Saturday, December 28, 2013

Learning my lesson

I hit a brick wall on Bonnie Hunter's Celtic Solstice Mystery quilt at Clue #2. It is not Bonnie's fault. She explained things very well. I followed her directions but I kept hitting snags.

My seam was a bit big. My seam was a bit small. My pieces were a shade big.

I got wonky.

Was I drinking while sewing?
I sewed too many pieces together.

I lost my mind and took two decent blocks and trimmed them too small. Instead of 2" by 3.5" .... I trimmed down to 2" by 3". What was I thinking?!?

I got frustrated. I marked my neutral square. Pinned it to my green. Stitched. Stitched again to capture the leftover HST. Cut off the unnecessary HST. Pressed the neutral. Marked the yellow square. Pinned. Stitched. Stitched again. Trim. Press. Now trim the whole side to a balanced 2" by 3.5" which should NOT be needed IF I was doing everything properly. Then stitch to sides together to make a fabulous or funky chevron. That is 9 seams. 9!!! For something that was finishing out at 3 square inches in my quilt top. Oh my goodness that is a HUGE amount of work for such a tiny piece.

A fellow Bonnie fan posted a tutorial on creating the chevron sides from strips. You lose some of your scrappiness but it looks to be more even and less work. Sadly, I already had all 1464 pieces cut out to make 244 chevrons. I could not toss it or even set it aside in good conscious. Waste not, want not.

I have been gaining so much confidence working on Bonnie's Mystery quilt. I felt it spilling over to my everyday life. I had a quest and a challenge and I walked proud. I learned how to do the tri rec units. I spun seams making pinwheels. I stitched the cutest 4 patch units and spun their seams beautifully! I was learning great new skills! The silly chevrons were threatening that new pride.

My plan? Finish what I started with all the little pieces. AND .... make some chevrons using the strip method, just 2 strips - one leaning one way and one leaning the other. That way I have enough extra chevrons pieced to easily set aside the chevrons that are really wonky. AND I learn another way of doing chevrons. Another new skill.

I don't want or expect a perfect quilt. I also don't want a hideous quilt.
I want and will be delighted with a quilt that reflects my novice status. Some units will be a tad off. Others will be gorgeous. I see my skills improving. I can do this.

Update! Strip Chevrons!

Clue #5 was released and I am backing up to chevrons. I don't even have a goal to finish them yet. Just learn a new method and see how that panned out. Turns out - it worked great!

I cut my strips 1 5/8" like the tutorial by Karen at the Stitching Circle directs. Pinned. Stitched. Then nested 2 strip sets together. Now for the tricky part - cutting at a 45o angle.

Why will this not flip over .... Argh
I have an Easy Angle ruler and it has a 45o angle - Yeah!! I measured and measured again. Then worried if I had the angle the right way for how the strips were nested - not sure if it even matters though, LOL. I mustered up my courage and sliced a set. And another and another.

The seams were nesting nicely thanks to pressing opposite ways. They were pinning nicely. I prayed they were correct. As you can see, I was finishing up my 4 patch units too.

After stitching one, I anxiously opened it to find I did it right! Wahoo!!

Neutral-black, 2 greens and one yellow

And look at how those seams line up!! I am so excited! They need trimmed down to 2" by 3.5" but that doesn't squish my happiness. I am happy to say I CAN make a decent chevron when I slow down and be careful. Of course, to me, the strip method is easier than the scrappy way. I will persevere and finish my other tiny pieces chevrons. If I mess up too many - I know I have a plan B for accomplishing my goal. Yeah me!

Happy chevrons need trimmed


  1. Your chevrons almost make me want to make a chevron quilt! When I am having problems like yours, that tells me to stop for a while and then come back later to work on it, because if I don't stop, it just keeps getting worse and worse - LOL

    1. You are SO brave! The idea of a whole quilt of chevrons terrifies me! I am getting better but I don't love them yet :)