Saturday, June 16, 2007

Flying geese & roasted duck.

First a problem, not a serious problem... but a problem nonetheless. I'd made a fair amount of progress on my quilt but as I sewed up my sashing strips, I noticed something a bit unsettling. The long columns just weren't matching up lengthwise. Actually they matched up even less than what shows here. I assumed it had to do with the seam allowance adding up - there are about twice as many geese blocks as triangles and even I can figure out that lots of seam allowances are going to take up more space than just a few seam allowances.

So then, I decided to go back and sew using a 1/2" seam rather than a 1/4" seam normally used in quilting. And the result was the difference above. Not a satisfactory solution! At that point I started getting irritated. I'd have to use a 5/8" seam or more to get it to match up. And I thought to myself... if I need to use a 5/8" allowance why the heck didn't they say to in the directions?!?!
Ummm... yeah... it then occured to me that I hadn't actually *read* the directions, I'd just taken the measurements of the blocks and charted out a pattern for myself. =( So I went back and read the directions and saw that when sewing the triangles for the sashing, one is supposed to off-set them by 1/4 inch. So that when they are sewn together they look like this:
Not like this:
Off-setting the triangle takes up about a 1/2" on each triangle, then the 1/4" seam allowance is all I need. Then when you sew the columns together you cover up that 1/4" of off-set, which gives the triangles nice sharp points that look like this:
Not flattened out like this:
So I had to seam rip the entire column, off-set the triangles and sew them back together again. This actually made them line up nicely. Amazing how directions work! The problem is, I'd already sewn together (incorrectly) 5 of the 7 strips that would be used for sashing. I've gone back and fixed one. But I'm going to be busy ripping back seams & resewing. And you thought 'frogging' was just in knitting! Oh well. Perhaps this quilt won't be done this year after all!
In other - completely nonproblematic news, my aunt and uncle from Chicago were in town today. In a classic 'small world' coincidence (which is *not* ironic btw), my aunt who is my father's sister is married to a man who grew up just outside of Portland. So my uncle comes back to see his family about every year, and tries to meet up with me while he's here. I actually get to see him a bit more often than I see my family - who live in Tennessee. Anyway... don't tell the rest of my family, but these are seriously my favorite relatives. My uncle has traveled all over the world, and my aunt is one classy lady. They took me out to dinner, and she ordered the roast duck as though, you know, one orders roast duck all the time. I ordered the almond-crusted tuna salad (with fresh strawberries!). It was reallly good! We talked about my tutoring, my uncle actually taught English in ok... either China or Pakastan (it's not that I don't know the difference between the two countries... it's just that he's traveled in both and I was drinking wine when he was telling me the stories ;) ). Anyway he said he used the model-sentence technique with great results. So I'll have to look that up and see if it's something I could use. It was really a nice visit, and I may have to plan a long stop-over in Chicago next time I visit my family.


Libby said...

Unsewing is bummer :( But the quilt is going to look awesome, so let that be your encouragement. When I have to unsew I usually end up working on something else for a while first.

Rebel said...

Libby - I have to say... you're an awfully good enabler! I did a little quilt-shop hopping this morning. ;)

michael5000 said...

When ~I~ have to unsew that much, I usually decide to give up on quilting, throw things around, and then sulk for several weeks. You are are taking it really well. Be strong.

I'd say something encouraging about your tutoring, but I'm trying to be good about letting go of all that... : )


IamSusie said...

Your flying geese look great! I think they are very challenging to do. I even have a book that is supposed to tell how to do them some sort of "easy" way, but I haven't tried it.