Friday, March 20, 2009

Fortitude Regained

Just an inkling as to what I was up to tonight.

I did not get any response to my post about the huge lapse in memory in my Hawaiian Star quilt, but I came to the final decision that I had to change the compass star pieces. Several things weighed in.

1. In the middle of the day, out of the blue, this thought came to me: "I can do this." I'm perfectly capable. No need for high-emotion antics. It's not like I'm telling myself to climb Mount Everest. It's just sewing.

2. I realized that 2 of the 4 pieces I want to fix still have the papers on them and are not sewn into the quilt yet. That made half the work "easy" so I told myself to quit bemoaning and get on with it.

3. Looking at the assembled quilt, I didn't match the points of the compass star pieces very well. So I should probably take out those seams anyway...and then I'm already half way done the work of replacing the pieces.

4. Before starting any actual ripping and re-sewing, I did a mock up of the compass star with the green fabrics and looked at it in the context of the quilt that I had already sewn together. They both were better than the blue, but the one pictured above was the better of the two. I was glad to think of a way I could step back and look at the big picture of the quilt and not just look at the little details of the small sections. I think that's what got me in trouble in the first place. (Well, that, and a faulty memory.)

So feeling brave, correct, yet humbled, I began.

First to rip out the old seam.
Wait. First check that I have the right piece. I did not want to rip apart a piece that actually had the correct fabric on it. (They're all blue right now, after all.) Then look again that I have the right piece and that all the pieces I want to keep are safely stored away from the seam ripper. Then rip out the seam.

Then cut a new piece of fabric from the green. The right green. Look again that I'm cutting the one that I actually want in the quilt. Ok. Check. The right fabric.

Now check that when I line it up to sew that I have it right side up. And fold back the paper in the real world (not just in my head) so that I can make sure the fabric is placed properly and will cut out.
The circled part is that part you have to worry about. But it falls onto the green fabric (the right green) and so all is good.

Sew the seam. I no longer have to worry about sewing with a small stitch length because the paper has been sewn over so many times that it's barely holding together any more.

Fold fabric over and iron with the little wooden iron.

And repeat.

I got the two easy pieces done, and could "dry fit" half of the compass star:
And for direct comparison, here are the previous colour combinations:
Left: original pattern design with black and blue long points.
Right: second try with two different blues.

Although I know these pictures don't show it in the context of the rest of the quilt, I hope you are as pleased as I am about the new (and hopefully final) results.

Tomorrow morning I am off to the LQS for the club meeting. We don't have much to go over as to new techniques, but we're going to meet and see where each other are at. You know, mutual admiration and encouragement. I'm planning to pack up my machine and all sundry and do some sewing there. Hopefully I will be able to get a bunch of work done. When I realized that I wasn't going to make my Mar 21 deadline, I lost some steam...until I realized I'm going home next week and really should have it done to show to my sisters. So now I have one extra week to do it, and just as much motivation to get it done.

Quilt on!

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