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.