The stars are misaligned. Or perhaps I have been cursed.
I was thrilled to finish up my Sweet Sixteen quilt, very happy with how it turned out, and after a day or so of admiring it, was eager to get working on something again. I pulled out all the batiks that I have been collecting with the idea of doing a Kaffe Fassett-inspired Bordered Diamond quilt. But the weather has been getting quite hot, and the air conditioner in our living room was leaking, so I called in the repair guy. The aircon sits above a cabinet that I use to display family pictures and the like, so I needed to clear all those out for him. I did that Sunday as he was to come on Monday, which meant the kitchen peninsula, also known as my work table, was covered with ‘stuff’. So, I contented myself with petting my fabrics and arranging them in pleasing piles, and imagining how I would combine the blues and purples, and occasional reds. After all, it was only one day.
Except that it wasn’t. The appointed time came and went, I gave aircon guy a bit of leeway (1/2 an hour) since repair people are often late, then I called. He had forgotten to write our appointment in his diary and now was unable to come. Oookay. We rescheduled for the next day. The stuff was left on my
work table kitchen peninsula. Then this morning he texted me. His son is sick and he needs to take him to the doctor. He will not be able to come.
This leaves the apartment hot and stuffy, and my workspace as the repository of everything that might have gotten in the way of the elusive repairman. There’s no way I can clear a decent space for extensive cutting on the peninsula, so I decided to take a look at my Rattlesnake quilt. The paper pieced sections are done, and I figured I could sew the background fabric on one or two of them even with the limited space I have to work in.
Except that I have apparently entirely forgotten how to make these blocks. I have about 7 completed blocks, all on a red background. All square and flat. I had a dark blue fabric in the box with the paper pieced sections, so I cut background sections for two blocks. I usually put the narrow background piece on top when I piece curves, but because the center section had the seam line on the paper (which is still intact), I put that on top and very carefully stitched along the line printed line, happy to be able to make sure I would get my sharp points. Kept going on the second block. Except that the bobbin thread apparently did not want to participate in the process. There was thread in the bobbin and..who knows. I stitched almost the entire two block seams without thread…I started again. This time I did manage to stitch the pieces together…but at the end, instead of the two ends matching up nicely, I had an extra quarter or half inch that no amount of fudging would make disappear. I got out the book and re-read the instructions. Paper-pieced center goes on top to minimize stretching. I sewed on the remaining two sides following the instructions and pressed them, ends matched…and still, these are two of the most out of shape blocks I have ever made, So I am going to have to undo both of those blocks, and decide if the issue is with mis-cutting the background pieces themselves or my sewing.
Net sewing progress since Saturday: 0
Before I start sewing re-doing my blocks, though, there is another problem. The original quilt was intended to be about 36 blocks, 20 with red background, 8 with a dark background, and 8 with a lighter background. I remember thinking that I did not have enough fabrics for a scrappy background and would go with a few reds..and maybe dark blues and…greys? I remember wanting to tone down the blocks a bit. I think that originally there were some greys in the box that I stole for my Circles, Revisited quilt…What I am left with in the box where I had this project is enough of that dark blue for 2 block backgrounds, one red fabric (enough for a few blocks), and…an apple green? Was that going to be in there somewhere?! I have no idea.
Plus, when I started to lay out the pieced blocks and what might be my originally intended background fabrics….I am not at all sure this will work. I pulled out some medium greys from my stash and some dark fabrics close to the dark blue in value to see how they would look together. If you take your glasses off and squint, you can get a sense of how it might look:
What do you think? I think the greys may be too light and the blues too dark..I don’t want to undo the red blocks I have already made, so ideally something that would work with that and still give some variety and movement to the background…In the original, Karen K. Stone uses a variety of plaids, stripes and patterns, but uses the same fabrics in the background as in the rattlesnake points, which gives coherence to the quilt. But most of the fabrics I used in the rattlesnake sections are quite bright. I think you might damage your eyes looking at it! If that aircon guy doesn’t come soon, I am going to pull out all the fabrics in my stash and see if I can come up with anything that looks like it will work. Or maybe I will just put it back in the box again…