Monday, October 13, 2014

Trials and tribulations

This should have been a quick and simple border on my mini medallion. Just strips of alternating squares. Easy peasy, right? I knew right away I wanted to pair up the gold Netorious print from Cotton + Steel and teal and gold from Carolyn Friedlander's Botanics collection because they looked so nice together where I used them in the medallion centre.

I hesitated for a moment because both prints are favourites, making me oh so reluctant to cut into the precious FQs. But cut I did. Nine 1.5" strips according to the instructions. And here's where the wheels fell off. And then the wreckage caught fire and became a raging inferno. Well, maybe that's a bit too dramatic. But I sure did have that panic sweat only a sewing problem can induce.

Right now I am working with a borrowed machine since mine seems to be stuck forever at the repair shop. Mine has a special setting for a scant quarter inch you use with the quarter-inch foot, the borrowed machine does not and so I had to adjust the seam allowance myself. Apparently it was a bit too scant because when I sewed together the first strip of 28 squares it was 3/4 too long! Boy that difference adds up quickly with a bunch of wee blocks. What to do? Thankfully, I thought, at least I don't have to rip out all that stitching. I can just change the setting and sew right alongside the first line. Well, guess what? That made it almost a half-inch too short. Really!?!

Then things got more desperate. I ripped out the original sewing so I could press all the seams open because pressing to the side shrinks it a bit. That brilliant idea gave me about a 1/16" more. Sewing rage rising. What happened to my quick and easy border!?! Look at the two seams in the photo below. Who would guess such a teeny difference would add up to such a gigantic headache?

I ended up blending the too scant and too wide seams on each strip, sewing a few and then ironing and measuring until it was the right length. I was so relieved to finally get this border sewn on. I was not going to let it defeat me!

Oh, and as I was resewing all the seams, I realized the instructions told you to cut double what you needed. DOUBLE. So half my seam allowance aggravation was totally unnecessary. Plus now I have all these orphan bits with seams of various widths to remind me of the experience. But my medallion sure is looking pretty!


  1. It's beautiful. I had a similar experience with a medallion I recently did - not one border worked the way it should have. Frustrating, but a great learning lesson. I love this and the colour palette is wonderful.

    1. It does seem the simple steps are always the ones that are trouble. That's part of the fun and frustration of crafting - and probably what keeps us coming back!

  2. It is so beautiful!! The last border was worth the trouble. I may have to try this one myself.