Monday, April 24, 2017

Sewing or Surgery??

Getting my April UFO into the finished column took a whole lot of effort. At times, it seemed as though I was doing the work of a surgeon rather than a quilter. I took some pictures as I went along, thinking that it might be worthwhile to examine the grunt work of finishing a quilt top when things haven't gone quite as smoothly as planned.

Earlier this month I pulled out this tub into which I'd stuffed the UFO that was tops on my UFO list. I really wanted to finish this! However, I recall facing some rather challenging obstacles which resulted in my abandoning my efforts. The time had come at last to face the unpleasant reality.

The problem was that I didn't know how to finish off the ends. I'd run short on the blue calico print and didn't have enough to make the end triangles for each strip of 9-patches. Cutting off the triangles would give me excess fabric, but the triangles were not big enough to fill the space.

Above is a cut-away  triangle applied to an end. You can clearly see that it was both too short on the side touching the red floral strip and it left me with no seam allowance at the point of the 9-patch. Bummer.

Students of psychology know the term 'avoidance tendencies" - well, I truly do shut down entirely rather than cope with the likes of this. I have been avoiding since October of 2015. I explained a lot of the quilt's history in this post from earlier this month. If you go back to see that post, check out how little of that blue calico remained for what I needed to do. I really had to be certain about how I used that last little bit.

The arrows in the photo above point out two problems that had to be solved in order to finish my flimsy. The purple arrow indicates that I had several spots that needed a triangle unit inserted. The pink arrow indicates too-small triangles that needed to be removed. All told, I suppose I had about 5 of each of these to correct.

Ugh. Let the surgery begin.

Above, you can see that the strips have been unsewed to a workable distance; the offending small triangle has been removed removed.

Using the small triangles, I pieced extensions onto them and re-cut larger triangles to fit the spaces.  Fortunately, the little calico is a forgiving print;  the seam lines barely show.

I like that they disappear so nicely. It made the job more agreeable knowing that the fixes wouldn't be noticeable. I have arrows pointing to the seams in the picture just above, but you still might have to click to enlarge.

Each newly-created triangle was then attached to the blocks and then trimmed to size.

A surgeon who can stitch up a patient so well that the scars are minimal earns the respect of his/her colleagues and patients; my own brand of  'surgery' passes the "eye-test," wouldn't you say? It satisfies me, for sure.

This whole process falls into the category of doing the grunt work of quilting. I really hate being bogged down by correcting mistakes like this. In this case, I knew that I really wanted to have this quilt top finished; I just love how it looks! So I was willing to do that tiresome grunt work in order to get my flimsy, at last. Yay!! I love it!

Here's another look at my finish, even though you saw it in yesterday's post. One never tires of looking at a newly finished quilty creation!

Happy Quilting, Friends!


  1. Congratulations, Dr. Jayne, on a perfectly performed surgery! Honestly, all kidding aside, your "fix" is wonderful. The finished flimsy is so lovely it makes me want to make a S9P myself.

  2. Congrats on your finish, love the colors you have chosen!


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