Sunday, October 14, 2012

Pay Back

Any believers in karma out there? Or maybe just payback? Well, I got a little taste of both recently. As many of you know, I have a really awesome big sister. So awesome, in fact, that she loves me even after the angst of our childhood years. By angst, I mean that I was an absolute booger to her. I was the tortuous younger sister who would start fights, then sit back and watch smugly as she got blamed by our parents. Sweet, right?

I'm the smarty pants on the left pointing to the chalkboard.
 My mother used to say that I was spoiled, but not spoiled rotten.

Spoiled? Yes
Rotten? You betcha'

  What does this have to do with quilting? Well, I think Rene' got a wee bit of quilty revenge.

I've been a little bummed lately because I don't have time to work on any major project. Rene' has always encouraged me to try smaller projects like mini quilts or random blocks. One block suggested was the Great Granny Square. Isn't she sweet? Anyone who knows me (and my sister knows me WELL), knows the following:

1. I don't like working with small pieces (by small I mean less than 5 inches...haha).
2. I stress over my accuracy in piecing and matching seams.
3. I am directionally challenged.

Anyone familiar with the Great Granny Square must already see where I am going with this!!

I began my block by laying out my printed squares in seven rows as suggested in this tutorial. So far, so good. Then I added my 12 white background squares on the ends of each row. Huh? Something wasn't right. I was short two white squares. I counted the 12 squares, recounted them, counted the number of row ends, recounted them. UGH! Then I called Rene' ;-)

Our conversation went something like this:
Me: "My squares aren't adding up (Insert a panicked voice) !!! What am I doing WRONG (Insert slightly whiny voice)??"
Rene': "Did you read all the directions before you started?" (insert laughter)
Me: "Uh, why would I do that?"
Rene': "Well, it would probably help with this block."

I turn the page...

Notice the words "excluding" (in CAPS!!!!!) the middle row.

So, after reading ALL of the directions, my layout was much better.

I pieced the blocks in each row and carefully carried them to my kitchen, uh, ironing station.

My two must have and Best Press

Well, the directions read to "press your rows with the seam allowance going opposite directions (oh, crap...I have to remember the direction when pressing the rows?????). I'm sweating at this point and wishing my beverage of choice was not coffee!!! Meanwhile, I'm imagining my sister laughing hysterically!!! I press my first row to the right. No problem, that's how I usually press. Therefore, the next row needed to be pressed to the left. Hmmm...not used to that direction (kind of like writing with my left hand), but others do it, I guess I can. I start cussing and wondering why this was so dang hard!! I swear it took me forever to realize I could just turn  the row around and press it to the right. DUH!!! Now, I'm sure, Rene' is on the floor laughing her butt off, picturing my stupidity. She's probably crying at this point from the laughter!!

Sewing the rows together was relatively pain free, and my resulting block didn't turn out too badly!

My first block set "on point."

I think the next time Rene' suggests a smallish project I should question her motives. SERIOUSLY!!
 I mean really...
41 little bitty pieces (okay, not that small) and 24 connecting seams to match...for ONE block???
Two and a half hours later???
And making another Great Granny Square block? Well, let me just say that it would take some SERIOUS arm twisting!!!!!

Thanks, as always, for visiting my blog!!

~ Michelle ~


  1. Michelle, you are too funny!!! I must confess that I did not laugh while you were making your block and asking for suggestions, but I sure am laughing at your recap here ;-)))) Your block turned out great. I did not realize there are that many pieces in this one block. I think we were equally tortuous to each other growing up, but now we are making up for that by quilting together!!! As for the childhood pictures, thanks for not pointing out that I'm the dorky one on the right.

  2. Michelle, thanks for sharing part of your childhood with us. You are not only a talented quilter; but you are also a talented writer. Again, thanks for the memory.

  3. Okay, I'm laughing hysterically, now--just 'cause you're so darned cute! By the way, love the first pic of you two (and Dad?), and I believe those are some lovely 1972 Granny Square vests you're sportin' there if I'm not mistakin'? I believe I had one of those circa 1978, was most certainly a "lovely" hand-me-down from an older cousin.

  4. What a funny post! I can see my older sister doing something like this to me, either subconsciously or on purpose.

  5. So there's hope my children will actually grow up and LIKE one another?! And I love the block, but now that I know how many pieces are in each one, I'll leave it up to you ;)

  6. This is hilarious. I love it. Your block looks just great. Maybe Rene' is out to get you! :-)

  7. Your block is beautiful. I love this block. I hope to make enough of them for a quilt.

  8. Well, being granny-obsessed, this block is really great! You are so funny. It's so fun seeing the scrap bucket on your cutting table. :)

  9. What a fun post! I was the younger sister too and did I ever give my sister a hard time! I follow Rene and Cindy (who is my real life friend) and now I'm a new follower of you!!