson I learned was that perhaps hand-piecing isn't for me, at least not now. That could change in the future, but for now, I plan to machine piece the remaining blocks. 

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Since this is actually a year-long project, I have lots of time to work things out. Next step is to applique flowers onto the outermost border, consisting of neutral log-cabin blocks, as shown above. 

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