Sunday, February 7, 2016

A Beginner's Mess - 3/29/2015

My first little project proved that no amount of theory will make up for actual practice. I'd watched videos, I'd helped Mom with layouts, I'd read plenty of books and patterns, and I knew my way around a rotary cutter. Surely I could whip up something quick and breezy, right?


Oh, this poor little scrap piece. Sashing folded in on itself, a misplaced four patch, and it's nowhere near square. What had happened?

Essentially, I over-estimated my abilities. My first day with my machine (at the quilt-in), I'd learned how to make scrappy four patches. My thought was "Oh, perfect! I'll just make up the patches, sash them, and I'll have a nice little doll top!"

How the mighty fall, right? Like I said, theory only takes you so far.  I had the correct count for how many stones and sash pieces I needed, but I missed the critical things that are needed to make a top pretty.

What I hadn't done:
  • Didn't square up my four patches so that they were guaranteed the same size.
  • Didn't keep track of my pressing. With the exception of the four patches, my seams were all over the place.
  • Didn't pin. I thought I could get away with it because the pieces were so small, but honestly, it only made the errors seem worse.
  • Didn't rest appropriately. I have a tendency to work straight through a project as much as possible, especially a small one, and that meant I didn't notice that turned four patch until it was too late.

I ended up stitching up the sides and just giving it as a basket to my dad, because there was no way I was picking it apart and trying to re-do it. Plenty of lessons were learned, and I moved on.


  1. It is still cute and much nicer than my first effort .... so just keep trying .... you know your mistakes and probably will not do them the next time

  2. At least you can analyse what you did wrong ... many quilters can not do that .... so you are ahead of the game

  3. I agree with Nonnie. You're ahead of the game knowing where your mistakes are. I know this won't stop you!

  4. Thanks ladies. I've definitely made progress since then, it was last year, but boy, it was embarrassing to look at at the time.