Too Clever by Half

Which is to say: not very clever at all.

I’ve been humming along on the blocks for my latest project, a variation of Winding Ways using red and white fabrics. As I showed you in my last post, I’m working from a stack of V blocks made up of four reds and a couple of light prints:

V blocks

I figured that pairing all of the reds with both of the lights would give me a lot of variety when it came time to arrange the blocks on my design wall. But a funny thing happened when I started playing with the blocks. I had a stack that didn’t work at all! How did that happen?

Had I really thought about it before running off in high spirits to my sewing machine, I would have figured it out.

Look at a dark block. You see that the toile print is in the star points of the V blocks and the red fabric is on the outside:

windmill block 1

Now look how a light block has the vine print in the V of the V blocks and all around the outside:

windmills block 2
When you put the blocks together in their proper order, with the light and dark blocks alternating, the vine and toile fabrics should alternate, too, like this:

Windmill blocks 3x3

In other words, the V in the light blocks should always be the vine print, never the toile. And the star points in the dark blocks should always be the toile print, never the vine. I made several blocks that were the exact opposite.

(Just to be on the safe side, I’m going to make the center pinwheel blocks last. They’re going to be a bit scrappy and I sure don’t want to wind up with identical pinwheels in adjacent blocks.)

You know that carpenter’s saying “measure twice, cut once”? My dear friend Colleen, also a quiltmaker, modified that saying to “think twice, measure twice, cut once.” I should have followed Colleen’s advice. Instead I have a set of blocks I can’t use in this quilt.

Although I will never get back the time spent cutting, sewing, and trimming those extra blocks, there is a bit of a silver lining: they can always be used in another quilt or perhaps a table runner. Or on the back of this quilt. One thing I can assure you: they will never wind up as orphan blocks. I’ve invested entirely too much time in them.




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6 Responses to Too Clever by Half

  1. Vickie says:

    Oh my goodness, things like this happen to all of us. At least you noticed it now, not after it was quilted. Must be time for wine.

  2. Colleen Coffman says:

    I’m so sorry that happened! But you are so clever, you discovered it long before you were all done. I know that cleverness will also apply to your finding a purpose for the extra blocks. Your quilt is going to be lovely. It makes me want to pull out all my reds and whites and get started on another of my own :D!

  3. Linda Dyer says:

    You are so clever that I can see another red/white quilt in the works!!!! Can’t wait to see the finished quilt(s)!

  4. Linda says:

    A new bag on the horizon

  5. Diane says:

    Alas, I am having difficulty seeing the problem! It all looks great to me.

  6. Charlie says:

    Glad you have no discriminating feelings toward orphans. We often drive on Hoover Highway.

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