Keeping It Real – February Edition

Well, this was supposed to be in the blog post where I updated you on the significant progress made on my Jan-Mar UFO project.  Yeah, that and my unicorn farm.

It’s been a bad week-  working lots of hours, my laptop died (it had been limping along for a LONG time), I had several conflicting personal deadlines and of course, I had my UFO goal for the month of January looming.  I had expected to be much farther along on this project by now and was feeling the pressure.

So in spite of previous experience that SHOULD have told me NOT to do this  (those little voices in your head are sometimes worth listening to, you know), I went downstairs to the basement studio very late one evening determined to trim the nine blocks to size. 

And before you ask (with pity in your eyes and horror over the massacre to come), yes I looked in Elly’s book to confirm size.  Yes, I double-checked my ruler prior to cutting.  And yes, I abstained from hard liquor and mind-altering drugs before going to the basement (although it was tempting afterwards). 

So I trimmed the first block:

Ellie block 1

Notice anything?   Okay, I know these are really poor pictures (yet another result of this week), but let me point out the seam allowance.  A little skimpy, right?   Of course any sane quilter would have looked at this and stopped in their tracks.  

Me?   Oh no, I just plowed along and pulled the next block to trim.  As I trimmed the second block in my sleep-deprived and Bonnie-Hunter-quilt-cam-listening distracted state, from a distance I noticed these seam allowances were REALLY small.

In other words, non-existent.

Ellie block 2-1

I bent over to take a closer look and saw this:

Ellie block 2-2

The caption on this photo should read: “You can’t fix stupid.”

So I carefully laid down the rotary cutter, stepped away from the cutting table and went back upstairs to bed. I was in denial busy the rest of the week, but yesterday it was time to accept what I’d done with grace. 

So I considered taking the easy route and making these two blocks into pillows- or maybe matting and framing them. And pretending like that was my plan all along- anything but admit to the world at large that in a moment of stubbornness I trimmed the blocks too small and ruined them.

But… I’m all about real. In my dealings with work, family and yes, even quilts (driver’s license weight information is off the table). So to maintain my integrity and to honor all those other quilters from history who’ve done the same, I’m going to add back the dang strips that I cut off. I’ll have to probably unsew part of the applique to get the strip on, them re-applique the affected parts back on. And it will probably be painfully obvious that I did so in the finished quilt.

Maybe in a hundred years some other quilter will be looking at my fix and consider it charming. And with her own quilty mistakes, feel better for being part of the larger community of quilters who “keep it real” every day🙂

Oh and the other seven blocks? They’re whispering to each other fearfully on the corner of the cutting table; I can’t hear what they’re saying but it sounds like they’re trying to trade places with the Oct-Dec UFO!

2 thoughts on “Keeping It Real – February Edition

  1. To the moments when our inner voice should say, “put the rotary cutter down and step away from the cutting mat slowly”. My moment was when I was trimming a finished quilt before binding – my fix zigzag the sliced edge back on and do a double binding (flanged binding). What about using those blocks on the back?

    • Toni, I share your pain, lol. And you’re right- maybe I should rethink the whole thing. There’s enough of a seam allowance that I could (carefully) turn the raw edge under and applique the block to the back. I’ll have to ponder that approach a bit. I was just so dang determined to finish this 10 year UFO that I let frustration cloud my thinking after the trimming debacle.

      So now I have something positive to think about- thanks for the idea!


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