Monday, December 21, 2009

A Cautionary Tale

This post should be called, "What's on my design wall?" However, this is really a cautionary tale entitled, "Read before you sew."

There is a similar adage in the non-quilting world called "Look before you leap."

Here's my story.

I played with EQ6 and came up with this design.

I thought it was a little bit boring, so I looked at my border book, Pieced Borders, the Complete Resource.

The first design that I liked was #158 Chevrons. On the following page is design #179 Chain of Parallelograms. Well, my teacher brain said, "They're both parallelograms. I'll do the first one."
I looked at the rotary cutting chart and cut all my diamonds and triangles. Then, and only then, did I notice that there was something that didn't seem to fit. The triangles didn't seem right to me. Back to the book I go, and actually read the authors' directions.

There it is on page 73, a lovely, clear explanation of the difference, in the quilt world, between a diamond and a parallelogram. Further down on the page is this, "A few borders such as #158 and 157 require set-in seams."

Y seams! I've cut my fabric and don't have enough to re-cut. I'm sunk! So, I'm still stitching Y seams rather than having this on my frame for quilting.

Also, now that I'm getting the border on I can see that the border is really too visually heavy for the interior of the quilt. I guess no one will be knocking on my door to have me design a quilt for them.

This is my reworked idea for this quilt. I like it a little better than my original design, but I'm still not crazy about it.
Now, the quilt I'm actually making did have some requirements, use the fabric I already had, and no buying new fabric. I can live with the quilt I'm making, and I'll enjoy cuddling up with it on Christmas morning. Maybe not this Christmas with all those Y seams, but some Christmas.

Visit Judy's blog to see what others have on their design walls.


  1. I think your quilt will be just FINE!! I really like the border, although I know it is a PAIN to do with set-in seams. You have places for really nice quilting in those setting squares, and that will bring the whole thing together, and add more interest to it, also. Great work!

  2. Personally, I think the quilt looks fine and those plain squares are a place for some feathered wreaths or maybe applique or red work. Design opportunities! And, I've designed quilts that I thought the world would love and no one liked them so you're being too hard on yourself. I say you get an A+ because (1) you designed something (2) you used the stash and (3) you're making it! Thanks for sharing on my blog!

  3. I don't think the border looks too heavy. The quilt is unique with lots of places for drop dead quilting. I say good job!

  4. I have to agree with everyone who commented before me. I don't think the border is too much. I'd have probably done something plain and simple and ended up with boring. Set in seams-yikes! :)
    Merry Christmas.

  5. I think it is beautiful. And I think you sew y seams wonderfully!

  6. I LOVE your border. It really frames the quilt ... in the picture, it looks like the centre on the quilt is "lower" than the border - just like a picture and it's frame.
    By the time you're finished, you'll be an expert at 'Y' seams!
    quilting gail

  7. Would you like my address so you can send it to me if you don't like it? I do, I think it's great.