Sunday, August 7, 2011

My Process. Am I a FREAK??

In the spirit of the process pledge, I thought I would share the challenges I just ran into!
I think there are (at least) 2 different kinds of quilters. Ones that do projects only with patterns, and follow every direction to the letter - and their quilts turn out perfectly! And then there are those that wing everything. They get an idea, do the math and set out to make it happen. Those quilts don't always turn out perfect, and you can generally count on struggles along the way. LOL
(as my best friend says - "I don't know why you have to do everything the HARD way!")
Yah. I don't know why either? LOL
It's in my genetic makeup, I guess! I enjoy the creative process of figuring out the puzzle. I enjoy taking an idea that might work, and turning it into something that does work! That is part of the fun for me - the challenge! (Yes, I can hear all of you shaking your heads at me. haha!) And yes, sometimes I even chastise myself, asking myself "why can't you just do something the EASY way for a change?" - answer? Cuz it's not as much fun!
Maybe it's because I followed patterns in doll making for soooo many years, and when I finally set out on my own, I was much happier, and had way better - and unique - results!? Regardless... that is how I function! :)
So I started this scrappy triangle "log cabin" quilt a while back. And I made the first 4 triangles however I felt like it. I soon realized that the angles of the triangles were not uniform. No where near it! Uh oh. lol So I started the rest with unified centers, thinking the end results would be unified. Well... um... duh... NO. Not when I was changing the widths of the strips and adding at whim! So, no biggie, right? They can always be sized down, trimmed, or added to, to make them uniform. So I made 20 blocks that way. Happy as a clam :)
Fast forward a month when I was finally able to pick this project up again. (and had forgotten that little tidbit!) I started adding sashing. Figured out how it would work best (or so i thought) and made rows. I added 6" wide sashing, and staggered the triangles - shooting for the straight bottom edges of the triangle to be lined up as my guide. OK. Seems reasonable, doesn't it? Yes... EXCEPT that each triangle had a slightly different ANGLE - so regardless of the straight sashing, none of the rows would come out the same - or neccessarily straight!! GULP. Did I realize this BEFORE I started sewing them together and trimming them down???
Oh. no. that. would. be. too. dang. easy.
Look at the picture below. First of all... one of these things is not like the other! ruh roh!
Second of all... do you see how the second row, and 4th row kind of veer up or down and are not straight??
BIG uh oh!
Yes, some seam ripping will be in order. And resewing at adjusted angles for those two rows. Now, that retarded bottom row - everything bassackwards had me stressed, knowing the whole thing would have to be ripped apart. Well.. i had planned to do 5 rows of 4. But once I got it laid out this morning, and realized (duh) that i would need to put sashing in between the rows - probably another 6" to keep it uniform - my quilt just grew in length by 30"! And it wasn't as wide as I would like. So - onto plan B! I hadn't yet sewn the last row - very thankful for that! Scooched the bottom row over by one, and add another triangle - problem solved! :D Adding the extra triangles to each row will balance everything for the width and length the way I originally had hoped for - but apparently couldn't do correct math for! :) Now, just so you know, I DID consider making each triangle into a square block - oh yes... that probably would have been the proper approach to something like this. Because as we all know , squares are EASY to work with! LOL And in hindsight, I probably should have! But... now... don't laugh at me... I thought THIS WAY WOULD BE EASIER!! LOL Remember, i see puzzles. And in my mind, this angled sashing was the simpler approach and they could "nest". (sure, if you're working with tangrams - do you know what those are? My kids played with them when they were young. They're little wooden shapes that you put together to form designs.) Soo... anyway... apparently I chose the hard road without realizing it. Again. sigh. But have no doubt - this WILL come to fruition! I am nothing, if not tenacious!! LOL!!
And... for my own curiosity, I will probably make another triangle quilt. Probably smaller, and I will do everything opposite that I did with this one. I will be less "wing it and have fun" on the triangles - i'll make them more uniform. And I will square them up into their own blocks, and put them together that way. Just to see for myself, and perfect the whole process. Why you ask? Am I writing a pattern? Nope. Am I making this for someone else? Nope. Am I nuts? Yep, probably. LOL
Mostly because I need to CONQUER it. Master it. Know in my mind, undeniably which way is best, and know that I can do it. THEN, and only then, can I move on to the next challenge!
Am I a freak of nature??? Am I the only one that does this??
Seriously. Sometimes that's how it feels, when I am surrounded by people that are pattern followers. They all look at me like I have 8 eyes or something!
Please... tell me... are you a mutual freak? Do you have to conquer your ideas?? Or are you one of the smart ones that take the easier road, and end up with perfect quilts every time? Just so ya know... I'm a little jealous if you are!
ps... does anyone know how to keep blogger from inserting these huge gaps in between paragraphs?? I haven't been able to figure that out - and it's driving me nuts!!


Courtney said...

My dear, there is way too much geometry in quilting for my feeble brain...that's why I leave it to you super women of needle and thread! Luckily, there are so many wonderful quilters out there (you included!) who can give some advice. I just like the colors--a lot!

WoolenSails said...

I never follow patterns and all my quilts are wonky, lol.
Every time I start something from a pattern, I realized I wish I had done it differently or my way, just the way my brain works;)

Usually if you get gaps, it is because of using the return key as you go. You only want one return between paragraphs or blogger will automatically add the code to break farther apart. If you are using a word program instead of writing right into blogger, that could be why.


Tammy Burks said...

Bren, As you know I don't quilt, so I don't have a clue, but why does everything HAVE to be matchy-matchy? Why can't your quilt be kinda wack-a-do? You might just be on to something.
As for blogger.....go here and this will solve all your problems....

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad I'm not the only 'freak' doing that LOL.
I look at a pattern, but then my creative (NOT) brain kicks in: I could change 'this'...and then add 'that'.........but I'll leave 'those' parts out.......
The result: Curved seems , a missing point here or there.
It's the same with recipe's, I can't follow those either, but strangely enough, THAT always (ah well, mostly)turns out great.

I decided I'm too old to change and enjoy the ride (and throw out a block or two if needed).

Dutch hugs

Anonymous said...

Oh sorry, forgot about your blogger question. I don't know why it happens, but it did this to me a couple of times as well. The only way I found to solve it was to edit the post and 'pull up' the paragraphs using the backspace button.

Jacque. said...

Okay, so...I am not like you at all...which we already know. Doesn't mean my quilts are perfect...just means I don't put as much work into making them as you do. You poor thing. {grin}