Friday, February 20, 2009

A Question of Y-Seams

I mentioned earlier that I am doing some experimenting with quilt blocks.  I have been collecting block patterns for a very long time and decided to try out a few - just to see what different colors and fabrics can do.  Since I am also making the "back" side of my TIF pieces so they can be bound in a book, I thought I'd combine the two into one project.

bydaisySo, some of the block patterns I have are from the 1930's when patterns were published in the newspaper.  I acquired this booklet by "Daisy" at a yard sale and have been trying to figure out how to piece some of these blocks.  'Cause the newspaper didn't print directions!  I guess if you were a quilter you were expected to know how to put the blocks together - or you had a mother, grandmother, aunt to teach you. P2130027

So, this is one of the blocks I chose . . . "Swallows in the Window"  That is really a pretty name, isn't it?  You may not be able to read the line above the title, but it says "The quilt with the quaintest name is not the easiest to piece."  Oh boy, is that an understatement!!!!

But, as usual, I did not heed the warning, and charged right on down that road. 

P2130022You see, there are a lot of Y-seams in this block.  But, I've done Y-seams before and - after a few false starts - I remembered how to make them come out pretty nice.  The trick that works for me is to start at the outside edge and stitch toward the center of the Y, stopping at the seam mark.  Then swing the piece around the other way and stitch from outside edge to center.  See?

y-done-right Before we start congratulating each other, however, let me give P2090006you the rest-of-the-story.  You see, for some reason my brain went on vacation when I was figuring out what size to cut the pieces.  I made four center square-in-squares and they looked pretty nice.

P2130023And I motored through four corner pieces for each center section.  That's sixteen sets with three Y-seams each for a total of . . . let's see . . . well, a lot!  And even the backs look pretty with the cool little blossom when you press the seams just right! 

Bu-u-u-ut.  (sigh!)  There's a problem in the math somewhere.  And the completed blocks are pretty wonky.  Oh yeah!  Really wonky!!  Like, even a little fudging when you stitch the blocks together can't really fix this!  P2130025No need to offer suggestions on what went wrong.  I figured it out and it was a (stupid) oversight at the very beginning!  But no way I'm tearing anything apart and going back at this point.  I'll find something to do with this piece - somehow, someway.

But, if you squint at this picture just right - so you can't see the wavy sides and the cut off points - it really is a pretty block!  I can picture a full-size quilt made with this block.  But not by me!!  It will be a cold day in h very long time before I am ready to try this particular block again!

P2160009Now this block, on the other hand, turned out great!  Once I figured out what went wrong with the math business, I tried this Goblet patch.  Perfect!  I expect I'll actually make something with this block!!


Annie said...

The problems with the first one look so minor to me. I am not a perfectionist and I always accept ballpark matches.

Is the second one called 'wine glasses'? I really like that one.

Kay said...

I have a quilt my mother made with this block. Hers is very wonky. As she says, "They didn't have those fancy tools then."