Saturday, February 23, 2013

Finish It Friday on Saturday

This week I decided was the ideal time to take a few days away from home and go visit some friends that I don't get to see nearly often enough. I had planned to come home on Thursday, but Mother Nature had scheduled a mix of sleet, freezing rain, and snow that day, so none of us went anywhere, and I came home yesterday. Of course that meant I was away from my studio all week. But on the drive home I remembered something that I had left undone for quite a while that was really no big deal if I just put my mind to it and did it. So this afternoon I cleared away a few other things and got it out.

In 2008, North Star Quilt Guild of Cadillac Michigan offered a mystery quilt called Ningaloo Blooming. The name comes from the Ningaloo Marine Park in Western Australia. I did a good job of keeping up with the steps in the mystery, and while I don't remember if I finished the top "on time" it was done shortly after the last clue was published.

Delighted with my finished quilt I laid it out to photograph and this is what I saw:
Somehow in the assembly of the components one piece had gotten sewn in the wrong place, and that meant the whole unit got sewn in backwards. And since I didn't see it until other pieces had been added, fixing it wasn't a simple matter of ripping out one seam and flipping the unit. I was so disgusted that I folded up the top and stuffed it into a drawer, saying "I'll fix that another day."

Clearly, today is another day. I cleared off my sewing table, took care of some housekeeping to make more clear surfaces, then pulled out the top and looked to see what was needed. I peeled back the outer border, then started releasing the section that was reversed, which was actually 5 squares. One of the plain squares had gotten sewn onto the wrong end of the unit, so that had to be picked out and moved to its proper position. Once that was done, the unit could be rotated so it fit properly and sewn back into place. Once the outer border was reattached, the repair was done. I now have a finished top for Finish It Friday a day late.

I like this quilt as much as I did 4 years ago when I started it. The background fabric has always been one of my favorites, and it always surprises me how well it handled being cut up and sewn back together. Even though the pattern is interrupted, it doesn't look chopped. I like the bits of tropical fish in the center of each block, in honor of the theme. I've put it up on the design wall for the moment to think about how I want to quilt it. I've thought about having a long-armer do an all-over meander, because I think this is one case where an all-over pattern might work. I'm also thinking I might quilt it myself with horizontal wavy lines to mimic water. I'll study on it, and think about what I might have in stash that will work for a backing.
By the way, the instructions for the quilt are still available on the North Star Quilt Guild web site. Go to and follow the links for Ningaloo Blooming. You can also see other versions of this quilt that were made by guild members.

No comments: