Saturday, August 25, 2007

Every so often I'm compelled to....................

Just remind myself how inept I am at piecing........
And just how much I really detest it!

I love to see pieced quilts, I admire the precision, the workmanship, the interaction of the different shapes and colours, the secondary patterns.

I take my hat off to people like Bonnie, Jeanne, Fiona and the rest of you who make such lovely pieced quilts.

But to me it's a real chore, a challenge, an effort. Nothing about it comes naturally.

No matter how much I follow advice about pinning, butting seams up together etc etc I seldom get the sharp crisp joins I'd like to.

So it was no surprise at all that having spent several hours the other afternoon on my Four Seasons Autumn Quilt, cutting out and stitching almost 200 1.5" HSTs that I decided 'Stuff It!!!' and moved onto something more manageable.

I know my 1/4" seams were accurate - I was sooooo careful. But could I get this sawtooth border to measure the same as the centre I wanted to stitch it to - er NO! This lot goes into the 'Stuff It In A Cupboard, Never To See The Light Of Day Again' category - unless somebody else can give them a good home!

Anyway I abandoned the sawtooth border design in exchange for a 3" wide QST border instead. I really didn't want to put a plain border on even though I was going to applique onto it - I was aiming for a mottled background in muted shades but not a solid piece of fabric.

However even with the QSTs this was not to be that simple.

I was obviously getting tired when I added the second side - note the darks together in the top LH corner

So I left it until the next morning - and merrily frogstitched and restitched away.

Only to blob on the bottom row - 'Concentrate Anne, For Goodness Sake!!!'

My stitch unpicker certainly had a bit of usage on this one. Mind you, to give me some credit, usually I would've just given up and gone to play a different game so my persistence and focus on task in the face of adversity and frustration is improving!

Anyway eventually I got it to the stage I wanted - so now onto the applique - Yeah!!! Back in my comfort zone. Hurray!!!!!
Sarah's had a terrific week this week though. As she's in the top stream at school she has taken her Maths GCSE a year early. The results were out on Thursday and both she and we were delighted that her result was a B. In addition to this one half of her Double Science was also on the results sheet and she got an A. One very happy girl! Two in the bag before the real push next year.
But to top this for her birthday this year we'd paid for her to participate in a three day Rugby course at the local club, but run by one of the big clubs - Northampton Saints. She and her team mate Abbey were the only girls amongst over 20 boys.
She's had a ball and learned lots of new things too, but the icing on the cake was to be awarded the 'Saintsman award' for the person on the course who showed most chance of making it big in the sport, becoming a Northampton Saints player in the future (although technically her gender prevents this) and who was the most focused, dedicated, helpful, cheerful and committed player in the coaches' opinion.
As you can imagine, for her, this made the exam results pale into relative insignificance.
On Friday morning she said to me 'Mum, you know I don't think that yesterday could have been any better in any way'
Happy Kids make Happy Mums!


Fiona said...

I think it's the Quilt's fault! I have gone through about 4 different versions of the outer border of mine because I thought I would do applique (definitely NOT my comfort zone). Cpongratulations to Sarah on her sporting and academic achievements!

Tazzie said...

Wonderful results from Sarah, I can understand why you're the proud and happy Mum!
Don't give up on the piecing Anne, we all have bad days with it.

Jane Weston said...

Oh Anne we all have days like that...and as for those 1.5" HST they would be tricky to work small and fiddly.
I look what you've done now and look forward to seeing the appliqué. The pieced backing will certainly give it more interest.
Congrats to Sarah..she must have really shown it to the boys to have been given that award..just shows how much she loves the sport. I still remember the picture you showed a few months ago from the paper and the look of determination in her face!

Lily said...

Anne you're such a great quilter it makes me feel good that you too have *those* days! But you didn't give up and that's the good thing - I love your little stitchery too. Your swappee will be very happee!

Way to go Sarah - what a natural talent she's turning out to have! You are so right that happy kids = happy mums!

Karol-Ann said...

Hah! I fluffed up my Ostrich with the triangles -they were meant to be QST's and I got sidetracked and did HST's. It's the triangles that's the problem!!! You perservered so well done, now to see your beautiful applique skills in action.

ps Well done Sarah! Well done Mum!

Clare said...

You and me alike. It drives me mad and I have not got the attention span to be able to cope with it. I think that is why I prefer free piecing and mucking about with big colours instead of HST's, QST's and the like.

However, I know first hand that your applique is second to none and of that I am in awe. I could never do some of the stuff that you do.

Brill news on Sarah's results. 2 down - how many more to go? Have a lovely BH weekend. I gather the sun is shining at long last.


Judith said...

Well it looks great after all.I always have the same problem with a sawtooth border.

Angie said...

Lordy, I have the exact same problem with pieced borders...they NEVER fit for me. :) Give me the applique any day, and maybe some day I'll learn how to make my borders fit. LOL

KCQuilter said...

Thank you for saying that about the unruly pieced border!!! Made my day. I always think I'm the only one who can't get those #$%^&* pieced borders to "come out right"!!!

Andrea said...

Ahh yes but your applique is beautiful ! My piecing is ok but I would rather not talk about my applique - lol ! You got there in the end anyway and it looks great so far. Many congrats to Sarah on both counts !

meggie said...

Happy is sooo good!

Carol E. said...

I love your QST border, and envy your applique skills. I don't have what it takes to do applique! So to each her own, right? Congrats on all the accomplishments of Sarah's, including winning that prize over all the boys! Tawanda!!

Sweet P said...

Practice and persistence will pay off. The first time I made an HST border with 1" HSTs I had to add a few to one side of the quilt to make it work. Sometime I'll pull out the quilt and show it.

atet said...

Oh how proud you must be of your daughter!

As for the quilt -- what you decided on in the end is great! I've had days like that with piecing, Mom is about to send me a photo of my first quilt. If had had any sense at all I would have quit right then and there. Thank goodness I have very little sense!

The Calico Cat said...

You know, Quarter square triangles are supposed to be harder than half square triangles....