Friday, January 25, 2013

The Saga of The Girl Quilt

I feel like I've been working on this quilt forever!  And, it's still not done...just the top is finished.  But since it's been such a journey I thought it deserved it's own post. 
It started one day, several weeks ago, inspired by several circumstances.  I wanted to make something with these pink and purple pieces.  I've admired the use of grey in the quilts I've seen lately and thought it would go well with the pink and purple.  I wanted to use my new Accuquilt that I received for Christmas.  I was thinking: small, simple, fast.  Things started out well.  The Accuquilt is a great toy. It was fast and accurate and I could see that it could become an addictive tool especially if the additional dies weren't so pricey.   Then came the "mistakes"....

Once I got the center part together (I used a disappearing nine patch pattern) I realized that the solid grey I had chosen was too dark.  I thought it made the piece less cheery than I wanted.  My picture taking isn't too good, but you can see in the photo that the center grey is sort of dark. So....I decided to embellish the grey with one of the 100's of decorative stitches on my new machine.  Of course, since this is a new machine, I'm unfamiliar with all the stitches so it takes quite awhile to find just the right one. Half way through I ran out of pink thread.  But, I"m resourseful, so I switch to purple and actually like having the decorative stitching in two colors. Mistake number one neutralized.

Step back, look at the quilt, place the border fabric around....not happy.  It needed more pink.  So I made the scrappy border.  I thought I was being smart and kept the border at two inches to play well with the four inch blocks. Step back, evaluate: better.

Then.....mistake number two....I decide to piece the outside border and bring in yet more pink.  At this point I'm running very low on pink and purple so some of the triangles had to be pieced.  I decide to make half square triangles and then settled on this pointed arrangement after laying out several different ones.  But why can't I get the math to work out???  Isn't everything two and four inches??  No matter what I do it seems like the pieced border won't fit correctly. After much pencil and head scratching it hits me.  When you take a nine patch block and cut it up and sew it together again to make it "disappear" you lose a half an inch on each block!  So instead of three 12 inch blocks across I had three 11 1/2 inch blocks.  So.....I add a skinny border to make the math work, but because the center is 3 blocks by 4 blocks, the border is slightly bigger on one side than the other.  Mistake number two neutralized.

Sewing along merrily again and then it hits me - mistake number 3....because my border pattern puts two 4 inch blocks together I need something divisible by eight, not four to make it all come out even.  Now I'm about to scream and throw things.  And then I remember.....flying geese.  They carry the same feel as the border, so each of the long sides has a goose to even things out. Mistake number three neutralized:
And then....for some reason I still can't figure, one of the side borders comes up short.  Like almost an inch short!  Mistake number four.  I pin and repin and repin and can't get it to work.  So out comes the seam ripper (oh wait, I was going to "unsew" not "seam rip").  I skinny up on three of the seams and liberate enough fabric to make it fit.  Mistake number four neutralized.

But, how am I going to make the corners work?  I had several ideas, but by now I'm looking for the easy way out of this mess and there in front of me were a few extra half square blocks, so the corners turned out to be:

Finally I get to add my pretty grey flowery fabric around the outside. Done. For now anyway.  Because since this quilt is much larger than I anticipated  I'm beginning to wonder if the nice fleecy pink fabric I have set aside for the backing will be big enough.

And this, my friends, is how UFOs are born.


  1. You know I'm with you! Once I get one mistake "solved" the entire quilt turns into a Challenge Quilt! But you solved them all and I like how you improvised on the flying geese! I'll guarantee you, some charity group would think nothing of what they dark grey looks like or your pieced parts :0 I kinda like that the dark and light grey make it not so bright. Great job on Keeping with it!


    1. Thanks for the encouragement. From the start I thought this quilt would be donated somewhere since there are no girls in our family. Even the dog is male. I just wanted to do something pink and girly.

  2. I love my accuquilt. But it is true it doesn't stop human error. Love the quilt top. The grey flower work well.

    1. Thanks. The accuquilt is really fun. I wish the additional shapes weren't so pricey. I seems like once you have a shape you want to make several things with it to justify the cost.

  3. Bless you, Nina - don't you think our 'mistakes' are the fun of quilting and they make your quilt unique - this one is sooooooo cute :)