Friday 15 July 2011

Kaleidoscope QAL - oops

It's definitely exciting and inspirational to watch all the beautiful kaleidoscope quilt tops popping up on the flickr group for Don't Call Me Betsy's QAL.  So in my excitement to keep up (now that I had finally caught up a little) I started putting together those lovely kites I had assembled last weekend.  Remember them?

Well, happily assembling away, I was impatient to see one finished block and so instead of being a good little chain piecer I made four quarters into two half blocks and then lined them up to stitch into one block.  Uh oh!

Not looking good!

In a futile attempt at denial (it will be okay, it will be okay!) I tried to join those two half blocks - yikes!  I couldn't even take a photo it was so depressing.

In the vain hope that this problem would only occur with one set of pieces, I tried another four quarters to two halves only to find the same kind of discrepancy!  What on earth had I done?  I retraced my steps - yes all the seams are scant 1/4", all the pieces are cut to size of templates, template is 6.5" tall - what else?  With a little prompt from a friend I checked the template for symmetry - no, not symmetrical at all! How did I miss this?  I read all the posts about checking the scaling on the pdf templates, measuring the height of the template to make sure it was right etc, etc.  Why on earth didn't I think to check whether the thing was symmetrical? I could have cried.  Clearly the issue is mine (or my printer's) as Elizabeth's great instructions and templates are working for so many others.  Do I feel like a dummy or what?

Anyway, after an afternoon of despair, I decided not to give up hope and definitely not to let all my precious blue & whites go to waste.  So now I'm in the process of adapting a foundation pattern for a kaleidoscope block and making it large enough to make the most of the fabric pieces I have already cut.  Yes, the overall block size (and consequently quilt size) will drop a bit but that's much better than wasting all that effort and fabric.  Wish me luck as I start to unpick all those pieces and then foundation piece them back together!  I guess in essence I'm now departing from Elizabeth's fun QAL in order to rescue my quilt, but fingers crossed I'll still have a kaleidoscope top at the end of it all!

Notes to self:  when using pdf templates check, check and treble check everything is exactly as it should be before cutting 360 pieces of gorgeous fabrics AND always make a practice block first to check that I've got it right!

PS If you stuck with this whinge right 'til the end you are truly a dedicated reader of this blog and I thank you for your fortitude and perseverance!  Hope to have more joyful news next time I blog about this quilt.


  1. I have fortitude & perseverance, but only for you!! Still haven't had a chance to look at mine, not really looking forward to it though! Hope you get a rhythm going again for your blocks. Jxo

  2. I'm sure you'll get the quilt you want in the end.


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