Monday, May 07, 2007

Not All Enjoyment, All the Time

My mini-group met last week for the first time since January. It was terrific to see everyone. And the Show and Tell! Knock your socks off!

Su suggested a block for the next mini-group challenge. She had several samples made up and passed out the patterns. She didn't know the name of it but said she got it off the internet and thought it would be fun to make as a group. I was excited to try it. It had been a long time since our mini-group did a group project. We agreed to make blocks from *bright* colors. I was teased about having to go and buy fabrics for this project. But I said, "Oh I have brights, I just don't know how to use them!"

Two days later I excitedly pulled lime green, tangerine, plum and hot pink from my stash in anticipation of the 12 blocks I'd been asked to make by the next meeting. The pattern is one of those where you stitch, cut, flip, stitch and cut again. These types of patterns *challenge* my right brain thinking because there isn't the same step by step satisfaction that comes from traditional piecing. This method gives you the ah-ha! satisfaction at the very end... if at all.

Step one: I was asked to piece two six inch nine patch blocks, one 'X' and one 'O'. That part went fine. Then stitch them into a Square within a Square block. When I went to cut out the triangles for the Square within a Square, I sliced through one of the Nine Patch blocks I had accidentally left under the fabric being cut. Mistake one.

Step two: Once I re-made the Nine Patchs and got them both sewn into the Square within a Square I was asked to rotary cut vertically through the middle of each block and swap the right half of the left block with the right half of the right block. I rotary cut through the two blocks *horizontally* instead. Mistake two.

Step three: Once I re-made the Nine Patch blocks, set them into Square within a Square blocks, cut them *vertically* through the middle this time I was asked to re-pair (repair??) the cut halves and sew. Then cut through these new blocks on the horizontal. I cut them on the *vertical* !! Mistake three: ARGGGHHH!!! At this point I scooped the mess up and threw it to the side. DH in the other room heard me yelling, "What happened?" I was stomping up and down. "I don't *care* if this is a mini-group challenge! I'm not *doing* this block! Not now! NOT EVER!" He was supportive and understanding. -- Smart man. :D

I had been looking forward to this sewing session for days. It was Friday night at 9:30... that might've been the problem. I moved over to my 16 patch blocks and enjoyed some therapeutic sewing. Frank had said, "Well if you cut them the wrong way both ways, might it work anyway?" So I salvaged the blocks from the trash, and paired them and sewed them. They didn't look too bad.

I was glad to've *completed* them, but I moved on. I thought they were reversed and therefore I decided not to make any more.

As things sometimes happen in Blogland, about a week later Elaine commented on my blog and as a result I visited hers. It turns out it was her blog that gave Su the idea for this block. I found out the name of this pattern is Nine Patch Puzzle and I got to see the pictures in color.

Well will you look at that! My blocks are the same as hers. So if you make the same mistakes as I did... you'll get the same blocks as Elaine. Frank was clever to suggest that two wrongs might make a right. But I'm still not enamored of this sew, cut and sew again method. It drives me squirrely! No offense intended Elaine. :D


Simonetta said...

I like a lot these blocks! You are good indeed :))))

Elaine Adair said...

Hey, it's me, Elaine! Glad you can make something of these.

Some of my blocks were MORE mistakes, and I had cut ... trying to remember ... instead of vertical and horizontal, I cut diagonally. Guess what - they make a kind of BAR quilt!

Have fun.

Su Bee said...

ROFL -- that's why it's called a CHALLANGE block, hee hee. Great job tho!

Elaine Adair said...

Hi, it's me, Elaine, again! Funny, I had forgotten you had made these blocks and that I had commented. But I scrolled down farther to see your broomstick skirt, and guess what ... I have that same skirt! Funny. 8-)