Saturday, May 1, 2010

Recognize Your Limitations

Sometimes show-and-tell just gets me in trouble. A couple of weeks ago a customer at Anglewing Needlearts brought in some placemats she had made using four different fabrics cut into triagles for the fronts and a fifth for the back. They were beautiful and, according to her, "so quick and easy". (Remember this later.)  Mom's been complaining about not having any spring/summer placemats.
So I immediately thought this would make a great make-up present for last year's Mother's Day.

I went to the quilting fabric room and starting playing with fabrics. Came up with a gorgeous combination. Went home. Procrastinated a week or so. Finally laid the fabric out and starting cutting. Took the pieces up to the sewing machine. (Should have remembered the only thing I like to use it for is zig-zagging the edges of my linen.) Started sewing the triangles together.  After much cussing and swearing, got all four tops assembled and VOILA...they are SQUARE!

What a doofus. I forgot when I was cutting them out that they should have been rectangles. DH says we can use them because he thinks all our placemats are too small. What a guy! I can always count on him to make me feel better, even if he's lying.

So I went back to the shop and picked out different fabrics and started the whole process over. However, getting the correct triangle pieces together with the correct edges together, then sewn to the backs with the batting smoothly between the layers proved to be a long, arduous, and seam-ripping fiasco. Finally got them done. Oh, and the small pieces left over that I cut out for coasters?...still sitting on the sewing machine.  Hope they don't dry  rot before I get them made.

In the meantime, remember how excited I was to start "Quaker Diamonds"?  Well, I started it on some 40 count Lambswool that I had distressed some with the liquid spray stuff.  I worked on it for a couple of nights before I finally realized the fabric was too darks to effectively showcase the Valdani floss.  Soooo, I ripped it all out. (If I left if for whenever I decided I needed that piece of fabric, it would never get done.) I cut a piece of 40 count Pearled Barley, zig-zagged the edges (only thing I should EVER used the sewing machine for), and rubbed some old coffee grounds in a couple of spots to mildly distress it.  So this is what I've managed to accomplish since the restart.


  1. You have summed up my own relationship with a sewing machine! My mom tried to teach me to make some clothes when I was about ten, and it ended in me crying and my mom yelling every time. I can piece quilt squares, but that's about it. I'm glad it's not just me! ha!

  2. Beautiful Quaker Diamonds!

    And I love the patterns you picked for the placemats! So spring-y and pretty...

  3. I love the placemats!! Such pretty colors.

    Quaker Diamonds looks great! I'll have to start mine soon.

  4. Love your blog & those placemats..
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  5. Looks like great progress on your restart! I know how you feel about the sewing machine. Although I have been a sewer for 30+ years, I am not a precise seamstress......kind of it looks good at 50 paces kind of I am now being challenged in a quilting class where this is no room for compensation. Drat!

  6. I do love your placemats. Was smiling at your progress on them though. Oh, how I've been in the same place you have! But they look great. And your restart on the sampler looks great too.

  7. I'd rather be stitching...just not placemats? but you did a good job - they're so cute! Good re-start on QD - it is beautiful, and in my stash!

  8. I think the placements are gorgeous! Both sets are lovely! I wish I was more crafty! I think handmade gifts are just AWESOME! I'm sure your Mom will love the gift!

    And your new sampler looks great too! Sorry you spent time and energy in the first one and had to rib it out. That would break my heart!