It's been a few months since I worked on one of the Scores in Sherri Lynn Wood's book, The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters--A Guide to Creating, Quilting & Living Courageously.
I decided to tackle the one Score in the book that I was dreading: Score #8 Bias Strip Petals. "Seeing with Fresh Eyes". I have a confession. I despise bias strips! Even using a bias strip cutting fabric saving "tube" I feel like I'm "wasting" fabric. I have no problems sewing on the bias. I do that all the time. But skinny little strips cut on the bias make me growl!
Starting to work on this challenging pattern, the one Sherri said was the most difficult quilt in the book for her to piece, the day after my last cat died, probably wasn't the best idea. But I figured I that since I can easily piece Drunkard's Path patches that I'd be all right working with this biased peicing.
I should have taken photos as I started making the petals. The first strips on on each side of the oval petal went were nice and flat. It was all downhill from there. I tried pinning the bias strip, then not pinning an letting it float pulling on the pieces more and then less as Sherri recommended. The strips just didn't lie flat for me. Below is a photo of one petal I made just to show here. In this one, only the first strip worked out.
I tried cutting down the bias strips so that they were narrow. I folded the piecing to see if darting would help. It didn't. But I realized that HALF of each pieced petal was just fine.
So I got out my rotary blade and cut all the petals in half. And they were suddenly FLAT! I added a couple more strips to some of the units and then thought about how to piece them all together. I realized I didn't have the patience to do any complex piecing, so I opted to cut the half petals units into as many squares as possible and then piece those.
"Big Sigh!" I let go of all the stress of what hadn't worked out. And suddenly I loved what I was working on!
The colors in this mini quilt delight me as does all the movement from the curved piecing. This little quilt makes SO happy! It's even the wallpaper on my phone now. Makes me smile every time I pick up the phone. That adds up to lots of smiles a day!! : )
Sherri has asked folks posting about quilts made the Scores from her book to share any insights they have about the improv piecing process and/or outcome. This quilt is named "Lemonaide". The spelling is non-traditional but the "aide" is spot on for me! Here are my Insights about working on Score #8.
- Surprises. In my case it was NO surprise that working this bias strip pieced score really annoyed me. But when I gave up doing what I didn't want to do and took another path to the piecing, I WAS suprised to discover I was instantly happy with what I was making!
- Discoveries. "Know thyself." I should have trusted my gut feeling that Bias Strip Petals wasn't the right flower patch for me and skipped it. I'm not sorry I tried Score #8. There were some seriously un-fun hours working on it but I learned some good stuff in the process.
- Satisfactions. I LOVE the quilt that came together when I started to follow my heart.
- Next Steps. I'll pick a project that sings to my tune next time!
The Proper Bostonian Quilters Guild has a Quilt Show starting TOMORROW-- Friday, November 6 and continuing Saturday and Sunday. It's in the Monsignor Donahue Hall, St Theresa School, 40 Saint Theresa Ave, West Roxbury MA 02132. There will be lots of great quilts, vendors, a Boutique table and a Cafe and a fabulous Raffle Quilt (click the link above to see it!). 2 of my quilts are in the show. Hope to see you there!