Quilting Escapades

I firmly believe attainment of knowledge and skills to be ends in themselves.  As a teenager, I dabbled in quilting.  I made a simple Amy Butler Brick Path quilt for my daughter’s 1st birthday.  I made a very mediocre drunkard’s path last year.  In a bid to sharpen my skills, I’m following one of the Block of the Month clubs at work.  This quilt is called “In A Pickle,” is a black and white and color medallion quilt that relies heavily on paper piecing.  Above is January, which I only just finished.  One of the rows was skewy; I decided to prefer a finished block rather than perfection.  The same month we made four little squares to adorn the corners:

So far, so good.  Then February.  This block is called “Pickle Dish.” I want to call it “Waterloo.”

I finished the blocks last week, purely an act of will.  I realized that once again in my quest to learn everything, I bit off more than I could chew.  However, I already purchased 2 metres of each of the colored fabrics as well as one of the white polka dot.  I invested money and time, my work was technically decent, so I will finish if it kills me.  I made 8 of those.  I ripped the paper pieced arch again and again to try to make everything match up.  It does help me that 50-something other women are making the blocks at the same time and I can compare notes with them.  Most have struggled with this block even though they’re proper quilters.

The colors represent a divergence for me.  I do love pale greens, but pale green with persimmon?  Really?  I needed something bold, something that would contrast sharply with the green, the black, and the white.  For a while I couldn’t decide between a fetching medium ocean blue or this.  As I finished the pickle dish blocks, I felt severe misgivings about color choices.  I think the persimmon color washes out the green. 

Then March’s block, flying geese.

I had pieces of those black and white prints from other projects.  I think I have enough.  I bought a metre of the white polka dot for background, though the pattern calls for 3.  I thought I might not need that much because of my miserly cutting.  When I run out of the metre I will buy another type of white polka dot.  I had to be a little creative to squeeze the 11 half triangles from the dot, but I managed.  The pattern calls for the geese to be persimmon, but I thought green geese would lively up the green in the pickle dish blocks.  Oh so true.

Last night I had everything in place to make my 12 flying geese blocks.  I grossly underestimated the time required to paper piece the geese band.  I finished the first band after an hour.  I deftly trimmed the edges with rotary cutter and ruler, sewed the triangles onto the block.  I should have realized then that something was wrong because the triangles were much longer than the band.  I pressed and laid it with my other 16 blocks and noticed it was smaller.  Considerably smaller.  I had trimmed off the seam allowances!  My block was worthless.

I refused to dwell on it, I sat down and made another one straight away.  I didn’t lose my temper, I didn’t even have to talk myself down.  The second one turned out beautifully in about 45 minutes, lesson learned.  I like this block the best so far.  Now I must make 11 more.


When I finish the 11, I’ll take a proper picture of all my blocks laid out.  I’d like to set a goal to have it finished by next Wednesday.


  1. I have done a lot of quilting in my liftime and in fact, I taught it, judged quilt shows, etc. Being a perfectionist myself, I know that precision is required in piecing a quilt. It is rewarding. Love the buttons in the above post. Buttons with a story-how awesome!

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