19 November, 2019

...Or So I Thought!

With a few of my quiltiest friends I had the opportunity to go on a retreat  the weekend before last; I was eagerly looking forward to this time away. I had accepted a challenge almost a year ago from Quiltkeemosabe and I anticipated this chance to meet that challenge and  achieve my goal of having a new table topper on our kitchen table by Christmas this year!
I had admired this pattern and Quiltkeemosabe gave it to me; the gauntlet had been thrown down. My fabrics were chosen and I was ready for the two-color version as shown on the pattern front.
Anticipating the greatest part of the challenge might be a color bleed I washed the red fabric seven times until Color Catchers faded to pale and scraps of red left overnight in water no longer leached any color. I was ready (or so I thought!). 
Before we left for our retreat destination I had precut all of the strips for the diamond-shaped piecing. One of the first things that I accomplished was piecing 32 diamond blocks as shown above. I stacked them neatly beside the sewing machine for pressing after we returned from dinner on Friday night. Little did I realize that I had misaligned almost every. single. one. of these units when pinning and, on further inspection that evening, I discovered that they needed to be un-sewn, realigned, pinned and stitched all over again. That was accomplished before bedtime (or so I thought!). After a good nights' rest and a bit of breakfast I was ready to begin piecing the large hexagon. Imagine my shock when I noticed that my units were all sewn with the dark (red) diamonds placed on the top and bottom instead of on the left and right! More un-sewing. More re-sewing. It was lunchtime before I was back at square one. 
I stitched like a fiend all afternoon and had the top together by dinnertime on Saturday. Or so I thought.! As you can see, above, two of the units were placed upside down within the pieced top!
Groan. The offending units were removed and replaced. Dinner time came and went.
Yes! Finally done!! I folded up the table topper and put it away in my travel bag, I was eager to try it out on our kitchen table for size once I returned home. It appeared to lie flat (or so I thought!).
A few puckers and wrinkles responded nicely to a "time out" after being misted, squared, and pinned to the carpet to dry undisturbed and, hopefully, flatter.
Finally-- ready for quilting! This challenge was WAY MORE than I ever imagined it would be! I suggested the following epitaph to Quiltkeemosabe, it certainly applies.  
All in all, the pattern is a good one; the directions are clear although maybe not written exactly the way that I think, intuitively. I wouldn't recommend a pattern such as this in a retreat setting where there's lots of other things going on around the room; at least not for me! In the meantime, while I worked on ONE project, the following was happening; Quiltkeemosabe single-handedly happened to finish SIX quilt tops herself!!
And me? I managed to sew a few tumbler strips together to clear my frustrations before I left on Sunday morning for home. But, yes; I rose to the challenge and WILL have a new table-topper on our table this Christmas! I ordered (or so I thought!) a very pretty Garnet-colored quilting thread for the finishing touch. I received only a portion of the order, the bobbins are back-ordered. Sigh. Patience is something that I have plenty of, and one more challenge that I can rise to. And sew I wait...

Life is Good!

Up next: Spreadsheet Required



cityquilter grace said...

excellent result but i agree, retreat sewing needs to be simpler than that...bet it will get plenty of oohs and aahs at christmas!

Janet O. said...

It is very evident that you have patience. I think I would have chucked it in a box and moved on. But I am glad you were able to stick with it. What a beautiful table topper it will be for the holidays.
Quiltkeemosabee makes us all feel like slackers when we see what she accomplished!

Teresa said...

A great table topper, and even though you had a some trials making it, it will also be a reminder of your fun time at retreat. Happy Thanksgiving to you!

jude's page said...

Sounds like it was a great retreat, although with more trials for some. Loved the telling of your story.