Sunday, May 16, 2010

Rookie Mistake ...

Oh ... that's right ... I am a rookie ...

One of the  challenges in teaching yourself how to quilt via looking at photos on Flickr is that you don't learn the tricks that make quilting a little easier ... you don't know what you don't know ...

For example ... chain stitching is a new one that I have recently learned.  Earlier this week I posted a photo of the start of my queen size quilt.  For that 25-square block, I laid out all the pieces to make sure I had variety and no 2 patterns too close to each other.  Then I sewed two blocks together, got up and ironed and picked up the next block, then sewed the next block to the row, got up and ironed ... well ... you get the picture.

Last night ... I had the brilliant idea that I could chain stitch a series of 2-square combos (what I termed a diad), ensuring that I had different pattern pieces in each of those diads, I could later lay the diads out into a larger block & play pattern police. 

For those of you who have been doing this for awhile ... your response is "Duh!!!".

Patting myself on the back for my new-found brilliance, I sewed up a storm ... then worked my way over for an ironing marathon (and a big smile from John as he got to turn down the volume on the TV since the machine wouldn't be operating for a few minutes).  This is when I discovered the rookie mistake ... direction matters ... 

As I ironed, I placed each diad in a neat little stack ... until I got to my fourth diad.  And I couldn't stack it ... no matter which way I turned it, it was the wrong direction !!!  (see top right diad in the photo).

Out of the 20 diads I stitched ... I did 17 of them WRONG ...  who would have thought ?!?!?

Now in a perfect world, I would tear out the 3 and switch directions ... well, in the real world I live in, I already have a block of 25 squares completed in the "right" direction. 

So ... I will be spending some quality time the seam ripper today.


  1. oh that sucks! I've made many really dumb mistakes too! And I hate ripping out seams! So I feel your pain! Good luck and just know that when you are done, it's going to look amazing!!

  2. LOL at the whole of that. I think we should all do regular "rookie mistake" posts - they are much more fun to read than the posts where people make something fabulous and nothing went wrong!

  3. Oh, that's so frustrating.

    And, sadly, not always a rookie mistake. Sometimes it's a I'm-just-sewing-not-thinking mistake. At least, that's my theory when I end up with a pile of perfectly done blocks, and a couple of backwards ones, even though I've done it before and know better. *blush*

  4. I can relate! I found that ripping out seams is a nice way to spend some time on the couch while watching TV. Believe me .... I've had LOTS of practice!

  5. Yep - I've done that! Heaps of times. But you do learn and I bet you won't do that mistake again, only another LOL!!

    So, you see. Many, many people have these learning moments. I sometimes think that I have sooo much to learn and so little time.

  6. Oh no... I'm two and a half years late in posting this comment, but I just found your blog last week! Anyway, as soon as I saw the mistake picture, I thought, "don't tear anything out, just rotate it 90 degrees!"

    I'm not sure how you were assembling the quilt, but it looks like you wanted to attach the long sides of the diads to the main part of the quilt, forming a new single-block row. If you had turned them so that the short side of the diad had joined the main part instead, they would have been the right way. You would have been adding a double-height row of the 'mistake' diads, making them correct with no seam ripping. You would have had to rethink your arrangement of squares a bit, but in a random-ish design it would work.

    I know this comment is coming way too late to help you, but maybe it will save someone else the heartache of undoing a mistake that doesn't have to be a mistake.

    Anyway, I love your quilts enough that I made it this far back in your blog... keep up the beautiful work!

  7. Jennifer -- had a big chuckle tonight when I read your comment ... even 2 years later, not sure I realized that I just needed to rotate ;-). Thanks so much and thanks for the lovely compliment!


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