Friday, June 14, 2013

There's always hope....

When it comes to quilting, things don't always turn out the way they were originally envisioned. Even after all the blog-land inspiration and the mountains of book and pattern referencing and the zombie like state quilters take on whilst their thoughts wander because they're in the 'I've got this idea in my head' zone. Which is then followed by the 'play around block' which accounts for a bit of sewing energy and lots of experimental fabric play. Sometimes that can even lead to the full piecing stage. I've also been known to get to the quilting stage and still manage to birth a complete disaster. This accounts for the numerous 'problem children', at varying stages that live in my quilt cupboard.
Don't get me wrong...there are lots of positives but sometimes things don't always go to plan and well....this story WAS one of the negatives.
I fell hopelessly in love with Denyse Schmidt's Hope Valley as soon as it was released. It was almost a fever having been at the complete outer of her earlier Flea Market Fancy and Katie Jump Rope releases and spending way more than I should have to acquire whatever I could because I was suffering from acute HAVE TO HAVE fabric addiction. (I'm still debating about writing a thesis on the buyer behaviour of fabric consumers who are at the tail-end of a popular release but that's another post...). So, because of my past DS fabric purchase indiscretions, I maintained a modicum of restraint and purchased just a fat 1/4 only of each of the Hope Valley range.
Before cutting, I scoured every book I owned and numerous flickr images for the perfect pattern and settled on half square triangles set in Kona Ash....AKA Kaffe Fassett 'Simple Shapes, Spectacular Quilts' - Clay Tiles  or Indigo Points.

However, in my haste to produce the perfect quilt using the perfect fabric, I omitted the trimming stage. I was an impatient newbie on a steep learning curve to completion and I learnt a very big lesson and that is .....don't cut corners. Or should I say, do cut corners and do trim!
So the short of all this is that what I had made was a disaster. My seams were disgusting, nothing aligned, my corners were lumpy bumpy and my fabric investment that I carefully cut from  premium priced fabric was on the pile of shame, thrown to the back of the cupboard.
I learnt that lesson over and over after that attempt. Every block I made that was trimmed made a beautiful quilt. Every one that was not trimmed, didn't. Where is this going? Well, I pulled that precious Hope Valley conglomeration from the back of the cupboard (which is sounding more and more like Narnia over the years) and pulled it apart. I sat on the couch one night and stripped it back  from 16 unit blocks... to single 1/2 square triangles.
Now back to basics, I re-made the concept. It's a bit like starting afresh but with a head start! This time I sashed the poorly made 1/2 square triangles with 2.5" strips and voila a better square than before which made trimming spectacularly simple.
I've only used a small portion of the previous 1/2 square triangle shamozzle, edged it in my remaining Kona Ash (of slightly different die-lots) and re-built it into quite a lovely cot sized quilt of 40" x 50" in the style of Alison from Cluck Cluck Sew (Modern Quilts from the Blogosphere).
Now the possibilities of much improved quilts for the remaining blocks are endless.
This version is backed with more Hope Valley, Diamond Dandy in Fiesta and the binding is the Canyon Stripe in Piney Woods.
And speaking of birthing a round-about fashion, my baby is 12 today. Where has that time gone? Needless to say, he is made from the perfect pattern and continues to amaze us all! Happy B-day L!
Another wonderful finish it up Friday to link!


  1. I'm sorry for your frustrating journey but the end product is really spectacular!

  2. Absolutely beautiful quilt! I really like the different dye lots...makes the quilt much more interesting to me. (Before reading, I thought it was intentional, sort of a low-volume thing.)

  3. What a great design you've made of your triangles! I'm totally inspired! Thanks for sharing how you got to this beautiful result!

  4. What a great save! I love it!!!
    esthersipatchandquilt at yahoo com
    ipatchandquilt dot wordpress dot com

  5. Live and learn, but this sure turned out lovely!

  6. Your quilt looks fabulous!! :o)

  7. Love it! Isn't creativity a journey?