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Thinking Inside The Box

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Most quilters will at some stage make a mistake or not be happy with the way a quilt top looks.    I have a tendency not to use patterns and make things up as I go along and so it is hardly surprising that this has at times been somewhat detrimental.  I have only myself to blame but it’s nevertheless frustrating when it happens.

I gain a lot of inspiration from the quilts made by other people.  Sometime ago I saw a beautiful log cabin patchwork someone else had quilted.  One side of each block was in varying shades of blue and the other in muted creams and off whites.  The end result was magnificent.  Foolishly I thought I could create something similar.  That was my first mistake.

I made the decision to use just two types of fabric, one patterned and a solid.  Cutting the fabric was straightforward.  The main problem was the configuration of the centre piece.  Instead of laying the unsewn pieces of a few blocks out and checking that I was happy with the appearance I raced ahead and started sewing.   That was my second mistake.  With the benefit of hindsight I now realise that I had doubts about the centrepiece early on but dismissed my concerns in my eagerness to start sewing.

Only after I had not only sewn all the pieces into blocks but had also sewn all the blocks together did I finally admit to myself that the centre pieces didn’t look right and no matter how many times I looked at the quilt my eyes were immediately drawn to the central pieces which spoilt the entire appearance.  At one point I even thought that I could get away with saying that it was a ‘modern’ take on a log cabin but instead admitted that I’d got it wrong.  Unfortunately I didn’t take a ‘before’ photograph and only have pictures of the end result.

I needed to find a solution and whether it has worked or not is a matter of opinion.   My solution was, rather than spending an eternity unpicking the entire quilt top, I chose a relatively neutral coloured fabric and machine appliqued a new centre piece into every block.  This was time-consuming but still preferable to the demoralising prospect of unpicking an entire quilt top.  Perhaps I took the lazy option and I’m still not sure whether it has worked but you will have to take my word for it, the appearance now is much, much better than it was before.

 

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