Saturday, March 15, 2008

Weird and Funky Butt-Ugly Quilt Block of the Month

Back in the Fall I decided to learn how to quilt. I took a machine piecing class and made a couple Easy Lap Quilts from Bend the Rules Sewing for myself and my family for Christmas.

My local quilt shop does a beginners Block of the Month Club. I saw it as a way for me to learn some piecing techniques, keep up the quilting momentum, meet other new quilters(and some experienced ones) and improve at quilting. I paid a ridiculously low price to join(10 bucks or something) and I get a quilt block kit each month. As long as I complete my quilt block and bring it to the monthly meetings, I get a new block kit and instructions on how to complete that block at no additional charge. I do pay an extra 2 bucks per month for the Irish Chain setting block kits, which brings the grand total t0 34 bucks for a queen sized quilt top.

I had an entire month to finish my block for Block of the Month. Did I? No. C'mon ya'll. You know me better than that! I waited until the last possible minute to start. The meeting was at 2p.m. today I started at 11:00 a.m. today. I thought I'd get it done in plenty of time, even have time to run by Walgreens and grab some moisturizer and new lipstick beforehand. HA!

The first cut I made was a good 1/2" too short. I was supposed to cut 4 - 4.5 inch blocks. I saw 4 and got scissor happy. So I immediately panicked because I knew there was no fabric in my stash that will go with the Civil War repros that are in my kits. I used CW fabricsfor Shea's Christmas quilt but didn't have any of that left over.

The fabrics I normally buy tend to buy look like this:or thisor this
Not exactly Civil War-ish, huh? After 30 minutes of digging around and trying to find something that would match I came across the fabric on the left(the one on the right is what I was supposed to have used). It doesn't really match but it does go with the tones in some of the prints that are in the Irish Chain kits, which I have yet to begin. I had no choice but to use it, lest I go to BOTM club empty handed and pay $5.00 for not getting my block done. Oh, the shame and humiliation! So I proceeded with my non-matchy fabric.Everything went downhill from there. I tried two other fabrics, made a couple triangle blocks thinking that would help, it didn't. My seams are nowhere near 1/4 inch, I cut another piece too short and ended up piecing my pieces back together. Nothing matches's just a mess. This is what I get for getting in a hurry instead of planning ahead and taking my time, a weird and funky, not to mention butt-ugly quilt block. BOTM started at 2:00; I finished this ugliness at 1:45. Next time, I'll complete it before the day of the club meeting. Lesson Learned.

I decided to make one of the March blocks tonight so I didn't run into the "I've messed up w/fabric and don't have time to get to the quilt shop before my block is due" dilemma. It did go much better and turned out much prettier but somehow, I don't know how, it's 1/4" too short all the way around. Aaaarrgh! Those of you who are quilty...would it hurt anything to leave it 1/4" short? Can I fudge when I put the blocks together and make it work or should I just re-do the outer border?

Whew. I'm worn out from all this bad quilting. I am hopeful that it'll all work out in the end when the whole thing is together and I'm not focusing on individual pieces.

Tomorrow I'm going to attempt to finish up a shirt pattern that I've been working on. I thought it was going to be supercute when I bought it. Not so much. Can you say mu-mu? Can you say Two-Ton Sally? Tune in later for the rundown.


Anonymous said...

OMG !!!! What a day you have had!!
I don't think it looks that ugly.
Love the pin-wheel one. So perfect, so pretty. As for the 1/4". I don't know? What til the end I would say.
Good luck with the shirt. I like it. Love the dark band around the top.
Remember - Measure twice, Cut once.
Am I sounding like a mother now?
Catch up through the week.....
Quilting hugs to you, Fiona xx

Misty said...

i agree, don't think the first one looks that bad! and i love the colors in the 2nd! are all the blocks that you get each month going to eventually be one quilt (or rephrasing, are all the blocks meant to be pieced together at the end?). from my one (still unfinished) block experience, i can't tell about the 1/4" difference, but i do know the lady who taught me to quilt would say yes it matters!
also, i didn't realize that meshellyn had already tagged you for that meme! oops!
and last (but not least) my son's name is shea, so my heart gave a little pitter patter that your brother's name is shea as well!! yay!

Anonymous said...

"I finished this ugliness..."
Girl, there is no ugliness here!
You're just used to much different color combos. It looks good to me. Of course, my quilts pucker so much they look like comforters! :-)
I think you did a good job.

Meshellyn said...

Cute quilt block, even with the different fabric! I haven't quilted in a long time, but really enjoy it. Actually I really enjoy the piecing part of quilting and then everything from there is no fun to me. You have inspired me to break out the sewing machine sometime, maybe I'll finish the baby quilt I started a few years back!