Remember Georgie Porgie? Pudding and Pie?
He stuck in his thumb and pulled out a plum and said "What a good boy am I!"
I'd been thinking along with Georgie "What a good girl am I!" But, as it turned out, I didn't have a lot to feel smug about.
In January I started a quilt for eldest daughter, Liz, who finally found a pattern she loved. Since we lived in Montana for several of her growing up years, it was apt that she choose a design - Big Sky Star quilt, from Plains & Pine, a quilter in Big Sky Country. (Since my ability to load photos on Blogger has gone up in smoke you can get some idea of what I'm making on her site.) And if you've been reading here a while you're probably rolling your eyes at mention of a new quilting project when, Lord knows, there are at least half a dozen UFOs languishing in a closet here, longing to be finished. Hush, I tell them, quit your whining, as I close that closet door. They'll be finished, all in good time. Where I come from - they say "When God made time he made plenty of it." Though I have to admit that, of late, the years are zooming by at warp speed.
Daughter Liz does have one of my earliest efforts but, so worn and faded now, I think it's only fit for her dog's bed - no offense Marty! Not to be too braggy, my quilting skills are better now than they were then, which (the braggy part) might hold the seeds of my current problem.
My stash yielded up some of the twelve different fabrics needed. For the rest I had to visit a quilt shop (oh the suffering!) I have been avoiding quilt shops in recent years, knowing that, should I live to be a hundred, I'd have ample fabric here to make a quilt per month. As any quilter knows, once you darken those doors there's no way you'll be leaving without a few yards tucked under your oxter. Addiction comes in many colors.
So. Twelve different fabrics, the problem of where to best place each one, multiple bias edges, mirror images, about a thousand points that needed to meet each other exactly - how could I go wrong?
Let me count the ways!
Starch everything, a friend said. But I hate starch. It was slow at first. I'd stitch and measure. The measurement mysteriously not being what it should be, I'd dutifully unpick my too hasty machine stitches. I even took the precaution of hand basting a few seams, then, flushed with success, stitched subsequent seams without that precautionary step. And, woe is me! Ended up groaning at my arrogance and wielding my seam ripper again. Gradually I learned how to slyly ease those (unstarched) bias edges so they'd fit precisely (more or less). Eventually, in spite of the molasses-like pace of un-stitching, I had several of the pieced diamonds stitched in rows.
So far so good.
Time to stitch the background pieces to the diamond rows. The star consists of eight wedges, two (mirror images of each other) forming a quadrant. I got one wedge beautifully finished. My feathers puffed out with pride and gladness. "Wow!" I congratulated myself, "I've got this nailed!"
I should have remembered what comes on the heels of pride. But, puffed and confident I soldiered on to the next eighth, excited at the idea of having a whole quarter finished.
All was well 'til I laid it beside the first. Alas! Something was not as it should have been. I frowned at it. Nothing changed. I muttered some magic words. Still nothing. I looked at it from another angle......and finally, enlightenment struck - mirror images! How did I not get that?? Out came the seam ripper again.
So over the last few weeks I've been eating, not just one slice of humble pie but the whole darn thing, a slice with each mistake. Normally I like pie. Apple? Strawberry? Peach? I'll take a big slice, please. But Humble pie? Not so tasty. My belly has sent repeated messages to my brain telling it to take measures to avoid any more helpings.
All mistakes notwithstanding, this is a really fun quilt to make. Same old, same old bores me. I love a new challenge. But maybe, just maybe, that sour, humble pie taste needs to linger a little while longer so I can finish the quilt without further resort to my seam ripper.
Then I'll be as smug and self satisfied as Georgie Porgie.