Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Bee Horror Story

{or Quilty Math gone wrong}
Halloween nears and, just in time, I have a horror story for you.

This fear lurks in the minds of all quilters participating in Bees.

A lovely, large stack of Modern Meadow fat eighths arrived from Liz for One Block Over.  She wants a quilt for her bed with non-wonky square in square blocks.  We were free to do the squares as we wished - final size 12.5"

I sat with the stacks and came up with a couple fun block plans then spent an enjoyable afternoon of preschool time creating.  One done - onto the next.

For the second block I choose to go with a big, thick square of the happy orange and aqua field.  It was best framed with a golden fabric.  I pre-cut (the music just turned to a minor key) the golden strips just a tad large.  I like to construct blocks 1/4" or so large and then trim square to the perfect size whenever possible.  

I make the large orange portion, then at the last minute decided that it needed to be trimmed down just a tad - the scale seemed kind of off relative to the solid center.   Just a half inch all around.  (are you screaming, no no DON'T go into the basement alone!)

I join the first two sides of the golden outer ring, iron, and then check the length the final two strips before adding them.  I  measure the near-complete block, expecting something around 13" for the last strips - and to my horror it's only 12"!  
I measured a couple more times as I just didn't believe the number.  Then I look over at the last two strips, that I ALREADY CUT, as well as the very small uncut piece, and realize...

I cut up somebody's fabric and I did it wrong!  
That tiny, last minute trim took off my missing 1".  I don't have enough left to fix the problem and I don't have any in my stash. 
Can you hear the horror music and screams?  Because I sure did!

I considered the pieces I had not yet used that Liz sent, but I was married to the block.  I stared at the wrong sized block and thought over options for quite a while.  But it just wasn't going to look right with anything else added in.  Since it is my second block for her, I decided to sew the final two pieces on, and square it up at 12".  The ideal would have been to unpick the first two, recut four new edges just a bit larger.  I'll let Liz decide how she prefers to fix the block size.

I may be a tad shaky when I next need to trim fabric sent to me.  And will certainly NOT chop it all up ahead of construction.   


Goddess in Progress said...

HAHAHAHA!!! I have totally done the same thing. Thought I was being SOOO clever, and ended up 1/2" off or something. So frustrating!

No worries, we'll make it work. I love both blocks, whatever their dimensions. ;-)

Hollie said...

I have soooooo been there! But both of your blocks look beautiful.

Karen said...

BTDT- esp when I think I've measured everything perfectly (and I have, but didn't account for the seam allowance *maybe* being a tad over 1/4")!

Aunt Spicy said...

Well the final result is beautiful!

Leslie said...

oh my goodness. i cringed all the way through this post. i am so sorry. this is probably my biggest fear if i am using someone elses fabric;

Dee said...

which is why I try to avoid that "pit of the stomach" churning and internal screaming and guilt with making a test block. eeks. nothing scarier than playing for real with someone else's fabric!

thanks for the laugh and we still love you anyway!

Purple Quilter Queen said...

You crack me up! I love how it turned out anyway! Jenn

Julie @ Jaybird Quilts said...

welcome to the club.. we have all done it at one time or another!! & the block still is beautiful!

erica said...

Oh my goodness!I have nightmares about this sort of thing! Your blocks are wonderful, angela. I'm sure the recipient will be able to fix the sizing without trouble. thanks for sharing :)