Friday, June 26, 2020

Patience and Persistence

A Tale of Three Machines

If you are like me, there are some projects you put away and when you get back to them you don't remember where you were or why you stopped.  (Note to Self:  make notes to self.)  Such is Weaver Fever a design by Jackie Robinson.

This one goes back to my early days in quilting--around 2004.  I remember the retreat where we were all working on it.  The teacher (my friend Nancy) had the process very organized.  (I also remember Doris (no longer with us) whose quilt ended up in reverse because she turned her table around!)

When I was looking for "easy" projects to take to last week's retreat I looked in the project box and it looked like all I needed to do was sew the blocks together.  Easy-peasy.  NOT!  Here's what I think happened ... 

Initially one of my fabric selections was blah and needed to be replaced.  

That yellowy blue in the middle just wasn't singing the same song!  Thankfully, I had only subcut the stripsets for a couple of test blocks at that earlier retreat.  So the project stalled while I disassembled six of the ten strips sets and inserted the new fabric.  

By the time I got back to assembling blocks a few years later, I was using a new "traveling" machine.  Both my original Pfaff and the new Janome required moving the needle to get a good quarter inch and neither was the same -- nor did I always remember to reset the needle position (my bad!). With four to five vertical seams and nine horizontal seams in each block, it was inevitable that every block was a different size.  And now I'm using a third machine.   It's no wonder the project went into Timeout ... for years!

To make a long story short, I realized that this is basically a variation of bargello which normally requires consistent seams.  The advantage of the block technique in this pattern is the only critical measurement is the width of a block so I could trim wider blocks to a consistent measurement.  

But I also had blocks that were longer than others!

But as long as the blocks in any given row were the same length, it wasn't a problem!  In the end I had to disassemble only one row of 5 blocks to trim them to a consistent width. The rest I trimmed before putting them together.  I'm still contemplating borders, but here is my current status.

At 50" x 70" before borders, it will be a nice throw.  I think this one is staying with me.


  1. I remember when that pattern first came out. It is really striking. I don't make enough notes for myself either. I think I'm going to remember where I was on it but many years pass and memory fades.

  2. that is a beautiful quilt - I love it and I don't think I have ever seen the pattern

  3. Oh wow! I love this design and your colors make it pop!! I haven't seen this pattern either and am glad you are keeping it for yourself!

  4. Way to go on figuring out what needed to be done and getting this one finished, Libby! That is a really amazing design! I enjoyed seeing your blocks close up and then what happens when they are all sewn together.

  5. Good call - It looks much better with the darker replacement fabric. I'm glad you were able to get this project moving again - it's too pretty (and too much work) to languish as a UFO in a box somewhere. Congrats on your progress!

  6. Such a pretty quilt top, Libby!! SEW glad that you returned to the project and persisted through its challenges. LOVE it!

  7. Congratulations on all of your UFO finishes. Weaver Fever is a very striking quilt. It will fun to see what borders you decide on.

  8. Whew! What a journey that was! I'm glad you're keeping it - you've certainly earned it!

  9. The UFO was worth saving (was this in the W drawer?) -- great finish. And I'm sure your temperature has moderated now that it's at this stage.

  10. Such a fun design, definitely worth all the effort. Love the blues and yellows.


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