I enlisted Craig's help this morning to try to get better photos of a quilt top that I revised this week. The hurried photos on the floor might be a wee bit better for seeing the prints, but I'm drawn to the strange rockstar aura of this shot. Don't mind the man behind the curtain?
As it turns out, I'm a bit of a revisionist. I'd rather take the same thing apart three times than live with something that's not quite right. That was the case with this quilt top. I'm a very lucky girl, you see. I'm part of a small Australian quilt bee. Each of the members has quite an eye for fabric, and they know how to pair them to get the most out of them. For my month many many moons ago, I requested Rocky Mountain Puzzle blocks out of the Japanese Patchwork 163 book (now in stock in French). The blocks that arrived from Belinda, Leah, Jeannette, Melanie, Lorena, Kylie, and Cherry were even better than I'd hoped for.
I hurriedly put them together using a pink, yellow and grey 2" sashing which frankly left the blocks looking flat. I quickly took them apart and decided sans sashing was the way to go. It looked ok, but I felt something was missing. The blocks didn't have room to breathe. When they first arrived, the blocks individually shined. Together they looked like a concentrated lump. I decided they needed breathing space. I took them apart and tried a faint off white thin sashing. It was a wee bit better, but clearly I hadn't been won over. The quilt top sat on my shelf since March waiting to progress to the next stage.
I pulled it out again last week after visiting a friend in the bee. It still felt claustrophobic to me. I felt a wee bit squeezed by the blocks. I wanted them to have room to move. So I grabbed the seam ripper for the third time and vowed to start anew.
As luck would have it, the faint pindot that I picked up this weekend was just the ticket. (second from the bottom). It worked perfectly with the brighter quiet prints used in the background of my blocks. I decided to go bold with 3" finished sashing and a wide border. I fluked into perfect cornerstones with Jenn Ski's Mod Century fabric.
I'm pretty sure the saying doesn't go fourth time lucky, but it worked for me. I really love this patchwork top now. Before, I felt underwhelmed. I knew that I hadn't done the blocks justice. The girls all made amazing things, and I hadn't held up my end of the bargain. Now I feel good about it. All the effort was worth it in the end.
I'm not one to be doling out lessons, but if I were I'd offer the following advice: Try again. Give it another go. You might just make something incredible. Continue reading →