Hit and Miss

Perhaps you think I meant to say “hit or miss.” Oh no. My latest foray in quiltmaking was both a hit and a miss.

Ever since buying Victoria Findlay Wolfe’s Large Diamond acrylic ruler and Big Block Star pattern a few months ago, I’ve been wanting to try them out.

I had the perfect fabric in mind: a Kaffe Fassett print featuring lily pads and lotus blossoms:

I love the kaleidoscopic effect created by using fabric repeats. Part of the fun of making kaleido blocks is that you don’t know what the design will look like until the block is fully assembled.

Victoria’s Big Block Star pattern is composed of four star blocks and finishes at 82″ square. I decided to make one star block finishing at 41″ square. From eight repeats of fabric I carefully cut out the diamonds that form the star and sewed the first two together with the center triangle:

Uh-oh. Do you see what I see? I don’t see lily pads and lotus blossoms. I see an animal face with two big . . . sad . . . bloodshot eyes.

I told myself it was just an illusion. I told myself it would look totally different with two more blocks added.

Well, here they are:

Now I see two faces . . . and now they look like owls. Very sad owls.

What to do??

I already had the remaining pieces cut out so I decided to finish the block, hoping that the completed big star would look fine:

Now if I try really hard, I can see that the lily pads form a circle inside the star and there’s even a pleasing starburst shape in the very center of the block. But I can’t escape the feeling that four very sad owls are looking back at me.

Am I in despair? Curiously, no. I consider this experience both a hit and a miss. The design and ruler are definitely on the “hit” side. The block went together quickly because the pieces are all large, and I actually enjoyed sewing all of those Y seams.

The “miss” part of the equation is related to where I placed the ruler when cutting my first diamond. Placing the ruler in a different part of the fabric repeat would have resulted in a completely different look, one I probably would have been happy with.

I’m going to try again. With a different piece of fabric. One with no lily pads.




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10 Responses to Hit and Miss

  1. Diane says:

    It is NOT a miss! I saw the same owl eyes until the star was fully assembled and then I saw the eyes of four very wise but slightly sardonic frogs – who are right at home on those lily pads. It could be the beginning of Kermit’s Kaleidoscope.

  2. Kristi says:

    Thanks for the chuckle of the day!

  3. Sandy says:

    You are so funny. I loved Diane’s comments too. Hysterical!

  4. Karin Callander says:

    Yup, I saw exactly the same, before you even said it… And I think the end result isn’t so bad, after all is said and done. But, for next time, they make a folding mirror that you can place on your fabric, on the area you’re thinking of cutting, so you can preview your choice. It shows you what your chosen piece will look like in a kaleidoscope setting, could be helpful in your planning. But, it would take the surprise factor out..

    • Dawn says:

      Hi Karin. I have one of those folding mirrors! Works great for viewing triangles. Diamonds — not so much. I am liking my big block better now . . . Thanks for your comments!

      • Karin Callander says:

        Ahhh..didn’t know it wouldn’t work for diamonds, sorry. I picked one up at a yard sale, but I’ve never used it. I love the result from Take 2!

  5. Colleen says:

    Are you going to stop with one block for your intended quilt? If not, once you get the other three completed it will help this one’s focus change, don’t you think?

    • Dawn says:

      That’s a really good point, Colleen. I don’t have enough fabric to make three more blocks, though. It takes a lot of fabric to fussycut eight long triangles!

  6. Jeanne says:

    Hilarious, except for the idea of all that fabric.
    I’m not surprised that you are liking it better with time. What a difference a day can make!
    I think it’s fine.

  7. Charlotte says:

    Lucky me, I’ll see you next week and you can show me how you did that!

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