Saturday, November 5, 2011

One Block Wonder Why I Signed Up for This

I was strong-armed into taking Dolores's One Block Wonder Encore class at Quilters Crossing a while back.
Having never made one, I wasn't really wanting to do an "encore," but I did anyway. Mandy helped me pick out my focus fabric with a 12" repeat, which is important to know, but now I don't remember why. I'd go check, but I'm not anywhere near my studio - I'm writing this at the Westchase Marriott waiting for Jill to be done with the L.A. Dance Magic convention.
And besides - you don't care anyway. So here's my fabric (Terrain by Kate Spain) and paraphernalia.
Class Session One:
Ok. So if you're not familiar with the One Block Wonder Why Process, you cut strips out of your 6 identical layers of fabric, then subcut them into 60° triangles. Then you grab each little stack of identical triangles and start playing with the orientation of each. Like this:
These are the same six triangles, just rotated to form different designs. Pretty cool.

Hexagons - Y-Seams - no problem. Sew three together for one half of the block, then sew the other three together. Block 1
I, of course, forgot about 3+3 and sewed 2+2+2. After I sewed the 3rd set of 2, I realized that 3 parts can't be made into 2 halves. Rip.
(Like my white Featherweight? It's not actually mine. Yet. It's Peggy's. Until I finish a few more quilts for her.) Ok, so anyway - Crap. Rip. Add a triangle to each of the 2+2's. Then sew into halves. Finally. There! Done!
Wrong. I musta missed the part where Dolores said, "Don't sew the two halves together - just pin them with two (2) pins - one at the top and one in the center." (Deb? Are you paying attention? Me neither.) Rip again. No photo of me being stupid. Again.
I finished 4 whole half blocks in two hours.
So it was a two-part class with a week in between to get our blocks made.
Time being what it is at my house, i didn't actually sit down to sew my blocks til late Monday night. Fortunately I hadn't broken my rule about not making anything larger than a lap quilt, so I only had to make :I forget how many: blocks. How hard could that be? And more importantly, how long could that possibly take? I'll tell you how long. No, I won't. But I did take a picture of my studio clock to prove what time I finished. I know what you're thinking: "But you could have just changed the clock to whatever time you wanted to make it say!" But you'd be wrong. I actually have 2 clocks in my studio - one for each Daylight Savings Time season. The one on the Bose is set to Fall, and the one on the shelf is set to Spring. That's the one I took a picture of. It's good for a few more days, (wait...hours...oh crud - one more hour) - then I'll spend 6 months only looking at the other one. Scroll down for closing time in the studio.
So remember when I said "How hard could that be?" Yeah. Well, now I know. Just because each of the little triangles are identical, you apparently have to pay attention to what you're doing. Or you could do what I did, and just sew them any which way and be totally surprised when they don't form that cute little spinning design in the center.
Then swear at the dog (who was not doing a very good job of keeping me awake and focused)
and start ripping. Oh. And did I mention that since the 60° triangles are equilateral, (60+60+60=180) that means only one of the three sides is on the straight of grain. The other two are severely biased. Like me. Against these blocks.
Carefully unsew each stitch so as to not stretch the seam, while cursing the person who talked me into this stupid class. (You know who you are.) Then what's really fun is to sew the triangles with wrong side to right side. That doesn't work at all, cuz one triangle shows the backside when you open it up.
Scream. Rip. Watch as Cowardly Mastiff bolts for the door.
Finally finished the blocks and fell into bed. That's 3 a.m. In the morning.
Class Session Two:
I showed up with all my blocks sewn into 2 halves and pinned correctly, and only then found out that I wouldn't be leaving there with a finished top. Even though all my blocks were done. Dammit. I spent the next two hours learning and semi-applying The Rules of Wonder Block Placement. The blocks are supposed to flow and blend into each other from light to dark or...something. No matter how I moved them around the design wall, I could never get them into a square or rectangle: they kept flowing and blending into weird amoeba-like shapes bearing no resemblance to anything vaguely quilt-shaped.
There weren't any blocks suitable for those holes, so Dolores suggested I make a few blocks of the Encore variety. Just pick a couple from the chart to fill in the holes:
This was so not going to work - much less be easy. Or wonder-ful. I numbered the rows, took them all down and stuffed them into a ziplock bag. They're going to the bottom of my UFO drawer. The 2nd UFO drawer with numbers 29-48. They're now 49th on the list.
Screw it.


Bobbidink Designs said...

I had lots of fun with you too Diane. You do have more done than I do though!
(you know who)

Carla said...

Love what you did get done. One day you'll have to explain the difference of one block wonder vs stack and whack. Looks similar.
Maybe you shouldn't sew after midnight. ;o)

Diane said...

I shouldn't even sew before midnight, Carla.

Anonymous said...

I Love this post. Made me smile many times while reading it. With what you have made -- would be a pretty awesome table runner...just saying...