This week’s prompt was “Checkerboards” and I was quite thrilled with that because they day I had free to work on it, I also woke up with a mild migraine.
The migraine should have been a hint to take the day off, but some caffeine and Advil was keeping it mostly at bay… and I figured checkerboards aren’t complicated… I can totally handle this!
Can you feel the hubris already?
It didn’t start out too badly. I wanted a “scrappy” looking checkerboard, and I figured out pretty quickly that I’d need two different nine-patch blocks to accomplish this. And my quilt so far was 36.5 inches, so if I made my nine-patches 9.5 inches, everything should just work out peachy.
And at first, it did.
I made two of each of these nine-patches and sewed them together for the first side (I decided to tackle it one side at a time, just incase my headache got too bad, I could pack up quickly). Easy peasy. But… then I went to sew that side.
Even from the other side of the design bed, Burton could tell something was wrong (though he didn’t seem too concerned).
My border was almost an inch too long. My math was technically right, but apparently my sewing precision was not. This is not totally unusual… being off by even a 1/16th of an inch in your sewing can add up over time. It’s totally conceivable that I’ve been off a little in each round, and it’s added up to almost an inch.
No biggie, I can add a coping border. I thought this might look nice with a little plain fabric in-between this and the last round anyway. So I did a little more math and added a thin plain border all the way around.
I line up my checkerboard again…
WTF???? My head was really starting to pound now, but I didn’t want to throw in the towel just yet. Then Mr. Smug looked up from the bed …
and reminded me that I need to HALF the measurement I was short, and add that (plus seam allowance) to each side… not the whole thing – that would double my trouble. Duh!
Thats ok… too big is definitely better than too small. I just needed to trim a bit. However, I’m severely limited on space – my cutting table has just enough room for my 18″ x 24″ mat. And this thing was around 36″…. Cutting it on the table was not an option. Luckily, I’d rearranged my bedroom on the weekend and there was just enough floor space to lay it out.
My knees and back weren’t happy about it, but I got it trimmed. I lined the border up, and it was only a touch short this time so I decided just to fudge it a bit. (More hubris)
I decided I could live with it, and got moving on the second side. For some reason, I kept making silly mistakes on my nine patches. It was probably the universe telling me to walk away. But I couldn’t hear it over my migraine, which was naturally, intensifying.
Still, I got them all done, and sewn together. And wouldn’t you know it… the second side was now just under 1/2″ too short. Well… that first side was fudged anyway. I really should rip it out, trim some more and get it right. So I did. By this point, Burton had given up on “helping” and retired to his cat tree.
I should have followed his lead. But… after much swearing, bruised knees, stabbing pains in my spine and a screaming headache… I had the second side on…
… and it looked pretty good.
Now it was getting close to dinner time, and I really should have put it away. My head was throbbing, and I still had to cook…. but I REALLY wanted to get the whole thing done. Dave was working all evening, and would be re-heating whatever I made. It wouldn’t make a difference if dinner was late.
I’m happy to say, the third side went together with only minor hiccups (a few mis-sewn pieces, easily fixed), but went on the quilt with nary a hiccup!
Wow… it is dramatic!
Now it was well into the dinner hour, my body was screeching at me to stop… but I REALLY wanted to get that last side on. I returned to the cutting table…. and promptly ran out of my solid cream fabric! The universe was obviously giving me a swift kick in the butt for not listening.
It was all good though. We’ve got a whole bolt of it at Mom’s and she promised to bring me some more after work the next day. So, I packed up my stuff, said screw dinner, and ordered chicken wings!
The next morning, I was feeling much better (I’m pretty sure the chicken wings cured my migraine, because they frequently last two days). Mom showed up by noon with more fabric. I got my day job done early, and set to work finishing that last row.
It went together quickly, and then zipped on the top like a breeze!
It’s now 54″ square, so I have to decide if I want to keep going around, or just add to top and bottom. But I think I’ll wait for Monday’s prompt before deciding.
Burton says, “I knew all along it would all work out!”