Try, try again
I’d love to pretend that I’ve been too busy quilting over the past 4 months to blog frequently, but in reality, a combination of distraction, self-doubt and procrastination has hindered my progress. Analysis paralysis, in a nutshell.
I’ve finished the half-square triangle quilt top, but that project is resting for a few reasons:
1. I didn’t know what to do for the backing, which is too wide (48″) to use a normal-width fabric (42-44″).
2. After deciding not to do anything fancy, but just run a vertical seam down the middle, I ended up buying backing fabric, but not enough. When I went back to the fabric store, they’d run out. Rookie mistake! I ended up ordering online — CherryBFabrics (via Etsy) had charcoal grey peppered cotton in stock. Yay!
3. I wanted to redo some of the points on the quilt top, since my corner-matching was woeful (to say the least). A few dozen corrections later, and it’s still not much better than it was. Failure’s hard! But I found awesome tips online that I’m going to try next time — using positioning pins and basting stitches. Why didn’t I think of that?!
4. I didn’t iron the seams well on the quilt top, so they’re facing all different directions and some joins are quite bulky in places. I’m not sure how to quilt around them. So I wait… and wait… hoping the answer will come to me in a dream. (It hasn’t.)
5. There’s nowhere in the house to take a nice picture of the whole quilt top!
So instead of trying to figure any of that out, I started on a new quilt.
I took inspiration from the ‘Whisper’ quilt in Mary Fons’ Make + Love Quilts, which features rows and rows of equilateral triangles in whites and creams. Yep, more triangles. I need to practice, practice, practice.
Since (at the time) Christmas was only a few months away, and I was feeling optimistic, I settled on a series of red festive fabrics, and got cutting.
I ended up with 8 different fabrics, and cut loads of equilateral triangles — so many I lost count…
I’m going to alternate the reds with Robert Kaufman’s Kona Cotton in Oyster. Which means cutting around 250 or so triangles of that too. Once again, I bought too little fabric, and had to go back to GJ’s to buy more… without knowing what colour I’d bought the first time. I’m learning so many important lessons from each quilt I make….
So — the quilt will be 18 rows of 12 triangles across, measuring approximately 54″ x 72″ when it’s done. (No idea how I’ll do the backing on this one either.) I’ve planned out the 18 rows of reds, and have paired and sewn each red to a white (aka oyster). Now I need to iron all the seams in the right direction, and start piecing together the pairs. And then the rows. And then figure out the backing. And quilting. And binding.
Christmas is 46 days away. No rush!
ps. I’m going to keep ‘Try, Try Again’ in mind more from now on.
I just saw your dilemma on the width of the quilt backing, and being short on fabric. WAY TOO LATE I know, but I just found out about piecing a back on the diagonal. Essentially you increase the width of the fabric by cutting the entire length diagonally, then slide one side up until you get the needed width, and carefully sew the seam. I don’t recall the name of the guy that came up with it but I’m sure a quick Google search would get you there. And he has a formula for the math. I love the idea but haven’t tried it yet!
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Not too late, as I STILL haven’t finished this one! It’s buried deep in the WIP now 🙂 I’ve heard of the diagonal piecing method and I think I’ll try it (if I can find a flat space big enough to make the long straight diagonal cut!). I pinned this tutorial on Pinterest in anticipation of trying it one day: http://www.multi-patch.com/html/fabric_calc.php