Before I left on my trip to Japan, I had worked out a great system for sewing together the columns for my Flying Geese quilt so they would not get out of order and seams would, for the most part, be pressed so they would nest with the next column’s blocks. It was simple chain piecing, nothing complicated, but it wove in blocks from the next column so I always had a block under my presser foot, and was effectively sewing two columns at once. I left with 5 columns of blocks sewn together, the sixth well under way, and a single pair of blocks sewn together from the 7th column. The rest of column 7 was neatly stacked next to my sewing machine, and the blocks for 8 and 9 were stacked and ordered on the floor of my bedroom. All family members had been warned that anything that got those blocks out of their ordered piles would be universally recognized by quilters everywhere as a cause for justifiable homicide.
I got home to find my blocks still in order, though the column 7 pile seemed somewhat out of place. No matter, I began sewing happily, finished columns 6 and 7, and sewed them together, only to find that somehow in my short time away, either the blocks had gotten out of order, or I had lost something of my piecing system. The blocks in the 7th column did not line up as intended. My design was completely off. I spent the next hour separating the two columns and figuring out exactly where I had gone wrong so that I could fix the mistake with minimal ripping.
Lesson 1: Even if you have a great system, before you start sewing columns or rows together, double check to make sure the columns themselves are correctly sewn!
Actually, that wasn’t Lesson 1. Lesson 1 was:
Don’t do this.
Eventually I got back on track, and I now have a recognizable quilt top. It is quite different from things I have done recently and I like it quite a bit. Dear Son is a bit less enthusiastic. “Mom, what’s with the triangles going in all over? Why is that one all by itself in the corner?” It’s okay. It’s my quilt not his, and I already have a lot of ideas for how to quilt it. I think I will call it, ‘Which Way Do I Go?’ because that is a question that has certainly been in my mind recently.