12 Nov

Uh oh…

I feel like such an idiot.

I was so proud of myself for using up so many scraps. For taking Kathy’s advice and taking the time to sew strips in light medium and dark sets. For taking Johnnie’s advice and using a smaller stitch length so the strips wouldn’t fall apart on the edges when cut into diamonds. For pressing all my seams open and cutting the strip sets into diamonds without stretching them. For taking the time to mark the corners. For sewing the diamonds together so carefully. For pinning every diamond in each row so the points all matched. It was really looking good — and wasn’t nearly as scary as I had thought it would be (I have a fear of a poofy middle from fabric distortion). Until I finished two star points and noticed something didn’t look quite right.

Not 90°

Do you see it? That angle is NOT 90°. I traced a nice little template out of Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine’s issue with a special feature on Lone Star quilts because I didn’t trust myself, especially not with remembering which lines on my rotary ruler to align everything to when cutting the diamonds.

What I didn’t do was double check that QNM had it right. I read the instructions again. If I were to “speed cut” diamonds with my rotary cutter and ruler and solid fabrics, I’d cut a strip of the appropriate fabric the width from one side of the diamond to the parallel side. Then I would use the lines on my ruler to help me cross-cut the strip at a 45° angle and repeat as necessary to make the desired number of diamonds. Since my diamonds matched my template and my template matched the magazine, I put my ruler on the magazine. Guess what? The sides of the diamonds are parallel, but that skinny angle? Not 45°.

At first I thought, “OK, I’ll just use geometry and add up all the angles to figure out the angles needed for the background triangles and I’ll just have a Lone Star quilt with broader triangles on the sides.” That takes care of the outer ends, but what about the points that meet in the middle? I thought a little longer. Geometry tells me that circles are 360°. Eight diamonds who’s skinny points are 45° angles will sew together into a nice, flat circle because 8 x 45 = 360. Eight diamonds who’s skinny points are not 45° will NOT sew into a nice, flat circle. Crap.

I think I’m going to have to start this project over again.

Without the pile of scraps.

Without the weekend in Schollbrunn.

20 thoughts on “Uh oh…

  1. This sounds like an opportunity to be really, really creative, like we all know you can be (and always are!). Slap some strips on the edges of the inside points, then trim the whole diamond so that the inside angle is right, then sew ’em together. You might get a nice star-burst-looking thing in the middle! You could do it in various different light colored strips, and it really would look like a star in the middle.

    I hate it when stuff like this happens, especially when we depend on magazines and patterns to print things correctly. But you’ll figure it out, because you ARE a creativity goddess! Good luck, and let us know what you do, of course!

  2. Oh this is awful. What a terrible feeling. You must set this project aside for now and just move on. I suspect a perfect solution (like Nadine’s) will come to you when the time is right. Still beautiful though and so much potential. Don’t fret too much.

  3. My recommendation: 1. Get hold of a copy of Liberated Quiltmaking by Gwen Marston. (I love this book.) 2. Take a good look at the quilt on p. 10 (plate 1), to realign your eye. 3. Read the “Significant Concepts” section through the “Designing from Mistakes” section (pp. 9-13), to remind yourself what’s important. 4. Take your diamonds in the direction they want to go.

    It’s not going to be the quilt you envisioned, but you’re going to love it anyway (and maybe better). I’m looking forward to seeing it!

  4. I know by the time you read this, you will have created a wonderful solution for this problem. I have kicked myself around the yard more than once for trusting a pattern, so I know how you are feeling. I really like the activity in your star, it has a lot of bounce and movement, kids jumping on beds perhaps? Wishing you luck and thank you for the wonderful postcard. A little something is going to be winging it’s way to you before the holidays (if I ever get my act together). Cheers.

  5. It looks like the angle is bigger than 45 degrees so can’t you just trim the whole big diamond into the proper shape? It is so busy I doubt that anyone would notice it.

  6. It looks so beautiful and you had come such a long way! You are fortunate that you are so talented that it was the patterns fault and not your own. At least you can be mad at them and not at yourself. I will be interested to see how you solve this. As the other comments have said – we are all confident in your creative abilities to turn this into something even better than it was originally intended!

  7. Ouch is right! You would think you could depend on QML for something like that.

    Just wanted to tell you that I saw your quilt Enchanted Forest in Chicago this weekend, and I loved it.

  8. I’m with those who said go with it. When I look at the layout from the post on the retreat, it looks as if you could get a nice sparkly star there in the middle, with a little math configuration, and the outside part will just be what it is. Go for it! You can still make something beautiful!

  9. Oh no! How horrific especially after all that work you put it. You will come up with a solution, I’m sure. What you’ve already done is too beautiful to waste!

  10. okay, this is me not understanding math or geometry, but I still think you could make this work. “Just” cut a different size triangle there for the outsides – one with whatever degree of angle you need. and if you need to add some kind of dark fabric towards the center you’d get a gorgeous dark star in the middle.

    or play with it as Meg suggests. You can come visit me and read my copy of Liberated Quiltmaking. Whatever you do, don’t throw it out. play with it when you’re not frustrated. It IS beautiful.

  11. I have to go with the “play with it and make it work” crowd. I feel your pain, I really do — but something with that much work in it — um, well, it shouldn’t be abandoned totally. I like Tonay R’s suggestion — it could make a really interesting design option. The question is — how far off of the 45 degree mark are you and would the pieces be too skinny to make it work?

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